Murder on the Orient Express is a mystery novel by Agatha Christie. The hero is the famous detective, Hercule Poirot. Poirot is described throughout Christie’s novels as a small Belgian man with an egg-shaped head and a distinctive moustache. The novel is set almost entirely on a train called the Orient Express. The train was on its way to London, but becomes stuck in the middle of the night due to a snowdrift. The next morning, a man named Mr. Rachett is found dead in his bed having been stabbed multiple times. Poirot, intrigued by the mysterious circumstances surrounding this apparent murder, puts the “little grey cells” in his mind to work. In other words, as he always does, Poirot uses his brain power to solve the case.
One thing I enjoyed about this novel is that we have more suspects than most Poirot stories. The various personalities made the story quite colorful and entertaining. Many nationalities are represented, such as American, British, Hungarian, Russian, Swedish and Italian. One of my favorite suspects is an old woman named Mrs. Hubbard. She tends to ramble and rattle on about her daughter or anything else that pops into her head. I found it amusing to read about the passengers’ interactions as they all claimed alibis to absolve themselves of the murder. The victim seems to have had a very bad reputation, so many suspects might have been motivated to kill him. This made it very hard to guess which suspect was the actual killer.
This is one of my favorite Agatha Christie books. There are many characters to keep track of, which makes the story interesting and exciting, but the mystery becomes difficult to figure out. The ending was quite surprising and different from other Poirot stories that I have read. Overall, I found this novel to be quite thrilling. I would also recommend Agatha Christie’s other Poirot books, such as Cards on the Table and The ABC Murders. Hercule Poirot is one of my favorite characters, and I have enjoyed all of the Poirot mysteries that I have read so far.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.