Murder on the Orient Express Book Review

Hello everyone!

This is my Murder on the Orient Express book review. It is written by Agatha Christie. Probably one of her most famous books and one of my all-time favourites. The main character is Hercule Poirot, the detective of the book.


Poirot takes the train from Syria to Istanbul, wanting to stay there for a fewTrain days. With him, there are only two other persons, Mary Debenham and Colonel Arbuthnot. Poirot listens to a conversation of theirs and it looks like they know each other, even though in front of others they acted like they are strangers.

Arriving at the hotel in Istanbul, however, he finds a telegram waiting for him. A case he’s involved with makes him leave for London. He takes the Simplon-Orient Express that departs this night. The train is full but with the help of the director of the railway, an old friend who will travel with him, he finds a place.

At the breakfast, next morning Ratchett, a co-traveller asks for his services. He has been threatened and he wants Poirot to help him. Poirot, however, doesn’t like him so he refuses.

Next day, the train has stuck due to bad weather and Ratchett is found dead. The director asks for Poirot’s help to solve the murder.  Dr. Constantine examines the body and concludes that Ratchett was killed between midnight and two in the morning by multiple stabs.

Mountain at nightPoirot talks to everyone, one by one, trying to find out what they know and realises that there are a lot of hidden secrets. Yet they all have an alibi and not from the people anyone would expect. Evidence left behind that don’t lead to anything and half-descriptions that don’t match anyone on the train.

But still, one of them is the murderer. But which one…?

Characters

  • Hercule Poirot
    Do I even have to explain who he is?
  • Ratchett
    A man with an unpleasant face and cruel eyes. He died on the second night of the travel.
  • Mary Debenham
    She’s very calm and cool. She had a conversation with Colonel Arbuthnot that made Poirot suspicious.
  • Colonel Arbuthnot
    He’s polite but strong-willed. Poirot hears him talking with Mary Debenham calling her by her first name, thus making him suspicious, because there was little familiarity between them in front of others.
  • Mrs. Hubbard
    She talks a lot and she has a very good heart. She heard the killer going through her compartment after the murder.
  • Princess Dragomiroff
    She ‘s a Russian princess, rich and old but intelligent with a strong personality.
  • Hector McQueen
    The first night he lived with Poirot in the same berth. He has been Ratchett’s secretary for a year. That’s why he’s the one who found the threatening letters to Ratchett in his correspondence.
  • Count Andrenyi
    He has a diplomatic passport. Even though his wife and he could be excluded from the search – when they were searching everyone’s things for clues – due to diplomatic immunity, he was helpful. He is very protective of his wife.
  • Countess Andrenyi
    She has a diplomatic passport as her husband. Described as exotic and beautiful. She took some medication to sleep the night of the murder.
  • Cyrus Hardman
    A travelling salesman for typewriting ribbons. It is revealed that he is actually a private detective, hired by Ratchett to protect him. He confirmed that no one got into the coach except the ones whose rooms are on it.
  • Antonio Foscarelli
    He’s an agent for motor cars. He talks a lot and often he gets out of the subject.
  • Edward Masterman
    Very polite and obedient, he is Ratchett’s valet.
  • Greta Ohlsson
    A trained nurse, she works as a matron in a missionary school near Istanbul.
  • Hildegarde Schmidt
    She’s Princess Dragomiroff’s maid. A very nice, sweet woman.
  • Pierre Michel
    He’s the Conductor of the Orient Express.
  • Mr.Bouc
    A director of the railway and Poirot’s friend. He asks from Poirot to help solve the case. He believes Foscarelli is the murderer because he distrusts Italians.
  • Dr. Constantine
    He examined the body and gave his medical opinion about the murder.

Favourite character

My favourite character is Mrs. Hubbard. Not only because she’s a very lovely and kindhearted woman, but also because of her attitude when everything came to light.

Why I love this book

  • It’s very well-written so it’s very easy to get lost in the story.
  • I think the end is pretty surprising and that’s all I’m going to say about it.
  • I love the dynamics between the characters, suspects or not.

Random thoughts

  • First time I read about this book, it was during English lessons. The bad thing was that it was a summary, so it revealed the killer. Seriously???

For more Crime Mystery novels, check my list!


If you ‘ve already read this, I ‘d like to know how you liked it. If you haven’t and you have questions, ask me and I’ll answer.

Please before any major spoiler, write SPOILER ALERT. We don’t want to destroy it for others!

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23 comments

  1. I really enjoyed your review of this book! It kept me engaged and wanting to know more. I have yet to read the book, so I am glad you ended the review like you did…..only time I like cliffhangers! I’ll definitely have to go grab a copy!

  2. Great review! I have read the book and watched the movie. It’s a classic. I think I`ll do it again this summer.

  3. Wow!! Loved the movie….had the book but lost it!…..would get again.

    Thanks for highlighting this masterpiece. I love Ms. Christie!!!!

    Read and have about 10 of her books!!!…Poirot power!

    Ravi

  4. I love Agatha Christie and have read a few of her books and of course, watched the movies.
    My favorite has always been “And then there were none”, the 1945 movie in black and white, which I think introduced me to Agatha. Ah, late night t.v!
    That book also led me into the world of the “whodunit” stories, which motivated me to read more of Agatha!
    Thank you for this review!

  5. Hi Jenny,
    I really enjoy visiting your blog and reading about Agatha Christie’s book. You seem to like what you are doing and we can feel it.
    I’m looking forward to your next posts.

  6. Your site is easy to the eye and your review of a classic is well done.
    I love the fact you gave away just enough to pique the curiosity of a person, making them want to read the book. Not many people would have thought to ask for a “SPOILER ALERT” in case any of your replies gave away more details. A great touch, I would say from a person who really loves books.

  7. Yes one of my favorite books. I missed the recent movie version with Johny Depp i think it was. I like the way you did not give away the ending either. Good! I like the way you added your favorite character as well. That was a good touch. Who was your least favorite character?

  8. Good review I have to say I am a big fan of Agatha Christie and my favourite character is Hercule Poirot and I still love the original movie was not that impressed with the new one, to me this is a timeless classic novel. I do live a good detective story and I also like Sir Arthur Cannon Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.

  9. Great review, is this the only book, or is it a trilogy? I’m now left wondering who killed Ratchet, and why they would do that. Based on your description of him makes it seem like he was a bad person because of the way he looks. Does that mean he did something awful and someone got their revenge on him? I would not mind you giving out any spoilers. 🙂

    1. Yes, it’s standalone. Well, if you don’t mind a few spoilers… 😉

      SPOILER ALERT
      Yes, Ratchett has done something on his past and that came back to haunt him.
      END OF SPOILER ALERT

      Have a nice day!

  10. Hi Jenny,

    Great review, I really enjoyed the reading!

    I love murder series, it keeps me interested:) I’ve seen the last movie, but I still didn’t read the book. I am sure the book provides more suspense than the movie. I will definitely buy the book. Just a question, please. When I finish reading the book, is it possible to sell it on Amazon?
    I have plenty of books at home and I don’t know what to do with them:)

    Thank you for this excellent post!

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