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Murder on the Orient Express [Movie Tie-In]
Hercule Poirot #10
Agatha Christie

William Morrow
October 2017 / ISBN 978-0062689665
Mystery / 1930s/ England / Classic

Reviewed by Leslie C. Halpern

This new paperback edition of Agatha Christie’s best-selling mystery novel from 1931 comes out a month before the November theatrical release of the Kenneth Branagh-directed film of the same name. Twelve color production stills from the new movie starring Branagh (as detective Hercule Poirot), Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Judi Dench are included inside the book.

The story takes place onboard a train called the Orient Express, which gets stuck in a snowdrift overnight. During this time, a much-disliked millionaire named Samuel Edward Ratchett is murdered by multiple stab wounds in his torso. He is found dead the next morning with his door locked from the inside. Hercule Poirot, the famed detective, happens to be on the train unexpectedly, and is tasked with solving the murder.

Interviewing the 13 possible suspects sheds little light on the highly problematic case. Convinced the murderer is still onboard because the snow reveals no footprints, Poirot – stranded like the others on a snowy countryside without the ability to communicate with the outside world – must solve the case on his own, using his wits and the conflicting evidence available to him.

The characters come from a variety of countries, giving the book an international appeal, and reflect the customs of their people (at that time in history). French language is sprinkled throughout the book, though not enough to obscure the meaning for non-French speaking readers. The mystery slowly unravels, and those unfamiliar with the story likely will keep guessing the murderer’s identity until the final pages.

Christie’s writing gets right to the point, and she wastes few words on unnecessary dialogue or details. Reading this intriguing mystery is great fun, and it’s easy to see why her books have sold more than two billion copies, been adapted to most media platforms, and been translated into more than 100 languages.

Reviews of other titles by this author

The Affair of the Pink Pearl & Finessing the King [audio]
Philomel Cottage and other Stories [audio]
Black Coffee (w/Charles Osborne)
Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly
Murder on the Orient Express 1 (Murder in the Calais Coach)
Murder on the Orient Express 2 (Movie Tie-In) [book]
Murder on the Orient Express 3 (Movie Tie-In) [audio]

And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians)
While the Light Lasts
After the Funeral
The Monogram Murders (w/Sophie Hannah)
Agatha Christie; An Autobiography
Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making

Reviewer Leslie C. Halpern is the author of four nonfiction books, including 200 Love Lessons from the Movies and four children's books, including Silly Sleepytime Poems.
Reviewed 2017