Murder on the Orient Express


By Agatha Christie

cover image of Murder on the Orient Express

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E-book exclusive extras: Christie biographer Charles Osborne's essay on Murder on the Orient Express; "The Poirots": the complete guide to all the cases of the great Belgian detective.

Just after midnight, a snowstorm stops the Orient Express dead in its tracks in the middle of Yugoslavia. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for this time of year. But by morning there is one passenger less. A ‘respectable American gentleman’ lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside… Hercule Poirot is also aboard, having arrived in the nick of time to claim a second-class compartment -- and the most astounding case of his illustrious career.

Regarding chronology: Agatha Christie seems not much concerned in the course of her books with their relationship to each other. It is why the Marples and the Poirots may be ready in any order, really, with pleasure. However, the dedicated Poirotist may wish to note that the great detective is returning from ‘A little affair in Syria’ at the start of Murder on the Orient Express. It is a piece of business after this ‘little affair’ -- the investigation into the death of an archaeologist’s wife -- that is the subject of Murder in Mesopotamia (1936). If one wishes to delay a tad longer the pleasures of Orient Express, Murder in Mesopotamia, available as a PerfectBound e-book, offers no better opportunity.

Of note: Murder on the Orient Express is one of Agatha Christie’s most famous novels, owing no doubt to a combination of its romantic setting and the ingeniousness of its plot; its non-exploitative reference to the sensational kidnapping and murder of the infant son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh only two years prior; and a popular 1974 film adaptation, starring Albert Finney as Poirot -- one of the few cinematic versions of a Christie work that met with the approval, however mild, of the author herself.

Murder on the Orient Express