Recently, my big kids and I were given the chance to do a “Sleep in the Deep” at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chatanooga. This is about a four hour drive from where we live. My kids were hunkered down with their devices, freshly loaded with downloads on Netflix. The fourteen year old was watching A Series of Unfortunate Events and the twelve year old was watching Despicable Me 3. I was all alone with my thoughts until I remembered that I have a phone! And a Hoopla account through our library.
When we pulled over at a rest stop, I downloaded Murder on the Orient Express. Crime shows are my favorite thing to watch on TV so I thought I might enjoy a good murder mystery novel. I have to be careful when entering into this genre. Some things are too gory, too descriptive for my mind. I read a novel last year that gave me nightmares for weeks. But with this being written in the 1930s, I felt I was safe.
I actually intended to listen to some podcasts on the road. Some friends directed me to one called “Up and Vanished” about a cold case from south of Atlanta. One of the episodes I listened to actually highlighted a kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindburg’s baby back in the early 1900s. This podcast must have been recorded a couple of years ago because it was promoting the movie, Murder on the Orient Express. Apparently Agatha Christie had written the book based on details from the Lindburg baby’s case.
Decription of Murder on the Orient Express as found on Goodreads:
“What more can a mystery addict desire than a much loathed murder victim found aboard the luxurious Orient Express with multiple stab wounds, thirteen likely suspects, an incomparably brilliant detective in Hercule Poirot, and the most ingenious crime ever conceived?”
This was my first Agatha Christie novel and it did not disappoint. It reminded me a little of the show Monk. Not that Poirot has obsessive compulsive disorder… but the attentiveness to detail, the way that crime seems to follow him. It was also a little Columbo-ish in the way he snared his suspects with this unagressive manner. Throw in a little Ocean’s Thirteen hesit-y plot and it has all the things I like about crime shows. Of course, this was written well before any of those shows and movies came out, and of course… it is a novel which makes it all the more better.
I am always nervous to listen to audio books. I have ADD and get lost in my imagination. In this audio book, however, the reader (Dan Stevens) did voices and accents and kept my attention. I was also a captive audience as I was driving. I think if I had read the book, I would have gotten lost in some of the French words.
I’m not going to lie. I was thinking that this book is close to one hundred years old. I was thinking it would be dry and boring and that I would give up quickly. I am pleased at how wrong I was.
I love how the characters were developed. I love that I had no preconceived notions on how the book would develop so I was able to create my own theories along the way. I will not share the ending or the who done it. I wonder if I am the last person on earth to read this book or to realize what a treasure it is.
I would actually be more than ok with my middle schoolers reading this as well. The murder is not described in detail… meaning there are no gory descriptions. The details lie in the suspects, alibis, motives, etc. There is one exclamation of “damn!” in the entire book. Otherwise, the language is clean.
Murder on the Orient Express has 274 pages and was first published in 1934. You can purchase the book HERE. It is only 99 cents on Kindle!!!!
Disclaimer: I am an affiliate with Amazon. Purchases made through links on this post provide our family with a small commission. Thank you!