Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
It’s difficult to do a write-up for Agatha Christie books. They are so short and so good but not really quotable. It probably makes sense that nothing really stands out, since otherwise it’d be too obvious how the murder happened. I’m a bit mad at myself that I once again failed to figure it out. But there’s a reason why her books are classics.
1) “There were three waiting for him and a telegram. His eyebrows rose a little at the sight of the telegram. It was unexpected.”
How are modern murder mysteries set up? If technology has killed anything, it’s the premise for murder mysteries. What if Adnan had Find My Friends on?
2) “‘You will be sufficiently amiable to place in my compartment a bottle of mineral water and a large glass of orange juice.'” – Princess Dragomiroff
How do people learn to talk like this?
3) “‘That is the act of a man driven almost crazy with a frenzied hate – it suggests rather the Latin temperament. Or else it suggests, as our friend the chef de train insisted – a woman.'” – M. Bouc
This book was clearly written a long time ago.
4) “The doctor watched the proceedings attentively. The metal began to glow. Suddenly he saw faint indications of letters. Words formed themselves slowly – words of fire.”
I don’t understand what this was. The paper was burned, and then letters appeared when it was burned again?
5) “‘Shall we put it that I don’t care very much for Americans, sir?'” – the valet
The hate on America is real. I guess she’s British after all.
6) “‘He shifted the chewing gum deftly.”
I like how chewing gum is a symbol for Americans. Speaking of which, I forgot chewing gum was a thing.
7) “‘Before I ask myself, “Where did this man vanish to?” I ask myself, “Did such a man really exist?”‘” – Poirot
Before I ask myself, why do these numbers not make sense, I ask myself, did we log it?
8) “‘Why, last evening we went into Belgrade one way and out the other.'” – Mrs Hubbard
I need an app that tells me which direction to sit in to face the right way.
9) “M Bouc, meanwhile, seizing upon the one tangible thing his friend had mentioned, was sorting through the passports.”
What I do in escape rooms when I have no clue what to do: keep solving a clue that someone else has already solved.
10) “‘If you confront anyone who has lied with the truth, he will usually admit it – often out of sheer surprise. It is only necessary to guess right to produce your effect.'” – Poirot
I don’t really agree with this.
I’m a sucker for anything that starts with a group, and people gradually get eliminated. Whether it’s Survivor, or the Genius, or Hunger Games, or Westing Game from middle school. This book isn’t as good as And Then There Were None, but that’s a high bar. Now I’m a bit tempted to try reading Sherlock Holmes again.