Hi everybody! Last week I finally read Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express. If you are a regular follower of my blog you’ll probably have noticed that I don’t read crime and I’m not usually a fan of detective novels… but as this was first published in 1934, and has since become a long standing classic – I felt I should definitely have read it! Did you know Agatha Christie is one of the best selling authors in the world?
“The murderer is with us – on the train now…”Hercule Poirot in Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie, 1934.
A man, stabbed a dozen times, is found dead in his carriage – the door locked from the inside. The Orient Express, stopped by a snow drift in the midst of a storm, is at a standstill on the line – miles from a station. No one can leave the train unnoticed. There is a killer amongst them – but who is it and will they strike again?
Hercule Poirot, the private detective mastermind, is on his way home to London on urgent business. Suddenly he has an unexpected case on his hands. It’s up to him to solve this mysterious crime before it’s too late. But the passengers are a charismatic cast and as Poirot begins to interview them things become ever more confusing… can Poirot discover the truth?
Hercule Poirot addressed himself to the task of keeping his moustaches out of the soup.Murder On The Orient Express, Agatha Christie, 1934.
The thing I loved most about this book was Christie’s language. Above I’ve quoted a line that actually made me chuckle out loud! Poirot was a fantastic character, full of amusing personality quirks – with his moustache being his most famous attribute. I also thoroughly enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the other passengers aboard the train – for example; At a small table, sitting very upright, was one of the ugliest old ladies he had ever seen. It was an ugliness of distinction – it fascinated rather than repelled.
I’d probably have been happy just reading Part 1 – The Facts (in which the crime takes place) and Part 3 – Hercule Poirot Sits Back and Thinks (in which the crime is solved). Part 2 – The Evidence involved an interview per chapter, in which Poirot heard an account of the crime from each of the passengers. I suppose I’m not a super active reader – in that I mean, I don’t try to work things out myself, I just enjoy the ride. Particularly in this case, I couldn’t keep up with the layering of evidence – already, by the time I read each account, I had forgotten the details of the chapter before… Once I knew the crime I just wanted to know how it had happened – what am I like?!
“Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions“.Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None, 1939.
Inspired by reading some of her work, I spent this morning researching a bit more about her… Growing up, Agatha Christie enjoyed reading books such as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women as well as those by Nesbit, such as The Railway Children and the Five Children & It and Treasure Seekers adventures. Once a little older she became a huge fan of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. It is these inspirations, and a dare from her sister to write her own detective story, that gave birth to her own writing. This year, 2020, marks 100 years since the publication of Christie’s first book The Mysterious Affair at Styles – in which she introduces Hercule Poirot to the world.
I thoroughly enjoyed my foray into Agatha Christie, and the world of Poirot, and look forward to reading many more in the future.
If, like me, you’ve never tried her before then I would definitely recommend giving her a go – you may be surprised 😉
Meg Readz xx
NB: If you too want to look up more about her and her books, I found this website to be a fantastic source of information: http://www.agathachristie.com – happy reading!