Sometimes you just need a book that provides a comfortable escape. I have read almost all of Agatha Christie’s mysteries and I’d guess this particular one about four times. By now I
know the plot . . .
and the way the murder is solved, but it doesn’t matter. With Agatha Christie she throws so many red herrings about you’d think she was part of a hardened North Atlantic fishing trawler crew. (huh?) And the characterizations are done so well it’s a pleasure to read anyway.
In this fine little tale we’re on the European train that goes from Turkey to France — the Orient Express. You can still TAKE that, did you know? And a man is murdered in the compartment right beside Hercule Poirot’s. To add to the drama, a blizzard has forced the train to a stop and no one knows when they might be moving again. It’s the 1930s — no internet or communication to the outside world. It’s up to Poirot to solve the case and — it looks like the murderer is one of the passengers!
“Ce n’est rien. Je me suis trompé.” These words are called out from the victim’s berth
before the murder. A big clue! Forces one to keep a French vocabulary book around . . .
When I think of this goody—one of her all time classics — I immediately remember the clue of the figure in a scarlet kimono seen going down the train corridor in the middle of the night . . . but thankfully, I remember not too much more, so following Christie’s clues along are as much a joy as the first time I ever read it.
Most of the time when I grab an Agatha Christie to read it’s from a large (large) collection of old pulp paperbacks from the 40s, 50s, 60s and they’ve been well read throughout the whole family. As an example, below 13 at Dinner is losing its spine, is yellowed about the edges, has scribble marks inside from some child and is held together these days by a rubber band. Original price was 45 cents. Still good of course. (And ANY edition of Agatha
Christie is worth reading!)
But–the wonderful thing about reading the Orient Express murder book this time around is that it’s a trade paperback edition with comfortable print and a book that stays open all on its own when you read it!
It was such a pleasure to read it that I’ve treated myself and ordered A Murder Is Announced from amazon in a trade paperback even though I have a “perfectly good” yellowed copy with splitting binding that I’ve started. Question is: Can I NOT read it while
I wait for my new copy to arrive?
Anyway, almost any Christie book is recommended, and this one earned a 5 button review.