One More Chapter: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

This marks the third novel of Agatha Christie's that I have read and let me tell you, the moniker "Queen of Mystery" is so damn appropriate. "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" is by far one of my favorite books, not just of the mystery genre but ALL genres. It managed to do something truly unique that I hadn't encountered previously in any mystery I'd read. "Murder on the Orient Express" is no different.

The novel features well-known detective Hercule Poirot, a mustachioed Belgian who has a penchant for being clever and solving virtually any case that comes his way. We start the story with a full cast of characters from all walks of life, it seems, and said characters find themselves stuck on a train thanks to a snow storm. As if adding time to the commute wasn't bad enough, it turns out that a man was stabbed in the night!

We are confronted with physical clues from the scene of the crime...but were they placed there intentionally as a red herring? Or were they genuinely left behind by the perpetrator? The stabbing itself presents a similarly confusing situation in that the wounds are not all identical. Was this done by multiple killers, or was this done as a ruse to make Poirot THINK there were multiple killers? These are the very questions that Poirot--and the reader--have to work through. And believe me, Poirot WILL work them out.

The ending, of course, brings with it a conclusion to the mystery. But it's the way that Christie managed to weave together the story that had me interested from the first page to the last. I kept changing my mind as to who could have done it and (by accident, as a joke) I managed to guess the ending. Take that for what you will.

I can't recommend Agatha Christie enough. Her works hold up surprisingly well over the years and it's easy to see how she revolutionized the entire mystery genre itself.

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