Do you like murder, mystery, and suspense? Well if you do Murder on the
Orient Express, by Agatha Christie, is the book for you. This novel portrays the
trials and tribulations of Hercule Poirot, a talented and experienced detective.
Within the first few chapters the reader is already caught in a web of deceit
and lies. Though this specific case seems utterly unsolvable, Poirot is able to
see through the deception and figure out the unbelievable solution.
It all begins when Monsieur Poirot boards an unseasonably crowded train, the
Orient Express. In the winter, the Orient Express is usually lucky to
accommodate ten passengers all season. Though, on this specific voyage, every
single compartment is mysteriously full. From an alight princess to a common
maid, a wide variety of people are aboard the train at this time. Everything
seems to be going routinely until a dead body is discovered in one of the
compartments. This individual is a passenger on the train, Mr. Ratchett. Since
the Express was barricaded by snow the entire night, it is an inevitable fact
that the murderer has to be someone on the train. Thus, EVERYONE is a suspect.
Coincidently, there is a doctor on board the Orient Express. After he exams
the body and Hercule Poirot searches the compartment, they find certain
inconsistencies. Mr. Ratchett has been stabbed twelve times. This seems very
normal, but each stab is completely different. A few are very strong blows,
while some are incredibly weak. Not to mention the fact that a few stabs are
performed with the left hand while others are clearly done with the right. In
Mr. Ratchett’s compartment, Poirot too finds things to be amiss. He discovers a
mysterious piece of paper with the word Armstrong faintly inscribed…
Poirot turned this name round and round in his mind. Finally, after numerous
hours, he remembered a case, a kidnaping and murder. Hercule then realized that
this dead man was not Mr. Ratchett at all. He was actually, Cassetti, a
notorious gangster, and little Daisy Armstrong’s kidnapper. Now, all Poirot had
to do was figure out whom on the train was close to Daisy Armstrong and her
After interviewing all the passengers, he found that no one knew the
Armstrong family personally. He also found that every single passenger had an
alibi, and none seemed too concerned with the entire case or their own personal
innocence. Either everyone on the train was innocent, or someone was telling a
web of lies.
With all the evidence collected, Poirot now had the duty of sitting down,
laying back in his chair, closing his eyes, and solving this case. After about
half an hour, the incredible Belgian detective found his answer. Though, no one
could quite understand how EVERY passenger on the entire train was guilty!
If you want to find out what happens to the passengers on the train, read
Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.