When my book club read Murder on the Orient Express last year, in part so that we could all go see the movie together. I was excited to reread this one because it is good. Unfortunately for me, I found out how it ended before I read it (thanks, Doctor Who), but I still really enjoy it. My favorite thing about Agatha Christie's books is that I usually don't see it coming. This is a big deal for me. Most mystery stories - be they book, movie, or TV show - follow a pattern, and it's pretty obvious who the killer is by the end. Christie doesn't make it that easy. The killer could be someone who was never even introduced. It could be for an off-the-wall reason. With Murder on the Orient Express, you don't get the full motive until the end.
Hercule Poirot is one of the most famous fictional detectives - and for good reason. He isn't obnoxious like Sherlock Holmes. He is polite. He doesn't act like he's smarter than everyone else. In fact, he tells everyone that they, too, could be as successful in the art of detection, if they'd only think. But it's not true. He makes unseen connections, and his memory is impeccable. He remembers cases from the past and pulls details from them. What's more, M. Poirot understands people. He understands how they think, and he understands how they act.
Murder on the Orient Express is a beautiful piece of writing. Everything is told neatly, everything is important, and everything is remembered by M. Poirot. By the way, in case you couldn't figure it out, either, Poirot is pronounced "pwah-roe." I had to google it and watch a YouTube video to learn. Poirot is usually accompanied in his mysteries by a less-smart character who is baffled by everything they see. This book is no different. He is assisted by an old friend who runs the railroad line and a doctor that's just traveling on the train. Both help find clues, but neither can sort out the mess that is this case. But Poirot can.
Even though this book was written more than eighty years ago, I don't want to be the person who ruins the end of Murder on the Orient Express. I wish I hadn't known what happened. So, I will stop now. I will give no more details. This book is lovely and deserves a read.
If you enjoy a good mystery, you should read this book. That's it. If you enjoy mysteries, read this. Because it is good.