It was five o'clock on a winter's morning in Syria. Alongside the platform at Aleppo stood the train grandly designated in railway guides as the Taurus Express. It consisted of a kitchen and a dining car, a sleeping car and two local coaches.
Murder on the Orient Express is my second Agatha Christie. It stars Inspector Hercule Poirot. The murder occurs in the middle of a night on a train--as you probably know already. The train becomes snowbound, and it is up to Hercule Poirot, one of the passengers, to solve the crime. (The murderer has to still be on board.) After examining the crime scene for clues, he interviews each of the passengers one by one: Mary Debenham, Colonel Arbuthnot, Hector MacQueen, Antonio Foscarelli, Edward Henry Masterman, Cyrus Hardman, Princess Dragomiroff, Greta Ohlsson, Mrs. Hubbard, Hildegarde Schmidt, Count and Countess Andrenyi. What clues did the murderer leave behind him/her? Which passenger has the greatest motive for wanting M. Ratchett dead?
I really loved this one. It was so compelling, so suspenseful. I loved the way this one was told, loved the way we got to know the suspects. And, of course, I loved Hercule Poirot. I would definitely recommend this one.
"Madame," Poirot waved an airy hand, "detectives have to ask all sorts of questions. For instance, perhaps you will tell me the colour of your dressing gown?"
She stared at him. Then she laughed. "It is corn-coloured chiffon. Is that really important?"
"Very important, Madame."
She asked curiously: "Are you really a detective, then?"
"At your service, Madame."
"I thought there were no detectives on the train when it passed through Jugo-Slavia--not until one got to Italy."
"I am not a Jugo-Slavian detective, Madame. I am an international detective."
"You belong to the League of Nations?"
"I belong to the world, Madame." said Poirot dramatically. He went on: "I work mainly in London. You speak English?" he added in that language. (128)
© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews