Murder On The Orient Express - A Hercule Piorot Mystery
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ibsn13: 9780062073495

Murder on the Orient Express is similar to Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile (the other Agatha Christie novel I’ve read recently).

Both novels involve Hercule Poirot on vacation traveling (on a train or on a boat respectively), with the soon-to-be murder victim asking Poirot for help, him declining and then after the murder occurs, Poirot proceeds to solve the murder.

But Death on the Nile was SO MUCH MORE of a compelling read for me. Murder on the Orient Express is… Uhhhhh… Express, it’s fast and straightforward. It doesn’t waste any time. As soon as possible you’re jumping straight into the murder followed by a by-the-numbers solving of the mystery.

It lacks a lot of the charm found in the more patient and denser Death on the Nile. We don’t get to learn much about the characters in Murder on the Orient Express which made it hard for me to become invested in them.

This is very unlike Death on the Nile where more than enough time was spent with each character (whether in a flashback or in a present day scene before or after the murder) allowing me to eventually start to understand them, care about them and understand their motives.

Murder on the Orient Express feels very bare bones comparatively. That has probably helped it age a little better compared to Death on the Nile because there’s less room for Agatha to hang herself with old school racist slurs, with weird pandering to the 1930s female demographic who (I guess?) really wanted to meet a man and get married, with off the wall bizarre dialogue, etc.

But I kind of enjoyed the parts of Death on the Nile that haven’t aged well because those were the bits that stood out to me and were sometimes very funny.

Both books have pretty wild endings, whether you like one or the other will come down to personal preference but Death on the Nile’s ending felt a little more earned and realistic to me compared to Murder on the Orient Express’s.

If you’re really interested in the murder mystery bit of murder mystery novels, you’d be well served reading both of these novels. But if you would prefer to let the murder simmer a little, letting characters develop, witness wild scenes and dialogue and having a better payoff as a result of all this then you might prefer to read Death on the Nile over Murder on the Orient Express.