author: Agatha Christie
genre: adult fiction, mystery
publish: January 18, 2011 by William Morrow (first published 1934)
purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
rating: 4 / 5 stars
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.
"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.
I have yet to solve a Christie mystery.
This is my fifth Agatha Christie novel (not that I'm counting or anything) and I'm still at a lost for words. I ended up in that I-was-so-sure-I-was-right moment once again. Agatha Christie never fails me. really.
But have I not heard you say often that to solve a case a man has only to lie back in his chair and think? -p46
Murder on the Orient Express is a locked-room mystery (I think). The train stopped because of a snow storm. A murder is committed. The room was locked. How was Ratchett murdered? This mystery is crazy and it did made me think. a lot.
While reading this, I certainly learned a few things from Agatha Christie in terms of solving these kinds of things: (1) don't just focus on the interrogation, the Q&A. give attention on the little things that are being said and done, (2) it is important to know the setting!! (a couple of clues in the novel which was later revealed seem like something that can only be identified if you're aware of such a thing during that time. did that make sense? lol.), and (3) be open minded (I always remind my self this especially when reading an Agatha Christie. anything is possible!!)
"It's a good phrase that," said Poirot. "The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances." -p160
Throughout my reading, M. Bouc reminded me of Captain Arthur Hastings from the A.B.C. Murders. M. Bouc is the person who asks the reader's questions. Okay, they are NOT my questions but he's the one stating the obvious. And when he states them, I'm like: now that's one person out. surely it's not him. (yup, that's how I eliminate my suspects. lol.).
The revelation is a really amazing one though. It was amazing how Poirot zoomed into details like what the passengers like or their backgrounds. It was amazing how Poirot was able to come up with a perfect theory to explain everyone's alibis and get it perfectly right. I'm amazed at how this mystery was perfectly laid down and executed.
OVERALL, Murder on the Orient Express is an incredible mystery. It's a crime that's so well-thought of and is perfectly executed. It would have worked out well if Poirot wasn't on the train though. lol. I like how it strongly made me think, how I was so sure of my suspect, and how I shamefully thought wrong. Agatha Christie is just amazing!