Author: Agatha Christie
Type: Fiction, novel
I read it: March 2014
I haven’t read many mysteries in my life, but I definitely enjoyed this one. After settling into the era and cultures of the characters the story is a page-turning joy. Most of it is dialogue, but I guess that’s what you get when the players are limited to moving around a train car (no Clue-movie back-and-forth shenanigans here). It’s a bit difficult to keep all the proper nouns straight and I can’t say I really had a feel for all the suspects as the book approached its end. But I made my guess and it was fun to see how things turned out way different than expected.
The best parts of the book were the insights into detective Hercule Poirot’s guiding philosophies. He emphasizes, “It is the psychology I seek, not the fingerprint or the cigarette ash.” This is a nicely modern way to piece things together. He is also a champion of objectivity and open-mindedness. When asked, “What other explanation can there be?” he responds, “That is what I ask myself. That is what I never cease to ask myself.” Which of course puts him in a position to see through the haze and grasp the actual solution.
If you’re interested in detective stories, this was the article that inspired me to grab Orient Express.