A Book Review: Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

Essay by WriteNowHigh School, 10th gradeA, October 2002

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Christie, Agatha. Murder on the Orient Express or Murder in the Calais Coach, New

York: Berkley Books 1933

This story is a murder mystery.

The story takes place on a train called the "Orient Express", headed toward Istanbul Trieste Calais in the middle of winter. The train becomes snowbound after it stops in Vincovci. This presents the situation that the murderer did not board the train nor escape the train because there are no footprints in the snow. It says that the murderer is still on the train and, therefore one of the passengers.

The main character in the story is Hercule Poirot, a Belgian sleuth. He is very astute and observant, paying attention to everything around him. He seems to be a bit nosy as he watches and listens to other peoples' conversations. A curled up mustache and pink-tipped nose are the only visible features of this small, bundled up man.

Poirot's friend M. Bouc representing compagnie Internationale des wagons lits, helps Poirot find out who the murderer is. He is rather pushy, impatient and comes to a conclusion far to fast. He is very concerned in interviewing the Italian as they have bad tempers "Shall we now see the Italian?" He is 'a short, stout elderly man, his hair cut en brosse'. There are 12 suspects; Mary Debenham, Colonel Arbuthnot, Hector MacQueen, Antonio Foscarellie, Edward Henry Masterman, Cyrus Hardman, Princess Dragomirnoff, Greta Ohlsson, Mrs. Hubbard, Hildegarde Schmidt, Count Andrenyi, Countess Andrenyi, and the murdered man, M. Ratchett along with the conductor, Pierre Michel and the doctor, Dr. Constantine.

The protagonist is, M. Hercule Poirot, he is trying to figure out who killed M. Ratchett. The lies the people tell become the antagonist, leading Poirot off track with every word.

Hercule piorot is a detective from Belgium.