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Cool Down with AC: Murder on the Orient Express

July 21, 2011

Hercule Poirot is on the Orient Express bound for Stamboul.  As the train passes through Yugo-Slavia, it starts to snow and the train gets stuck in a snowdrift on the tracks.  The passengers are asleep and wake in the morning to discover that one of them was murdered during the night.  Since no one could get on or off the train, the murderer must be one of the remaining passengers.  With the help of a doctor and a director of the train company, Hercule Poirot examines the evidence and questions the passengers in an attempt to solve the crime.

Murder on the Orient Express was my first experience with Agatha Christie‘s work and I’m happy to say that I did enjoy it!   At first I thought I might have trouble keeping all of the suspects straight in my head, but found it easy to do since they were questioned individually.  It didn’t take me long to get into the story and once I did, I found it to be fast paced.  I thought the mystery was clever, but was a little disappointed that there really weren’t any clues to help the reader solve it.  It seemed that Poirot solved it completely with his intuition, and that felt a little unrealistic to me.

Originally published in 1934, the book does have an old fashioned feel in language and plot and I appreciated that.  It was nice to read a mystery that wasn’t graphic in content or language.  Overall, I liked Murder on the Orient Express a lot, but I didn’t quite love it.

If you want to know what others thought about this book, be sure to check out the discussion on Booking Mama’s blog.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
41 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2011 5:39 am

    Interesting that you say that there were no “clues.” I’ve found that with other Agatha Christie titles as well — still, it’s lots of fun to see how Poirot works a problem. Glad you liked your first AC!

  2. July 21, 2011 6:49 am

    I’m afraid I’ve never read any of her books OR watched the movies! I’m sort of afraid of the potential for the outdated aspect, although I always hear they’re great in that you can’t guess the killer beforehand!

  3. Veens permalink
    July 21, 2011 6:56 am

    I just don’t know how time flies when I am reading Christie’s books. And another thing, like you said, the language is so today – doesn’t have the old feel, nor is it difficult. I have this in my TBR and I have to read it.

  4. July 21, 2011 7:58 am

    Given my love of a good mystery, it is astounding to me that I still haven’t read any of her novels. I have several of my TBR list — perhaps for the RIP challenge this fall?

  5. July 21, 2011 8:20 am

    I’m sorry you didn’t love it as much as i was hoping you would. Of all the Hercule Poirot novels, this is my favorite. I don’t think Christie dropped obvious clues in any of her stories, though I think once the solution is out there, I think she provided subtle hints along the way. I think her style of “clue dropping” isn’t as in your face as modern writers. There is only one of her books that I think came out of left field, and even then I loved it.

    If you ever want to try her again, I would be happy to suggest a book for you.

  6. July 21, 2011 8:28 am

    I’ve only read two Christie mysteries, and the reason I stopped reading them was because there were no clues for the reader. It’s the same feeling that Sherlock Holmes gave me. I still haven’t read this one, but I may just watch the movie.

  7. July 21, 2011 8:42 am

    Murder on the Orient Express was one of the first Agatha Christie books I read, before devouring the rest of her books. I am sorry that you were a little disappointed. I felt this was not one of AC’s best, but still very enjoyable.

  8. July 21, 2011 8:47 am

    The one Agatha Christie that I read was And Then There Were None, which I liked alot but that was many years ago…Maybe I should give her a try again. I did see the Orient Express movie, and enjoyed that as well.

  9. July 21, 2011 8:48 am

    I’m sorry you didn’t love this one, I read them regularly, it’s like take a bag of chips, you can’t have just one. and as you say I love the language, but I too find that the clues to the reader are not there.

  10. kaye permalink
    July 21, 2011 9:01 am

    This is one of my favorite Christie’s and I too appreciate the clean language. Her books just have a timeless sense of style.

  11. July 21, 2011 9:10 am

    I’ve never read an Agatha Christie book. I’m going to have to change that soon.

  12. July 21, 2011 9:23 am

    I love your post title 🙂 I’ve only seen plays and films – haven’t read any of AC’s books. I think I need to try one.

  13. July 21, 2011 9:30 am

    My first introduction to AC was in 2008 when I challenged myself to read anything (short stories, novels, etc), but haven’t read much since. This was one of the books I chose and had very similar thoughts as you.

  14. July 21, 2011 10:02 am

    I really must re-read this one…and in English! I read it my senior year of high school and we had to translate it from Spanish into English. I enjoyed it, but I’m sure a lot was lost in my translation! 🙂

  15. July 21, 2011 10:08 am

    You know, I have never read anything by Christie, but I see that her books are sort of undergoing a revival this summer. It’s enough to make me excited and try one, and for all that she has out there, I think this is the one that is calling to me. I have heard it mentioned so many times, and in so many contexts that it’s become a huge curiosity to me. I am glad that you enjoyed it and really loved reading your thoughts on it today!

