Cover detail of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

And so we come to the start of my holiday reading.......almost. During my holiday I read 7 books in total including one which I had been reading FOREVER. But I'll tell you more about that in another post. I love holiday reading, it's guilt free reading and you are allowed to read absolute tosh if you fancy. Although to be fair you can read tosh whenever you want to read tosh. Murder on the Orient Express is absolutely not tosh. Indeed it was the runner up in a global vote to find the world's favourite Agatha Christie.

World's Favourite Agatha Christie

Read my Review of Murder on the Christmas Express by Alexandra Benedict

And of course, it is entirely appropriate to read a classic crime set in snowy eastern Europe on the way to a country with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees. This had me hooked, and I'd actually finished before the plane landed. A 13 hour flight passed in no time at all. Let's find out more shall we?

The Plot

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. A passenger lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, the door locked from the inside.
Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the prime suspects from a scornful and impatient arrray of foreign passengers - before the murderer decides to strike again.

My Thoughts

It is entirely easy to see why this was the runner up to find the world's favourite Agatha Christie, but in my opinion this should be number one. The novel is split into 3 parts; The Facts, The Evidence and Hercule Poirot sits back and thinks.

When Monsieur Ratchett is found stabbed in an apparent frenzy, it seems as if the murderer has fled out of the window. However a derailment due to snow soon nixes that idea and it becomes apparent that Ratchett was murdered by someone on the train. The murder throws up a series of mistifying questions - was there more than one murderer? Why is there an unusual collection of items relating to a number of the passengers by the murder victim. Who owns the handkerchief with the initial H?

As Hercule begins to interview the passengers, Ratchett's true identity is discovered and a number of the passengers have a connection to the crime that Ratchett committed. And then Hercule retires to consider this problem. Who wore the red kimono seen hurrying through the carriage? and where had an extra guard's uniform appeared from. It is a confounding case for our favourite Belgian detective.

The story is well-paced, well-plotted and with a wonderful array of characters from all walks of life, typifying the world of Agatha Christie and Hercule. There is an excellent film adaptation directed by Kenneth Branagh and staring a host of stars including Michelle Pfeiffer and Judi Dench. I'd recommend watching this after reading the book. It is excellent.

This is a 5 Star read for me. I loved it. Curl up and enjoy my loves. I will be back on Tuesday with a book that is definitely tosh, but good fun.