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Murder on the Orient Express
Poirot #10 [Movie Tie-in]
bY Agatha Christie
Read by Kenneth Branagh

HarperAudio
10/31/2017/ ISBN: 978-1538520857
Traditional Mystery / British Detective / Audiobook – Unabridged

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks

 

“Lie back and think – use (as I have heard you say so often) the little grey cells of the mind ¬ and you will know!" – Monsieur Bouc, Murder on the Orient Express

Hercule Poirot just closed his most recent case in Syria, and he’s hoping to be a typical tourist at his next stop, Stamboul. The General in Aleppo sees him off and thanks him for saving the honour of the French Army. After a night’s sleep, Poirot receives a message to return to London. Poirot joins the other passengers on the Orient Express and learns first class is full. He meets up with his old friend Monsieur Bouc. They worked together for the Belgian Police. Bouc generously gives his first-class cabin to Poirot. The other passengers are from various countries, Italy, Sweden, Germany, America, etc., and their interactions amuse Poirot. One American gentleman leaves Poirot with a bad feeling. A mother refers to her daughter’s opinion too often. And a scene with a couple comes across as a comedy. When the train is snowed in, a killer takes his/her chance and murders the American. It’s Bouc who convinces Poirot to use his gray cells and solve the case. Poirot views the body and the crime scene. He considers past knowledge of the victim, his observations of passengers, and the evidence concerning each one. Christie sets Poirot up with some eccentric personalities and pages of conversation. You can’t help but get caught up in it all. Christie was a genius at character development and dialogue. For me, reading or listening to her mysteries is the height of entertainment.

Kenneth Branagh’s narration of Murder on the Orient Express is engaging. Branagh’s award-winning acting and theater experience shines through in this Christie classic. I was entranced. He delivers each character perfectly. The characters’ exchanges seem effortless and the accents are flawless. I had to chuckle at the American woman’s voice. Branagh is also a seasoned narrator and I’m betting Murder on the Orient Express is one of his best narrations, ever. Christie created a distinct image of each character and Kenneth successfully brought each to life – accents, attitudes, mannerisms, prejudice, and stations in life. This audio version is absolutely unforgettable.

Reviewed 2018
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