  16. July 21, 2011 10:26 am

    I’m unsure if I’ve ever read Agatha Christie. I think I must have read one of her books a long time ago but I’ve never read this one. Glad you enjoyed it!

  17. July 21, 2011 10:26 am

    I have yet to read Agatha. I wonder if this would be a good one for me to start with?

  18. July 21, 2011 11:44 am

    Cool Down with AC- that’s cute 🙂 One of these days…. 🙂

  19. July 21, 2011 12:33 pm

    I have only read the nile one and that was when I was 12 🙂

  20. July 21, 2011 12:43 pm

    I have only read And Then There Were None and enjoyed it. It seems she doesn’t really give you clues per say, I think that is her formula.

  21. July 21, 2011 1:15 pm

    I have read a ton of AC’s books..but not recently. Actually, mostly when I was a teenager. I am sure there are some I missed and maybe it is time to pick one up.

  22. July 21, 2011 1:20 pm

    I have always loved these Agatha Christie mysteries, enjoy!

  23. July 21, 2011 2:10 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one. For some reason I’ve never been able to get into Agatha Christie. Maybe I should try it again now that I’m older though.

  24. July 21, 2011 2:21 pm

    I’m so sorry that this one didn’t live up to your expectations. I absolutely loved it!

  25. July 21, 2011 3:46 pm

    I am using some of my down time while the bathroom is being tiled to watch movies and I just watched a PBS one about an inn and Miss Marple and murders…do I have the right author? It was really entertaining…I loved it…

  26. July 21, 2011 4:13 pm

    I didn’t realize so many people were reading this for the AC discussion. I’m taking this on vacation with me, this week so I’ll have to come back to check everyone’s posts when I finish!

  27. July 21, 2011 4:16 pm

    I’ve always been a huge Agatha fan – over the years I’ve read about 50 or 60. I think she published over 80. I agree, I could never figure out who the culprit was in her books from the clues given to the reader. I really loved them anyway!

  28. July 21, 2011 4:48 pm

    I have never read this book, but Have been told that Agatha Christie’s books are excellent. Glad you liked it.

  29. July 21, 2011 6:58 pm

    I used to read Agatha Christie all the time, but haven’t for many years. I remember that I loved this book. Dang, why are there so many good books out there?

  30. July 21, 2011 7:14 pm

    I read Agatha Christie as a teenager since her books were laying around our house. I wonder now that I am older, if I would still enjoy her books.

  31. July 21, 2011 8:07 pm

    Oh fun fun!
    I’ve been meaning to read this one.
    I love AC.
    Try Evil Under the Sun. It’s a fun summery one.

  32. July 21, 2011 9:31 pm

    This is one of my top 5 Agatha Christie novels.

  33. July 21, 2011 11:13 pm

    I only remember reading one Agatha Christie novel- Peril at End House I think it was. It was about 10 years ago I think. I remember enjoying it, but looked for clues along the way and was disappointed not to find them either.

  34. July 22, 2011 12:27 am

    Its the old fashioned feel to it that made it quite different. The language, setting and style takes you to another era altogether.

  35. July 22, 2011 2:55 am

    One of my favorite books by Christie, I’m quite fond of books taking place over a limited period of time and in confined space.

  36. July 22, 2011 1:30 pm

    If I was going to read a Christie book, and someday I want to, I think this is the book I would pick too!

  37. July 22, 2011 3:19 pm

    I was just saying on Dawn’s blog earlier how I haven’t read any of Christie’s books either but that this one has captured my interest.

  38. July 22, 2011 8:56 pm

    We should do a view-along, Kathy! I had harder time than you keeping the suspects/passengers straight – I kept referring to that schematic of the sleeping car to see who was in which cabin.

    I didn’t mind that Poirot solved it all in his own head (that there weren’t clues for *me* to unravel), but I don’t think I’d enjoy a steady diet of that formula.

    Yes, the language and manners placed it in a certain time; I liked that “old fashioned” feel 🙂

  39. stacybuckeye permalink
    July 22, 2011 9:24 pm

    I’ve only read 2 Agatha’s so far and I agree that it seems like there are no clues, but once you know the answer you can see the subtle hints here and there. I liked it, but as I work my way through all of her books it may start to annoy me 🙂

  40. July 24, 2011 9:12 am

    This is the ultimate Christie book and so far it’s always been a hit.

    Classic reads will always be the ones to rock you into the world of mystery.

  41. July 25, 2011 8:23 pm

    Poirot is magical?!! LOL…I have yet to read this one but I have enjoyed AC in the past! 😀

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