Discovering Christie on the Orient Express

Many months ago I decided that this year I was going to read a ‘classic’ crime novel once a month, both to catch up with books I’ve always intended to read, but also to see how they compare with their modern-day equivalents.

Earlier this week I remembered my cunning plan, and being between books, I decided to take the plunge. But, where to start?
The eagle-eyed detectives amongst you will have deduced that it was the case of a Murder On the Orient Express, featuring one M. Poirot and his ‘little grey cells’ (and splendid moustaches). I’d watched the trailer for the new movie (Ken’s moustache is PHENOMENAL and I now have new facial hair goals). Just look at it!

Anyway. What can I say about the book? I was aware of the premise (the title rather gives it away), but I don’t think I’ve ever really watched any of the adaptations of Christie’s work, so I was coming to it pretty fresh.

It’s utterly wonderful, and I’m vaguely horrified that I’ve not read any of her books before. WHY DID NO-ONE TELL ME? The setting is glorious (and I’m a sucker for a book which immerses you in a location to the point where you can almost feel it), the characters splendid and varied, Poirot is cunning and devilishly clever and the mysterious murder is, at the end of the day, delightfully solved. It’s not Poirot’s first case, but you don’t really need to have read the others to benefit from it.

Of course, now I have a HUGE backlog of Christie’s work to get through (crikey but she wrote a lot) – but before I do, does anyone have a recommendation for next month’s “Dave Reads A Classic Crime Novel” series? I can feel a list coming on…

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.

Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again…