Thursday, July 1, 2010

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express
by Agatha Christie

Published: 2004
First edition was: 1934
Genre: Mystery
Paperback: 336 pages
Rating: 5

Description from the amazon:
Agatha Christie's most famous murder mystery, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers. 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.

My two-bits:
In-a-word(s): slick guesser

FYI: this was previously published as Murder on the Calais Coach

Such a classic mystery. Can't go wrong. Although this title has been spouted in the Mystery genre for-like-ever, it is only now that I've finally come to read it.

After the dead body is found, Poirot systematically questions each suspect. What I found interesting was the fact that in the end, things were not black and white.

You can get an idea of Christie's sense of humor from the Cast of Characters list below.

The Inspector: Hercule Poirot
The Belgian sleuth illustrates the efficiency of his methods when he comes face-to-face with a murdered on an international express.

The Director: M. Bouc
Representating Compagnie Internationale des Wagons Lits--shunts his friend Poirot onto the track of a discomfiting crime.

The Conductor: Pierre Michel
Fixes the criminal's wagon.

The Doctor: Dr Constantine
Diagnoses that the right hand of the assassin did not know what the left hand was doing to the victim.

The Victim and The Suspects

Mary Debenham
An English governess whose manner was as calm and unruffled as her coiffure.

Colonel Arbuthnot
His French was limited, but his verbal defense in his dual with the Belgian is adroit.

Hector MacQueen
A secretary deluxe who speaks in many tongues.

M. Ratchett
This pseudophilanthropist was more malevolent than benevolent.

Antonia Foscarelli
Information gushed out of this swarthy, menacing Italian like the blood from the victim.

Endward Henry Masterman
A spare, neat, noncommunicative valet who has the haughtily disapproving face of the well-trained British servant.

Cyrus Hardman
An American commercial traveler who knows more than he tells and tells more than he knows.

Princess Dragomiroff
A Russian grand dame who pearls were so large they were as improbable as her story.

Greta Ohlsson
This Swedish-trained nurse with the sheeplike face was the last suspect to see the victim alive.

Mrs Hubbard
Stereotype of an American matron--she never stopped talking, but her acting spoke louder than her words.

Hildegarde Schmidt
Lady's-maid to the Russian princess, deeply involved in the merderous game of chemin de fer.

Count Andrenyi
More attached to the Hungarian Embassy than it is to him.

Countess Andrenyi
The youngest, prettiest snowbound suspect.

Poirot is in a slew of novels. View them here.

Amusing quote:
At present, sir, I am reading Love's Captive, by Mrs Arabella Richardson.

A good story?

I find it highly enjoyable, sir.

-part 2, chapter 3, page 109

I should preface by saying that this is Poirot interviewing a big Italian fellow - a romantic at heart ;-D

Another one for my tbr pile. I just went to google it and it is not to be found. I did find this steamy version though...

Love's Captive
by Myra Nour

Love's Captive by Mrs Arabella Richardson is a fiction within fiction. I was so taken with it though. I decided to create an imaginary cover for this tale.

Love's Captive
by Mrs Arabella Richardson
cover mockup by vvb ;-D

*** Poirot book giveaway ***

If you haven't already, signup to win Murder on the Orient Express -ends July 31, 2010.


* image source of Love's Captive mockup is actually taken from the Bandit Love postcards set which includes Romance Book Jackets from the 1920s and 30s

* part of my Mansfield Park event

* part of my Marple Poirot Holmes Challenge

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu