Murder on the Orient Express

As much as I love the fact that Amazon has thousands upon thousands of  books, I still like going to my local Barnes & Noble to buy most of my books.  This book is a perfect example of why.  I usually have a list of books that I’m looking for when I go there, but I also walk throughout the bookstore and look at what else they have.  I’ve picked up several books that I hadn’t planned on buying by doing this, one of those books was this one.  I was looking at a table that they had set up with required reading lists for high school english programs and saw it.  I’ve only read one other Agatha Christie novel (And Then There Were None) but I really enjoyed it.  So I picked this one up.

Book Stats

315 pages (paperback)

Mystery

Although the detective main character of the book was the main character in a number of Agatha Christie novels you don’t need to have read any of them to enjoy this book.

Characters

The main character in this book is Hercule Poirot, a detective who is on a journey back to England.  There are also two other characters he works with throughout the book, but they are mostly there to ask questions of Poirot so he can show his brilliance (a la Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes).

Setting

The book takes place on the train the Orient Express.  The story occurs during a 2 day stretch where the train is stopped because of a snowstorm.

Plot

The train is stopped during a snowstorm.  When they wake up they find that a man has been murdered, and his room was locked from the inside.  Naturally with no other options, they turn to Poirot to solve the mystery of who killed Ratchett.  From here the story expands like a typical mystery, with Poirot investigating all of the other passengers.

Enjoyment

Most of this book seems fairly contrived.  The investigation part was interesting, but not overwhelming.  Poirot is an interesting character, but there weren’t any traits about him that really stood out.  Although it wasn’t the most original plot structure, it was very well done and I was both surprised and a little disturbed by parts of the ending.

Overall Grade

The book was solid if not especially groundbreaking, but the ending is very good (and after reading this I’ve decided that I need to repent of having only read 2 of her books).

7/10

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