Thursday, April 23, 2009

Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie

Posted by lea at 11:33 AM
Agatha Christie is a classic (and classy) crime writer. Murder on the Orient Express stars one of her most famous characters, Hercule Poirot, a small Belgian detective who solves mysteries the old-fashioned way - using his brain and very little else (no forensic science, as we're used to in these CSI days).

While travelling on the Orient Express, Poirot finds himself in the middle of a seemingly unsolvable mystery. The train has been snowbound overnight, and the following morning, a passenger is found dead in his berth. Someone inside the carriage must have committed the murder, yet a less unlikely group of suspects would be hard to assemble - a Count and Countess, an English colonel, an Italian businessman and a middle-aged American lady, amongst others - all of whom have airtight alibis.

Much of the enjoyment of Murder on the Orient Express is that Agatha Christie keeps things simple. She doesn't over-complicate the plot with clever distractions or obvious clues, and although the scene never changes (the whole book takes place in the confines of the train carriage within perhaps 24 hours), she never loses command of her reader's attention. She reveals things slowly, methodically, much like Poirot himself, and then astounds us with the conclusion. This book reveals more about Poirot than perhaps some others, as he proves that he not only has a fierce intellect, but a lot of heart too.


Len on April 25, 2009 at 3:43 PM said...

agatha christie is what murder mystery parties are made from!

that reminds me, i should host a murder mystery party.... ANYWAY I love this book, haven't read it since i was 10, time for a refresher :)

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