Book Review: Murder on the Orient Express

“I do not understand myself,” said Poirot. “I understand nothing at all, and, as you perceive, it worries me.”

Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express is a murder mystery by the famous novelist, Agatha Christie, published in 1934. This was the first novel by Agatha Christie that I’ve ever read, and I can’t wait to read more of her books!

So, let’s get to it! This book was given to me a while back, and I had never gotten around to actually reading it. On my last escapade away from home, I ended up watching the movie on the plane, without even realizing I owned the book! So, there was no way I couldn’t read it now! I have to say, the mystery would have been more difficult to solve if I didn’t know who the criminal was when I started reading the story. (Obviously).

The plot:

Alright everyone, this book takes place in a train, The Orient Express, in the middle of winter. *cough* That’s important! The story follows our very own Monsieur Hercule Poirot, the famous detective that Agatha Christie has featured in many famous stories. While traveling, Poirot ends up on the Orient Express with an odd combination of foreigners and travelers that seem to have no connection whatsoever.

First, the train gets stopped by a major snowdrift that blocks the tracks. Then, someone is killed. In the middle of the night, with the ring of a bell and a French remark uttered through the noisy silence, Poirot is unable to sleep. And the next morning, in the compartment beside him, a man that no one seems fond of, was stabbed to death. (A bit dark, but very necessary to paint the picture here.)

Hercule Poirot is asked to take on the case. With the help of a dear friend, a doctor, and some very interesting evidence and witness accounts, Poirot goes straight to work to uncover who killed the man and why.

The characters:

Our main character, detective Poirot, is unlike any other character. He is nonsensical and thinks outside the box, never revealing his own thoughts until the end. The case is what matters most to him, that and delivering justice in the most gentlemanly way possible. He seems to read the lies of others and find the truth between the pages, because the truth isn’t easy to find in a murder that leaves everyone speechless and conflicted.

All the characters in this story are well thought out, each with their own detailed background, diverse occupations, and firm beliefs. No one is who they seem to be, and knowing that the murderer is still on the train, everyone is a suspect.

The writing:

Agatha Christie is an amazing writer, possibly nowhere short of being brilliant with words and mystery. The story flows at a steady pace, where clues are uncovered as each person is interviewed. But the readers still seem to grasp at thin air to come up with a plausible guess as to who the killer really is. The story is written in such a way that it doesn’t feel long or boring, but it gives you the sense of entering an old, untimely story.

I would say this book is for fifteen and up. It includes vivid descriptions of death with dark backgrounds and some crude remarks. If you’re looking for a fun, seemingly impossible to solve murder, then this is the book for you. But don’t say I haven’t warned you. Everyone is a suspect, maybe even you.

-R.E. Klinzing

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T.S.O. Bk# 1 Finding Doom

Amelia Zegro wakes up in the hospital with no memory of her tragic accident. She knows it has something to do with her secret life as a teen spy. Known as Agent Z, Amelia works for the Teen Spy Organization (T. S. O). As she tries to work out the sorted details of her lost memory, she is assigned a new and dangerous case, a case that brings her on a collision course with Doom, a notorious criminal with whom she has an ominous connection. As Agent Z uncovers clues about her past, she realizes she has been looking in the wrong direction. She must decide who she can trust and uncover the truth before it’s too late. Can Amelia piece together the details in time to rewrite a wrong and stop Doom from succeeding in his plan?

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