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Review: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

in a sentence or so: Inspector Poirot is just trying to get to his destination as fast as possible. lucky for him, a spot opens up on the Orient Express and he's able to squeeze in. not so lucky for him, he soon has a murder to solve. let's go!

Poirot, being a sleuth and all, is pretty good at observing people. something about his skills strike the eye of Mr. Ratchett - one of the other passengers on the train - and he tries to hire Poirot to solve the mystery of who is trying to murder him. Poirot doesn't like the cut of his jib, tells him so, and moves on. he's got other cases to solve!  plus he doesn't want to bother with this beady eyed American. that very night, Ratchett is murdered. looks like Poirot is on the case after all...

with a train full of stranded passengers, thanks to an overnight snowstorm that sticks them in place, Poirot has all the time he needs to interview the suspects, get alibis, and form together a theory. it doesn't take long for the Belgian sleuth to discover that Ratchett was actually a faked name, and that the man was a known child kidnapper that killed a famous American girl and caused the death of her entire family. grim stuff...and fodder for just about anyone with a heart to kill the jerk. Poirot soon discovers that there are unlikely alliances, secret conversations, and much distrust amongst the passengers.  Poirot has his work cut out for him.

so i'd never read an Agatha Christie novel before, so i was unsure of what to expect. YES i know they are mysteries and that the whole world is aware of them...but i didn't know the style or how it would all play out. this was a total murder-mystery ala Law and Order (love) with a clever detective (Love) and sassy passengers (LOVE).

we go through the entire interview process with Poirot and help him piece together the mystery. i kept thinking i should be taking notes or something...but luckily Poirot did that for us. thanks P! the revealing of the alibis and figuring out what the evidence means and motive and all that jazz was pretty fun. i wasn't totally enraptured, however, so that was kind of a bummer. at one point i was seriously considering just reading the final chapter...but refrained.

the final twist was pretty neat, but i was left skeptical that Poirot was THAT good. i mean, it felt like a lot of guesswork that happened to be right...but still it was a fun mystery to solve.

fave quote: "It was not until they were eating a delicate cream cheese that M. Bouc allowed his attention to wander to matters other than nourishment. He was set at the stage of a meal when one becomes philosophic." (pg 18)

fix er up: okay, i felt bored in the middle. there, i said it! i needed a break from the interview after interview...i needed a side plot. or a description of they were wearing....something more than fact-fact-fact.

title: Murder on the Orient Express
author: Agatha Christie
genre: Mystery

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. This is absolutely one of my all time favourite Christie novels and when a friend of mine said she had never read a Christie book, i went straight out and bought her this one.

    Did you see the end coming?! I think it is one of the best endings of Christie's novels easily.

    I watched a documentary the other day where David Suchet went on the Orient Express - it was great!

    I am having an Agatha Christie week on my blog this week and on Saturday I am going to ask people to share links to their own reviews if you are interested in sharing this one with everyone

  2. I like Hercule quite a bit myself, but always thought Christie's best work was Ten Little Indians/And Then There Were None. That is a page turner and a half that generates suspense by not having a single detective figure.

  3. Becky - i most certainly did NOT see that end coming! such a clever twist that left me wrestling with a moral dilemma...which i do appreciate. thanks for the invite to share! i'll be sure to stop by to share and peep other reviews. :B

    Eriks - i did kinda like Hercule a lot...his musings were pretty fun. i'll have to check out TLI/ATTWN per your request. i do love me some suspense!

  4. I've never read any Agatha Christie, but this sounds interesting. It's like "CSI" except not totally unrealistic and unbelievable. :) I love a good "trapped in a confined space and I know one of you did it" kind of mystery. That's why I enjoy watching the film "Clue" so much!

  5. there was certainly the CSI feel...but without the wacky cut scenes and ridiculous music. :)

    ALWAYS nice to find another Clue fan. "communism is just a red herring" <3

  6. I also reviewed this novel for the Gothic challenge and it was my first introduction to Christie. I was very impressed with the twist at the end. The personalities on the train were also great. Great review!

  7. the twist at the end was in interesting one. it leaves you with a moral dilemma, which i wasn't expecting. thanks!


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