Murder on the Orient Express

By Agatha Christie,

Book cover of Murder on the Orient Express

Book description


“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the…

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Why read it?

11 authors picked Murder on the Orient Express as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The classic, the best. Nobody does it better than Dame Agatha, who wrote in her autobiography, “To travel by train is to see nature and human beings, towns and churches and rivers - in fact, to see life.” Hercule Poirot travels on the Orient Express from Istanbul. One of the passengers, an unpleasant American tycoon, tries to hire Poirot as his bodyguard. But Poirot refuses. Then an avalanche traps the train and the passenger is discovered dead, stabbed multiple times in his compartment, which is locked from the inside. Murder most foul. The Belgian detective must interview over a dozen…

From Janet's list on mysteries on (and off) the tracks.

Immediately when you see the byline, you know you are in for a special treat. This whodunit takes you on a thrill ride on a train where private detective Hercule Poirot meets American businessman Samuel Ratchett. Ratchett is convinced that someone is out to murder him after receiving several death threats and asks Poirot if he will protect him. Poirot refuses to do so. Ratchett is murdered the next morning. It is up to the private detective to solve the case. He interviews everyone on the train and discovers there are several suspects. There are an endless amount of twists…

This novel has got to be the best murder mystery story I have ever read. The storyline still pops up in my mind every now and then. It was expertly written, the characters had personality and depth, and the mystery was riddled with red herrings and surprises. I will definitely be reading more of Christie’s writing.

One does not put together a list like this without mentioning the Queen of Crime. Christie is the one who got me into crime fiction, and this is probably her best book. The location, the characters, the murder mystery, the plot—this book has everything! Plus, it’s a relatively short read for the weekend.

From Mats' list on mysteries with a Nordic flair.

When a cunning criminal who escaped justice is found murdered on board the snow-stricken Orient Express, private detective Hercule Poirot has nothing but his little grey cells to fall back on to solve the crime. I tried but couldn’t bring myself to leave this masterpiece by the Queen of Crime off my list. I don’t know what enthralls me most – the vivid description of the train journey with its exotic settings, the deft characterisations, or the oh so clever mystery with its surprising, yet convincing solution. Agatha Christie is famous for constantly challenging and changing the conventions of the…

From Carmen's list on mysteries set on ships and trains.

I love Agatha Christie and this is one of my favourite books. Trapped in the middle of nowhere in the snow, a group of passengers is stranded onboard the luxury train. Again, I love the sense of luxury against the wider harsh backdrop and the sense of panic at being trapped on board a train with a murderer and no way to escape. 

From Karen's list on featuring transport.

My favourite childhood author, Christie, frequently used true crime as inspiration for her novels and the starting point of Murder on the Orient Express is the real-life kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh’s heir. The author has cleverly set the crime on a train in a snowstorm, effectively trapping the murderer and suspects under the nose of her most famous creation, Hercule Poirot. The twists and turns culminate in an ending you won’t see coming if not familiar with the story, making this book a joy to read.

No list of page-turning novels would be complete without an appearance from Agatha Christie. As someone who has traveled extensively and loves international settings, this book ticks all the right boxes. It begins in Istanbul and then on to Yugoslavia on the famous Orient Express with Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective who appeared in thirty-three of Christie’s novels and more than fifty short stories. When the train is trapped due to heavy snowfall and a body is found, it will be up to Poirot to solve the case.

Agatha Christie is the undisputed queen of the “locked room mystery” and Murder on the Orient Express is quite frankly one of the best crime novels of all time. As the title suggests, the “locked room” in this novel is a luxurious train filled with a motley crew of suspects and, of course, detective extraordinaire Hercule Poirot. I can’t recommend this book enough.

From T.A.'s list on “locked room” murder mysteries.

Murder on the Orient Express is an absolute classic of mystery fiction. Filmed many times, none of the films capture the tension of the book. Based on a real-life experience of Agatha Christie’s and the shocking true crime of the Lindberg baby kidnap, this is the book to read as a perfect introduction to one of the best mystery authors of all time. You’ve probably seen Agatha Christie on film or TV but if you’ve never read one of her books – start here!

From Dolores' list on classic mysteries.

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