Renee's Reviews > Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
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I'd never read Agatha Christie before (somehow?) and was in the mood for a good mystery, but not something that was going to be a fast-paced psychological thriller kind of mystery. So I decided that it was time.

The book is a pretty short and cozy read. It probably could have been read in two or three days but my schedule didn't allow (also see the note about how I didn't really want something fast-paced). I liked this book because the atmosphere was cozy -- I could almost imagine that I was on the train, watching the snow fall out the window. It's a classic kind of whodunnit where all of the evidence is revealed piece by piece, and I enjoyed spending time allowing myself to read at my natural slow pace so that I could try to piece the mystery together.

What I loved best about this book is its use of dialog. As a student of writing, we're so often told to "show, not tell." Writers get so hung up in descriptions that they over-tell the story sometimes. I don't think that was the case here. The personalities and complexities came through via the dialog, and for me it created a richer atmosphere.

I'll chalk it up to the time that the book was written, but there were some pieces of information that I found a bit preposterous, such as how Hercule Poirot could just have a feeling about something and know it to be right. I thought a lot of evidence was purely circumstantial, but then I remember that this was written in an age when there weren't a million true crime podcasts and NCIS and CSI and Law & Order tv shows on 24 hours a day. That probably wasn't as big of a deal to readers in its day.

The next Agatha Christie book I think I'd like to check out is And Then There Were None, especially since this is featured on PBS's Great American Read as one of the top 100 most loved books of all time.


The book was enjoyable and I'd like to read more Agatha Christie, especially for those times when it's just the exact amount of thinking that I want to do and not a bit more. I do have to admit that I found the end of the book to be really unsatisfying, especially when the two possible outcomes are presented and Mrs. Hubbard basically just caves and comes out with the whole story. It felt too easy after such an elaborate plan. But the outcome of letting M. Bouc decide that they'd just tell the Yugoslavian police that it was some mystery man who entered the train, killed Ratchett, and then left.... that seemed so lazy. Would the police not have questions? Would they just really accept that there just so happened to be a detective on board who completely investigated and solved the murder? I don't know. It just felt like a convenient and tidy ending for an otherwise good book.

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Reading Progress

May 20, 2018 – Started Reading
May 20, 2018 – Shelved
May 27, 2018 – Finished Reading

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