January 19, 2018

#BookReview: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie




About the Book: 

Travelling on the Orient Express, Poirot is approached by a desperate American named Ratchett. Afraid that someone plans to kill him, Ratchett asks Poirot for help. Sadly the very next day Ratchett's worst fears become reality, when he is found dead in his cabin, a victim of multiple stab wounds. With nothing but a scrap of paper to go on, Poirot must piece together Ratchett’s identity before he can establish which of his fellow passengers murdered him.














Reviewed By: Caity G.
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Recommended Age: Adults, although most teens could read it, too
Genre: Mystery
How I Acquired this book: Bought it
Overall rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
About the Author: Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature-Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple-and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre. 

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880–1929), called Monty, ten years older than Agatha. 

During the First World War, she worked at a hospital as a nurse; later working at a hospital pharmacy, a job that influenced her work, as many of the murders in her books are carried out with poison.

On Christmas Eve 1914 Agatha married Archibald Christie, an aviator in the Royal Flying Corps. The couple had one daughter, Rosalind Hicks. They divorced in 1928, two years after Christie discovered her husband was having an affair.

Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, came out in 1920. During this marriage, Agatha published six novels, a collection of short stories, and a number of short stories in magazines.

In late 1926, Agatha's husband, Archie, revealed that he was in love with another woman, Nancy Neele, and wanted a divorce. On 8 December 1926 the couple quarreled, and Archie Christie left their house Styles in Sunningdale, Berkshire, to spend the weekend with his mistress at Godalming, Surrey. That same evening Agatha disappeared from her home, leaving behind a letter for her secretary saying that she was going to Yorkshire. Her disappearance caused an outcry from the public, many of whom were admirers of her novels. Despite a massive manhunt, she was not found for eleven days.

In 1930, Christie married archaeologist Max Mallowan (Sir Max from 1968) after joining him in an archaeological dig. Their marriage was especially happy in the early years and remained so until Christie's death in 1976. In 1977, Mallowan married his longtime associate, Barbara Parker.

Christie frequently used familiar settings for her stories. Christie's travels with Mallowan contributed background to several of her novels set in the Middle East. Other novels (such as And Then There Were None) were set in and around Torquay, where she was born. Christie's 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express was written in the Hotel Pera Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, the southern terminus of the railway. The hotel maintains Christie's room as a memorial to the author. The Greenway Estate in Devon, acquired by the couple as a summer residence in 1938, is now in the care of the National Trust.

Christie often stayed at Abney Hall in Cheshire, which was owned by her brother-in-law, James Watts. She based at least two of her stories on the hall: the short story The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, which is in the story collection of the same name, and the novel After the Funeral. "Abney became Agatha's greatest inspiration for country-house life, with all the servants and grandeur which have been woven into her plots.

During the Second World War, Christie worked in the pharmacy at University College Hospital of University College, London, where she acquired a knowledge of poisons that she put to good use in her post-war crime novels. 

To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours. The next year, she became the President of the Detection Club. In the 1971 New Year Honours she was promoted Dame Commande


Noteworthy experiences while reading this book: None


Check out author's other books? She ain't the queen of mystery novels for nothing!
Recommend this book? Absolutely

Notes and Opinions: LOVED IT.

Granted, I always love me some Agatha Christie. She was my grandmother's favorite writer and while I have only read a couple of her books so far, they are fantastic, fun reads aimed at anybody aged 16-100, although younger teens are not likely to have any issues, either.

What I love about this book was... aside from everything, the pacing and the storyline was great. The plot thickened and it had me trying to solve the mystery alongside Poirot. The way Christie structured her story to get the reader involved in cracking the case and figuring out who committed the crime just works. 

It's kind of hard to go into much more detail without spoiling the plot of the book, unfortunately, but I always recommend Agatha Christie to anybody looking for a light and easy mystery story.

Go Into This One Knowing: This is an old school mystery. It's a great read, but it won't read the same as a book written in 2010.
 









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