Murder on the Orient Express (#38/50)

One of the things this Book Challenge has done is encourage me to branch outside my literary comfort zone and try authors and genres I wouldn’t normally pursue. The “murder mystery” genre, like science fiction, is not my usual cup of tea – and this book hasn’t changed that – but I still believe it’s a healthy exercise to try something new every once in awhile.

Title – Murder on the Orient Express

Author – Agatha Christie

Page count – 315

Agatha Christie is the “Queen of Mystery” (at least according to the book’s cover – and I had heard of her), and as a reference, this book was published in 1934. This particular story features an apparently recurring character named Hercule Poirot. He is traveling on a long-distance train when late one evening the train becomes stuck in a snow storm. One of the passengers is found stabbed dead in his cabin, and because of the snow/weather situation, one of the other dozen passengers must be the murderer. Complicating matters is the fact that the victim’s cabin was locked from both inside and out. It’s up to Detective Poirot to find out who the murderer is…

Even though murder mysteries aren’t my go-to choice, I think people who do enjoy the genre would like this book. It was fun, a bit like playing the board game Clue – Who did it? How did they get in and out of a locked room? Was there an accomplice? And I was quite satisfied with the unexpected conclusion. 🙂

This book didn’t really lend itself to any long, “quotable” passages, but there was a funny line from Poirot, who tends to make judgments on people’s character by their appearance. The man (a Monsieur Ratchett) who ends up being the murder victim seemed to know he might be the target of suspicious behavior and wants to hire Poirot. The detective’s response?

“I regret, Monsieur, I cannot oblige you.”

(when asked why not:)

“If you will forgive me for being personal – I do not like your face.” (p. 36)


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