Book Review: Murder on the Orient Express

01.18.2011 (first published 1934) | William Morrow
Rating: 5/5 stars


The famous Orient Express is travelling during the winter, a time when usually the train cars are empty. Hercule Poirot finds himself on an unusually crowded train car headed back home. The train is filled with a seemingly diverse group of people, with individuals from various social classes and backgrounds. Suddenly the group is tied together when just after midnight, the train is stopped by a snowdrift and a murder is committed.

All around us are people, of all classes, of all nationalities, of all ages. For three days these people, these strangers to one another, are brought together. They sleep and eat under one roof, they cannot get away from each other. At the end of three days they part, they go their several ways, never, perhaps, to see each other again.

Unlikable millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett has been found dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times. His door is locked from the inside. The woman occupying the joining compartment swears there was a man in her cabin last night. Hercule Poirot is quickly on the case and determines there is no possible way someone came on the train unnoticed and that there is nowhere for them to hide if they had. These facts can only mean one thing…the murderer is one of his fellow passengers.

The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.

Agatha Christie yet again brings to life the curious and delightfully intriguing Hercule Poirot in MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. The reader walks through solving the case with Poirot, as he interviews each passenger. As the interviews carry on secrets are revealed and in the sort of grand reveal that only Poirot could present, the killer is named! This novel was one of my favorites growing up and I picked now to reread it in light of the new movie coming out this Friday. As always, Christie delivers up a literary slice of heaven in this fun and exhilarating mystery!

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