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Title: Murder on the Orient Express (#10 Hercule Poirot)
Author: Agatha Christie
Published: 4th of June 2007 – Harper Collins (first published 1934)
Format: Paperback – 274 pages
“The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.” – Murder on the Orient Express
Hello Hello! How are you?
I am having a little break from my Down the TBR Hole series because I’m extremely busy this week and don’t have time to write it, but that also means I can get some of the reviews in my drafts posted on my blog yay! They are very long-overdue… Ooops. Keep on reading to find out my thoughts on this book!
Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.
Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer—in case he or she decides to strike again.
Trigger Warnings: violent death, graphic depictions of murder, threats, mentions of suicide, mentions of past crimes, child death, child abduction, alcoholism.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie is the 10th book in the Hercule Poirot series which I have been reading in chronological order with some buddies from the TWR Gang. I am only going to do a mini-review of this book because as usual with Christie, I believe it is best to go in completely blind, therefore, I’ve stopped reading the blurbs and I let myself be surprised every time I pick up a new Poirot!
I think out of the 4 books I have read in this series (we decided to start reading chronologically after we had read this one, so we are now catching up), this has got to be my favourite one, followed by The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Both of these books are so well thought out, I have no idea how Christie did it, but I have to applaud her.
I actually saw one of the screen adaptations of Murder on the Orient Express, but I must have fallen asleep while watching it because I had absolutely no recollection of it and everything we found out while reading was completely new to me, which was actually a marvellous experience. When starting this book, I thought “I think so and so did it” and at the end, I actually shouted out loud “OH MY GOD, I can’t believe it” because I was right!
I loved everything about this book, it was so interesting that this one was kind of loosely based on a true crime event, that the events in this book were similar to that actual crime, and that the crime itself was linked to another crime. That makes no sense, but believe me, it’s great!
Poirot is once again such a huge character, he has an immense personality and I love just how believable and real he is. I love his quirks, when he says “Use your little grey cells, mon ami”, how he knows everything right from the start and is just waiting for the other characters to trip themselves up.
I equally adored the setting of this book. It is a real locked room mystery and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I kept thinking about all the little clues and trying to piece them together. There were a few little red herrings, but along with the real clues, they just amounted to a very surprising and brilliant reveal at the end. The fact that Poirot imagines two explanations for the crime just shows how sharp he is and reminds us that he knows everything.
I really liked the side characters that helped Poirot investigate the murder. I won’t say much about the murder itself because it was really cleverly plotted and it needs to be read, going in blind and completely unaware. What I enjoy the most about these books so far are all the little subtle elements that teach us more about Poirot and give us an insight into his personality. He really is larger than life and one of my favourite fictional characters.
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
Overall, this was definitely a fantastic instalment in a series I have now grown to love and for which I am fond of each book. The uniqueness of the murder, the basis and links to past crimes, the motivations of each character and the different clues all culminate into an intelligently plotted and surprising reveal.
I very much enjoy Christie’s writing style and while some of her books just show how old they are, have not aged very well and reflected the times they were written in, I didn’t find this one offensive or misplaced. The ending was somewhat surprising and the way that Poirot acted towards the culprit was questionable, but again, it is a thing of the times. The pace was however very good, and the writing style was thoroughly enjoyable. I was hooked from start to end and the pages whizzed by without me realising.
I gave this book 4 stars (full ASPECTS rating below) and I enjoyed it immensely. I loved how this one was set up, all the subtle hints, how Poirot is just such a fabulous character and detective. He is always one step ahead of everyone else and this makes for humour and wit on his part. If you love locked room mysteries, intriguing and morally grey characters, subtle clues and a big reveal, this is the book for you. I highly recommend Murder on the Orient Express. It is my favourite Poirot mystery so far and I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of Christie’s mysteries. She is now among my favourite mystery writers and I hope she will become one of yours as well.
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading this post, see you soon, stay safe,
Atmosphere – 6
Start – 5
Pacing – 5.5
Ending – 7
Characters – 6.5
Theme – 7
Style – 8
Total = 45
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