Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Sometime after midnight, the Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snow drift. A few hours later the wealthy Samuel Ratchett is found dead in his room with the door locked from the inside. With no way on or off the train, the murderer must still be aboard...

This is one of Christie's Hercule Poirot mysteries. Poirot is a worthy detective with an interesting way of looking at things. However, I couldn't help but feel it was impossible for me to solve this mystery myself. Maybe partly because of the time period, the setting (Europe), and the fact that Poirot seemed to jump to conclusions I never would have even thought to consider. It also probably didn't help that my mass market paperback edition didn't have any translations for the French that was used (although I don't think that hindered the understanding of the case).

The evidence is laid out well: it's very neat and orderly. Which is probably why I felt Poirot was just guessing, because there's no way I could have gotten to the answer just by the evidence alone. As far as Poirot as a detective, I have to say I like Sherlock Holmes better. Poirot had his witty and cunning moments, but he lacked the debonair attitude and aloofness Holmes has.

I did like the mystery itself; I found it intriguing and I was left guessing who the real murderer was until the very end. Poirot's take on justice is a bit interesting, but I won't go into it here because I don't want to give anything away. If you've read the book already, let me know in the comments what you thought about the ending.

2 out of 5 stars. It was kind of meh for me. I wanted to see how it ended, and it was interesting, but I'm not sure Agatha Christie's mysteries are really for me.

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