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Murder on the Orient Express: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – March 29, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 648 customer reviews
Book 10 of 43 in the Hercule Poirot Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“What more…can a mystery addict desire?” (New York Times)

“[Moves] smoothly and entertainingly to its surprise conclusion.” (Chicago Daily Tribune)

“Nothing short of swell. [Christie] is probably the best suspicion scatterer and diverter in the business.” (New York Herald Tribune)

“Need it be said—the little grey cells solve once more the seemingly insoluble. Mrs Christie makes an improbable tale very real, and keeps her readers enthralled and guessing to the end.” (Times Literary Supplement (London))

“A brilliantly ingenious story.” (Dorothy L. Sayers, Daily Herald (UK))

“It’s tempting to say that Agatha Christie is a genius and let it go at that, but the world’s had plenty of geniuses. Agatha Christie is something special.” (Lawrence Block, New York Times bestselling author)

From the Back Cover

"The murderer is with us–on the train now . . ."

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.

Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again . . .

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Product Details

  • Series: Hercule Poirot Mysteries (Book 10)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reissue edition (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062073508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062073501
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (648 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. H. ZAINAL on March 11, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ah, yes. The world famous case of the "Murder on the Orient Express" (MotOE). It is so famous, even people who have never read Christie know who did it. I first read it 12 years ago even though someone had already revealed to me the identity of the murderer. I've never forgiven him. But I read it anyway to find out for myself how Agatha Christie constructed the story in order to fool her readers.
Christie was probably inspired by the true story of the 'Lindbergh baby' kidnapping. Charles Lindbergh (he who flew across the Atlantic alone) had an infant child who was kidnapped and murdered even after the ransom had been paid.
The background to MotOE is also similar to the Lindbergh case. The victim is revealed to have been involved in a kidnap-murder case a few years back and got away with it. Was he punished for his crimes at last? Was he murdered for something totally unrelated? Or was he a victim of mistaken identity?
The usual suspects remind one of the typical English drawing room murder mysteries: an English colonel, a Russian princess, a count, a beautiful mysterious woman...they are all here. And Hercule Poirot has to discover who the murderer is and why, all by using his "little grey cells, mon ami."
The revelation in the final pages will surprise the reader yet it will not strain belief too much. MotOE has been accused of being incredulous and downright silly but I disagree. Those who feel that way probably forgot that they are reading a fiction novel. I am sure one will find it a lot of fun if only to find out who from among the varied cast did it. You'll be gobsmacked, I assure you :)
The solution will also show the reader why MotOE is famous in its uniqueness and has never been copied (no writer dares to).
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Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: It was five o'clock on a winter's morning in Syria.

In the Orient Express Calais Coach, a wealthy American is found dead of multiple stab wounds. The train is stopped in the snow and it quickly becomes clear the killer is still on board. Monsieur Bouc, the director of the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons Lits, asks his friend, and fellow passenger, M. Hercule Poirot to solve the case.

It had been about 25 years since last I'd read Dame Agatha but I now remember just how good she was. Her dialogue is flawless; it flows in the natural style of conversation, particularly multi-lingual conversation. I'm reminded, too, that her books were written in a time when the middle- and upper-class English had, and may still have, a rudimentary understanding of French so no translations were made in the story. Her humor is light and deft. Her characters, Poirot particularly, are fascinating representatives of certain classes of the time. Her clues are deftly placed and it such fun to watch Poirot engage his "little gray cells." Dame Agatha is definitely deserving of the term "classic." I'll not wait another 25 years before reading another of her books.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If I had to select a single Christie novel to read again for the first time, this would be my choice; more than twenty years after my first encounter with the novel I can still recall my complete amazement. I strongly urge those who have not seen the film version to avoid it until you have experienced the sheer pleasure of being being tricked by the master trickster herself. For MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, superlatives are not enough.
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Format: Audio CD
One problem with audiobooks is the dialogue. Very often an author does not supply the "he said/she said" before or after each quotation and the listener is often at a loss as to who is speaking. David Suchet, the ultimate Poirot, gets around this by using a different voice for each character. He had accomplished this in his reading of the complete "Death on the Nile" for Audio Partners and he does it again with a superlative <Murder on the Orient Express> for that same label.
This set was designed for a release to coincide with the CBS dramatization of the classic whodunit, but Audio Partners need not have bothered. That telecast was an utter disaster with a lusterless Poirot, a cast that for the most part could scarcely create a character, and an updating of the decor (among other ludicrous changes) to the present. So the older film with its starry cast can rest unchallenged; but the public is entitled to enjoy the original and this audiobook is just the ticket.
Christie uses the usual "closed environment" setting (an island, a cruiser, a train) to give us a small number of suspects; and then she hits us with Poirot's "gather everyone together while I explain the solution" scene. One of the gimmicks of this novel is that Poirot comes up with two solutions! But for the sake of those very few who do not know the ending, I will say no more. And even for those who do, there is always the joy of Suchet's reading.
I have the CD edition, a format that makes it difficult to find where you last left off since each full chapter is usually given a single track number. Here Audio Partners has thoughtfully broken each chapter into several tracks so you pretty much can get back to where you were with a minimum of trouble.
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