Genre: Classic Mystery
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: Originally 1st January, 1934
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
What more can a mystery addict desire than a much-loathed murder victim found aboard the luxurious Orient Express with multiple stab wounds, thirteen likely suspects, an incomparably brilliant detective in Hercule Poirot, and the most ingenious crime ever conceived?
I don’t often branch out into unfamiliar genres – you’ll pretty much exclusively find YA and NA fiction on my shelves. I’ve read a couple of classics, and I love the books I’ve read by Matt Haig, but that’s as far as my adventure outside my genre comfort bubble goes.
But after watching and loving two adaptations of Agatha Christie’s works, I decided to give Murder on the Orient Express a try. I expected to have issues with the writing style before starting it – my issue with classics and older books is that the tone they tend to emit isn’t one that I enjoy. I can’t quite tell you exactly what that tone is, or why I dislike it so much, but it’s the main reason I’ve never been able to connect to the classics. Christie’s writing feels timeless though – it doesn’t read like a book that was published in 1934.
‘The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.’
This is the tenth book in the Hercules Poirot series, which I didn’t actually realise when I started it – if I hadn’t seen the movie prior to reading it, I think I would’ve struggled to understand Poirot’s character. The movie acted as a great structure for me though, so I never felt lost whilst reading.
I don’t like violence and gore, and all that which tends to accompany the crime-mystery genre. However, I love mysteries that really make me think, and everything that I’ve experienced of Agatha Christie’s does exactly that. Murder on the Orient Express was so intelligently woven – the answers you get are never quite what you think they’re going to be. There isn’t any needless murder or gory details – there’s a reason to the happenings in this book.
‘The body–the cage–is everything of the most respectable–but through the bars, the wild animal looks out.’
I read this book in a matter of a few hours, which is a big contrast to the weeks it’s been taking me to finish books recently. Even though I’ve seen the movie and I knew what was going to happen, I just couldn’t put it down. The plot and the writing gripped me, and I wanted to see exactly how the book revealed the truth behind the mystery.
I’m definitely hoping to read more of Agatha Christie’s works soon, and see what other thought-provoking mysteries await me.
- Mentions of kidnapping