Murder on the Orient Express
Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie, is the heyday of murder-mysteries. It is classic and, from the opening lines, Mrs. Christie sets an impeccable stage and the reader is transported to a train station in Syria. Here we meet Christie’s most famous hero, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. He is about to begin a short holiday but is suddenly called back to London. Managing to secure the last coach on the train bound for London we meet a cast of characters who will become a cast of suspects as during the night, one, Mr. Ratchett, is murdered.
The story unfolds in perfect pacing as we join Poirot who is enlisted to solve the mystery! Reading this classic novel is like reading murder-mystery’s origin story. So much of modern storytelling has been inspired by Agatha Christie’s writings, Murder on the Orient Express, being one of the most famous stories, makes it that much more influential.
The novel is a quick read despite, what would now be considered old-fashioned and formal dialogue, but that only adds to the charm of the story. After I finished the book I was very much wanting to go headlong into an Agatha Christie bender. Thankfully, Amazon Prime is well stocked so I watched And Then There Were None, which made me want to then watch Clue The Movie. Reading and watching these early mysteries really allows you to see the ripple of Agatha Christie’s works down through the ages and genres.
During her own time, Agatha Christie was exceptional. In fact, she is the third most widely published author in history – only to be outsold by Shakespeare and the Bible. Part of the draw then was that she took the genre to new and exciting places – like the Orient and the Nile. But, the fantastic thing about her work is that it endures because she produced quality and quality never ages out.
Have you read Murder on the Orient Express? Or other Christie novels? I really enjoyed this one and see her becoming an easy go-to – particularly for travel reading. Let us know your favorites int he comments!
5 Things You May Not Know About Agatha Christe
- She is often lauded as a little old English lady, but she was half American. Her dad was from New York.
- As a young woman, she received five marriage proposals.
- Life imitates art became true when she became the subject of a ten-day disappearance. Shortly, after her first husband asked for a divorce she put her young daughter to bed and drove off into the night. Her car was found abandoned on a country lane and she was found in a hotel ten days later. It is suspected that she experienced some sort of fugue state but she refused to ever speak of the incident.
- An avid traveler, she became one of the first Europeans to learn how to stand-up surf in Hawaii.
- She was not an organized plotter. Agatha Christie kept numerous journals around her house to jot down notes as they occurred. As such her notes were chaotic and disorganized. Notes for one book were often spread across several notebooks.
When you are done reading this novel check out our other books that made the