Murder on the Orient Express

By Agatha Christie,

Book cover of Murder on the Orient Express

Book description

THE MOST WIDELY READ MYSTERY OF ALL TIME—NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY KENNETH BRANAGH AND PRODUCED BY RIDLEY SCOTT!

“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?

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

I hate this book for all the reasons I love it: because it’s perfect.

It’s a perfect crime novel and a perfect mystery, with perfectly awful characters, set in a perfectly fabulous situation, and as a mystery writer I know I will never ever top Christie’s brilliance but oh my, any chance I have, I fall into this story.

Romance. Deception. Murder. Shiny things.

Genius.

Forget the movie, pick up the real thing. Poirot at his best.

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…

The Alchemy Fire Murder: a Mary Wandwalker Mystery

By Susan Rowland,

Book cover of The Alchemy Fire Murder: a Mary Wandwalker Mystery

Susan Rowland Author Of The Alchemy Fire Murder: a Mary Wandwalker Mystery

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Who am I?

Author Part-time celt Modern alchemist Myth hunter Jungian

Susan's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

A traditional mystery with a touch of cozy, The Alchemy Fire Murder is for those who like feisty women sleuths, Oxford Colleges, alchemy, strong characters, and real concerns like trafficking, wildfires, racism, and climate change. This book especially works for those fascinated by myth and witches in history. Read for a seventeenth-century alchemist in Connecticut, a lost alchemy scroll stuck in a California Museum, and a blizzard in Los Angeles.

Murder ensues when an intern is attacked after making a momentous discovery with Mary Wandwalker, an inexperienced detective commissioned to recover the treasure vital to the survival of her Oxford college, St Julian’s. When the young man’s brother is falsely accused, Mary has to step in.

The Alchemy Fire Murder: a Mary Wandwalker Mystery

By Susan Rowland,

What is this book about?

Former Archivist Mary Wandwalker hates bringing bad news. Nevertheless, she confirms to her alma mater that their prized medieval alchemy scroll, is, in fact, a seventeenth century copy. She learns that the original vanished to colonial Connecticut with alchemist, Robert Le More. Later the genuine scroll surfaces in Los Angeles. Given that the authentic artifact is needed for her Oxford college to survive, retrieving it is essential.

Mary agrees to get the real scroll back as part of a commission for her three-person Enquiry Agency. However, tragedy strikes in Los Angeles. Before Mary can legally obtain the scroll, a young…


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.

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