A teen-reviewer’s preference for crime novels: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, by Agatha Christie, “the Queen of Crime”

orient express Vera

I’ve recently discovered my preference for crime novels. It all began with Peter James’ gripping novel, You are Dead. I then turned to Agatha Christie, and was taken by the mystery of  Murder on the Orient Express.

The story begins with the private Belgian detective, Poirot, boarding a train from Istanbul to London.  Due to the train’s first class being full (which was unusual for the time of year) Poirot occupied a place in second class, until he was offered a compartment in first class by his friend, M.Bouc.

The detective sat and observed the other fascinating and amusing passengers and was soon approached by a worried, old American who went by the name of Samuel Ratchett, who offered him a large sum of money to protect him as he believed his life was in jeopardy. However, he refused by saying

I do not like your face, M.Ratchett.

That night, the train was brought to a dead stop in a snow storm and Ratchett was found dead stabbed 12 times in his…

I enjoyed how Christie split the novel into three sections(the facts, the evidence and the solution); then into chapters (eg. The Evidence of the Conductor, Poirot Propounds Two Solutions)  allowing the reader to have a sneak-peek at what the next chapters hold, yet still leaving suspense.

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The only thing I wasn’t too fond of was how Agatha used many stereotypes, such as: English people have no emotion, an Italian would have enough anger to stab like that, a woman would be too weak to commit this murder and so on so forth.

This novel is really gripping with the tragic drama of the passengers’ past, creative red herrings and the ending’s shocking revelations. This book is a classic and a must-read for anyone.

 Vera  Summer 2016