Sunday, August 10, 2014

Agatha Christie's Murder Train

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie 
Genre: Murder Mystery

"En route to Paris, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot has booked winter passage on the fabled Orient Express. Among the assortment of fellow passengers, one wealthy American holds a unique distinction: He has been found dead of multiple stab wounds in the night compartment of the Calais coach. By dawn, thirteen travelers, each bearing a secret, will find themselves suspect in the most ingenious crime Poirot has ever solved..."

Feel that shiver down your spine? That means you're intrigued already. Actually, it wasn't particularly scary or gruesome, except when Poirot looks at the dead body. I haven't read many mysteries, even of Christie's, except I do recall perusing And Then There Were None in middle school and enjoying it more than I thought I would.

Christie is definitely a master of mystery, and this book takes the reader on several different tracks before arriving at the brilliant conclusion of the murder. I would have liked to be more in Poirot's head to see how he worked out the mystery so well, but he does explain some of it at the end. The only bad thing about mysteries, at least Christie's, is that there is no character development. They are pretty logical books, where this+this=that, and I wished for something more substantial afterwards. There is quite a bit of dialogue, probably more than in any book I've ever read, and the reader usually doesn't get to peek into any of the character's minds, leaving them merely a spectator instead of a participant in the story.

These novels are good palate-cleansers, though, in-between longer, more character-driven books. And as I mentioned earlier, Christie is brilliant at placing both true and false clues and leaving the reader clueless to the truth until bam! the detective hits them over the head with it at the end. Thus, I give this novel a 3 out of 5 and recommend it for 16 year olds and up.

What I learned: 'Tout de meme' in French means 'all the same'.

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