Cover of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

2nd January 2023.

Agatha Christie’s most famous book reveals her mastery of plot, character and setting. At the time it was written, I imagine the plot was ground breaking – a locked room murder with a difference. Hercule Poirot is on hand to investigate as the Orient Express is stopped by snowfall and left isolated on the tracks. As no one could have escaped, the murderer must still be on the train.

With only observation, interviews of the witnesses and deduction, Poirot has to solve a seemingly insoluble puzzle. And he does it with style, pulling apart an elaborate plot that must have taken some creating.

The directness to the narrative pulls you in from the opening pages. There’s no time wasted on unnecessary descriptions, which means her characterisation is razor sharp. There’s always room for social comment and humour, even in the bleakest scenario.

A sheer joy to read, this is yet another example of the fine body of murder mysteries she wrote over the years. Definitely one to read and recommend.


Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.

Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again.

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