Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

A murdered man, a transcontinental train, and every passenger a suspect…

Hercule Poirot, whilst traveling back to London from Istanbul, is approached by a man asking for his help. He says he feels threatened, that he is surrounded by enemies, and needs Poirot’s protection. Poirot, however, turns him down. When pressed to change his mind, Poirot only grows firmer in his decision. Something isn’t right about the man–a caged animal, dangerous, pretending at civilization and humanity.

The next morning, the man in question is found dead in his compartment. It’s clearly murder, as he was stabbed a dozen times. But who did it? And why?

As Poirot gathers the facts of the case, the why grows clearer, but not the who. No one could have left the train after the murder, but none of the passengers on the train could possibly have done it. Alibis and evidence, clues and suspicions, they all point in conflicting directions. Poirot, at the top of his game, needs to solve the mystery before the journey ends and the suspects scatter to the winds.

There’s a reason Agatha Christie is called the Queen of Crime, and this book is her at her finest. The setting, the characters, they’re all there waiting for you to puzzle out the answer. It’s intriguing and clever; the clues cryptic and arcane; and Poirot is at his pompous best.

An intriguing look at the desire for revenge and the difficult choice between doing what is right and doing what is just, can you solve the Murder on the Orient Express before time runs out?

Favorite Line:

If you will forgive me for being personal–I do not like your face.

Don’t read if: you can’t stand snow, trains, snowbound trains, mustachioed Belgians, or monogrammed handkerchiefs.