Traveling 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.
This is the second book I read by the Queen of Mystery. I previously read The Mysterious Mr Quin, and although the concept of the short story collection didn’t quite work for me, I fell in love with the writing style. I had to pick up more of her work, and why not start with one of her more famous ones? The writing style was ones again astonishing, and surprisingly funny at times.
This whole mystery is solved by deduction. Everyone is stuck on the train, so Poirot has to solve this murder purely by going on what the suspects have to tell him. This makes it very interesting for the reader as well, seeing as they get all the information as the detective does. Nothing can be left out.
That ending though, I did not see it coming at all. Although I did take pride in picking up some clues and making several of the connections, I could not have thought of this. It feels so refreshing to read a mystery that actually stays a mystery till the very end.
How Agahta Christie managed to produce such a wonderful and intricate story in such few pages is beyond me. She is a Queen indeed.