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Murder on the Orient Express: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – March 29, 2011
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“[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)
“What more…can a mystery addict desire?” (New York Times)
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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Top Customer Reviews
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).
Another Agatha Christie mystery that features an incredible revelation and giving an "I would never have guessed that" feeling to the reader is "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd". Both the Ackroyd and the Orient Express books should be in the Murder Mysteries Hall of Fame, if there is one.
It's actually the first true murder mystery novel I've read, so I was pretty pleased. That said, I do wish I could have been able to solve the mystery on my own. In order to do that, it seems I would have had to know some facts that were impossible for me to know (because it's based around another fictional story, which we only receive little information on). Otherwise, worth a read, as it's a very highly regarded book.
We used this book as a homeschool assignment and paired it with a Common Core based study guide. It made for an interesting assignment and I very much enjoyed reading my son's thoughts on Poirot's assessments of the evidence vs his own opinions. This book gave him a lovely insight into the concept of good vs evil, as well as the moral questions regarding whether there is ever a time when it might be acceptable to commit murder.
The book is a good read, an entertaining story, and an opportunity to discuss some very interesting ethical questions. Honestly, I don't believe that my son will be interested in adding more murder mysteries to his reading repertoire in the future. However, he enjoyed reading this book and, in my opinion, will find it to be a useful cultural reference point in the future.
All opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own. I have shared with you my personal experience with this product and cannot guarantee that you will have the same experience with the product that I had, nor can I promise that we will share the same opinion of the product.
This classic murder mystery takes place on a stranded train in the 1930s. Legendary detective Hercule Poirot considers the clues, interviews the passengers, and cogitates, ultimately solving the mystery by throwing some spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. The solution, while interesting, was almost absurdly implausible, and the book is written in such a way that the reader has no chance at all of deducing it on their own. M. Poirot holds us at arm's length and will not let us in on much of what he's thinking.
The writing style is dry and bland. I kept having to look up translations for all the French phrases bandied about. The plot, such as it is, offers virtually no dramatic tension; I would expect at least *some* sense of urgency in a murder mystery tale. The character development is shallow and leans on ethnic stereotypes to a disturbing degree -- possibly a consequence of there being too many characters to begin with. Our hero is arrogant, pompous, and unlikeable. At least the book is relatively short.
This just goes to show that a famous title does not guarantee a good story, even if it's by a celebrated writer. I understand that other Christie books are better.
I'm giving this two stars, because I did really like a climactic reveal involving one of the characters. It's not worth reading the whole book for, though. I would not recommend this unless you feel you must read it in order to achieve complete genre literacy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I saw the movie, but as usual, the book was better.