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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Book Review: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

BOOK review
Started on: 30 September 2017
Finished on: 13 October 2017

Title : Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)
Author : Agatha Christie
Publisher : Harper
Pages : 274 pages
Year of Publication : 2013
Price : Rp 134,833 (

Rating: 4/5
"I was reflecting, not half an hour ago, that many hours of boredom lay ahead whilst we are stuck here. And now—a problem lies ready to my hand....
The murderer is with us—on the train now..." 
Hercule Poirot was about to planning to stay at a hotel in Stamboul after he wrapped up an affair in Syria. But as he arrived at the hotel, he received a telegram summoning him urgently back to London. At the hotel, Poirot met M. Bouc, a friend of his who is the head of the Wagon Lit. Thus M. Bouc was able to arrange a spot for Poirot on the Orient Express which is surprisingly full. Aboard the same train is a man called Ratchett, who requests Poirot's assistance due to threatening letters saying that he will be killed. But Poirot bluntly refused the case because he disliked Ratchett's face. On the first night of his stay in the Orient Express, he noticed some strange occurrences happening in the first-class cabin. The next morning, Ratchett is found murdered—and it's now Poirot's job to investigate the case.

"A small man, dark, with a high-pitched voice," said M. Bouc thoughtfully.
"A description which applies to no one on the train," said Poirot.
Due to the train being stuck in a snowdrift, Poirot concluded that the murderer is one of the people aboard the first-class cabin of the Orient Express. Thirteen people are the possible suspects of this case. After gathering the evidence along with Dr. Constantine, Poirot then used the dining-car to interview each of the suspects one by one. However, as Poirot collected all the facts and events as described by all the witnesses, things got even more complicated instead of becoming clearer. It's as if the impossible has been done. But Poirot believed otherwise.
"The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances."
"That, to me, is the interest of this case.... We are cut off from all the normal routes of procedure. Are these people whose evidence we have taken speaking the truth or lying? We have no means of finding out—except such means as we can devise ourselves. It is an exercise, this, of the brain."
image source: here. edited by me.
"Me, I suspect everybody till the last minute..."
I decided to pick this book up after seeing the movie adaptation trailer for the movie Murder on the Orient Express for two reasons. First, the movie looks amazing and of course I'd want to read the book first before seeing it. Secondly, I think this will be a good starting point for me to start reading Agatha Christie's books because I never knew where to begin. I'm really glad I decided to read this book because it's a pretty good introduction to Agatha Christie's writing and also Hercule Poirot's character. I don't want to judge too early, but I'd say for now I still like Sherlock Holmes' character better than Hercule Poirot's ;)
"See you, my dear doctor, me, I am not one to rely upon the expert procedure. It is the psychology I seek, not the fingerprint or the cigarette ash. But in this case I would welcome a little scientific assistance. This compartment is full of clues, but can I be sure that those clues are really what they seem to be?"
Plot-wise, Agatha Christie's writing was able to keep me intrigued and interested throughout the whole story. The book is divided into three parts: The Facts, The Evidence, and Hercule Poirot Sits Back and Thinks. The first part, The Facts, lets the reader know the situation and what Poirot knows as the truth. In the second part, Poirot started questioning every single suspect on board the Orient Express and took note of their accounts. The last part is when Poirot finally looks through the facts and evidence that he has collected and tried to make sense of everything.

I really enjoyed Poirot's process in figuring out the culprit, which is very different from how Holmes works (okay, this is the last time I'm comparing them in this review XD). His way of interviewing all the witnesses and suspects really fascinates me, because Poirot uses a different approach towards different kinds of people.  As many of you might already know, Poirot's strong suit has always been analyzing people's temperament and psychology. Poirot's small gestures and seemingly unimportant questions always revealed something significant that I didn't expected and thought of before—which is something that I really admired from him. The only thing that stops me from giving this book a 5/5 rating is because there's just too much guessing in Poirot's method; which makes the ending feels a bit anti-climactic and unsatisfying for me. I was totally expecting for a much grander ending than this, thus the 4 star-rating XD
"You are, I think, a little bit contemptuous of the way I prosecute my inquiries... Not so, you think, would an English inquiry be conducted. There everything would be cut and dried—it would be all kept to the facts—a well-ordered business. But I, Mademoiselle, have my little originalities. I look first at my witness, I sum up his or her character, and I frame my questions accordingly.... And because, Mademoiselle, human nature is perverse, I ask of you quite different questions. I ask what you feel, what you thought. It does not please you this method?"
Despite my slight disappointment with the ending, I would have to say this book left a good impression in me about Hercule Poirot's character and especially Agatha Christie's writing. I can totally see myself reading more of her books in the future. I'm not sure if this also occurs in Agatha Christie's other books, but there are quite a lot of French used throughout this one (which is quite understandable, considering Poirot is Belgian). So while I was reading this book, I constantly kept my phone on the side to see the French translation through Google Translate. Although the French dialogues are not that significant, I don't mind looking them up because I didn't want to miss a single detail from the story :)) Lastly, I'm definitely looking forward to watch the movie adaptation for this book. I don't mind even though I'm already spoiled about who the killer is, I'm just so excited because it looks amazing! Hopefully the adaptation will do the book justice :D
"Mon ami, if you wish to catch a rabbit you put a ferret into the hole, and if the rabbit is there he runs. That is all I have done."
 Go watch the movie trailer below if you haven't seen it yet ;)


I'm actually a bit bothered by that obnoxious mustache XD but this trailer looks amazing! Love how suspenseful it feels and looks! Definitely loving the casts; even though I could see the movie made some changes to the characters compared to the book. But I think in general, the majority of the plot will remain the same. That line at the end though, 'My name is Hercule Poirot; and I'm probably the greatest detective in the world.' is very cringe-y, in my opinion XD And of course I cannot fully agree because I'm still Team Holmes for now :p  Who else is excited for this movie adaptation?

*If you have any recommendations on your favorite Agatha Christie's books, feel free to write them down in the comment section below! ;)

by.stefaniesugia♥ .


  1. Hahahaha...memang sih Poirot itu narsisnya overdosis. Kalau aku suka sama yang judulnya Mrs McGinty is Dead.
    salam kenal ya

  2. Ini salah satu episode poirot terbaik, da best deh pokoknya.


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