Murder on the orient express by Agatha Christie
Published: First published 1926
Genre: Fiction, Crime, mystery, classic
Agatha Christie is undoubtedly one of, if not THE best crime writer of all time. Even to the millennials such as I am familiar with her stories, having never read them before, because they are replicated, duplicated, imitated and inspired so much of popular culture in so many ways. The whodunnits and the detectives feels utterly familiar even to some who have never read her before.
I love how this one is built up. It’s not an intense page turner in the sense that it’s a very exciting read. It’s more about looking for evidence and trying to figure out the story along with detective Poirot. It begins with part one: The Facts.
Here we get the story. Here is where the murder happens, the body is discovered and the train comes to a halt.
It moves on to part 2: The evidence
Here Poirot interviews all the witnesses and searches for clues in their answers. Here is where you need to keep your facts straight and pay attention.
In part 3: Hercule Poirot sits back and thinks. We get a nice overview of the evidence and the case wraps up as Poirot exposes who is responsible.
It’s nicely set up. And perhaps, at the time it came out, it might have been quite exciting and special, but for me, it doesn’t feel that way anymore. It feels a little dated to me. While, of course, the story’s beginning in Aleppo takes us back to a time where we like to believe times were better, and the romanticized train ride through the orient with kimonos, handkerchiefs and smoking pipes. It’s nostalgic, but no longer believable.
I tried watching the movie afterwards and it semented my opinion of it all. Beautifully made and intriguing in many ways, but also a bit out of date and ludicrous.
I think I am done with classic mystery for now, one can only take so much the starchy characters before you long for excitement again. And while I adore indulging in places and decades unknown to me, I most often, like Dorothy, feel there is no place like home.