Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express is probably one of the most recognizable mysteries. At least that’s what everyone has been telling me for years.  Yet I (an avid mystery fan) haven’t read it. Being that summer is right around the corner and the new movie adaptation is out on DVD, I decided to kick the book to the top of my backlog and see what all the hype was about!

Quelle surprise, who would have guessed that Agatha Christie, one of the most prominent mystery writers ever manages to truly captivate with Hercule Poirot? A big man with an egg shaped head and ridiculous mustache solves an enthralling mystery while stranded on a train where everyone is a suspect. With everyone having a potential motive, suspicion abounds and keeps the reader guessing.

To my chagrin as a passionate mystery reader, I hadn’t been aware of just how many modern tales are inspired by this classic story. I was delighted to see the origin of so many modern mystery tropes. While this may make the plot somewhat predictable for the genre aficionado, there’s a reason so many other writers ape Christie’s story and style. I was reminded of the time I watched Psycho. Both pieces are so popular that in all likelihood the twists are known. While the experience wasn’t ruined by knowing the twist ahead of time, it is a shame that I couldn’t enjoy it fresh as when it was written.

Minor nitpick aside, I really enjoyed the story and recommend it to mystery fans and non-fans as well. I recommend reading it not as a mystery novel per se, but as an archive of tropes that have become beloved and popular today. Perfect for mystery buffs old and new!

Review by Wimberly W.

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