Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie read by David Suchet

 

murder on the oreint expressFirst-rate reading of a mystery classic…

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

When Hercule Poirot boards the Orient Express in Istanbul, there can only be one outcome – someone is about to be murdered! You or I would have known that, of course, and would have hastily rearranged our travel plans, but the fourteen other passengers obviously hadn’t read any of the previous books. American businessman Mr Ratchett has been receiving threatening letters and tells Poirot he fears for his life. And the following day, he’s found dead – stabbed 12 times…

This unabridged reading of one of Agatha Christie’s best-known and best-loved books is great fun. David Suchet, the perfect TV Poirot, here gets to show off the amazing range of his acting talent. There are about 15 characters in the book, half of them women, from a variety of different countries and Suchet manages to sustain a different voice and characterisation for each. Yes, occasionally he goes a bit OTT (the Russian Princess for instance) but that adds to the enjoyment – Suchet understands that Christie’s books are first and foremost light-hearted fun.

suchet

Christie shows off her usual winning formula here – a baffling crime, a limited number of suspects, each interviewed by Poirot, and then the dénouement as Poirot reveals both murderer and method. What stops the books from becoming repetitive is that there is usually an unexpected twist and this book is no exception. Once you know whodunit, it’s easy to look back and see that Christie, more perhaps than any other crime-writer, plays fair with the reader – all the clues are there, we see everything Poirot sees, but can we work it out before he does?

I downloaded the audio book from Audible – but discs or download this is a first-rate reading of a deserved classic of the mystery genre. Enjoy!

(Am I the only one who wonders if Poirot is really a secret serial killer with a good line in fitting people up for his own crimes? Which do you think would survive if Poirot and Miss Marple spent a week in the same hotel?)

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78 thoughts on “Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie read by David Suchet

  1. LOL! That’s a good question about Poirot and Miss Marple. Of course, Poirot himself has said more than once that he does not approve of murder. But he has also said that if he did commit a murder, he wouldn’t be easily caught. I believe him too.
     
    Good to hear you enjoyed this reading. I’m not at all surprised of course. It’s a great novel and to me anyway, Suchet is Poirot.

    • But Miss Marple might have the edge with all her rural knowledge of herbs and wildflowers – I can see her slipping a little something lethal into Poirot’s tisane… 😉

      Thanks for the tweet, Margot – much appreciated! And I agree – Suchet has made the part completely his own.

  2. Ah, if only Jeremy Brett had played Poirot as well as Mr Holmes…………………. (only in jest) – I’m not – leaves hastily before stabbed with an ice-pick – an Agatha fan, but am a Suchet fan (the ice-pick, reluctantly gets put down by FF, but she doesn’t offer me any chocolates, none-the-less

    • Ah, an ice-pick would be way too brutal for Aggie – a hat-pin, or a meat skewer now…

      And she’s been known to commit the unpardonable sin of putting poison in the chocolates too – the cruellest of all weapons!

  3. The professor is in the process of watching the movie with A. Finney! (Not the first time.)

    But I do think, FF, had I been on the train, I would have helped out…more adventure there. Much better than leaving!

    I’ve wondered that about Poirot myself…and I half believe it. Just like I wonder it about Bingly…

    (JFK? That should be interesting…)

  4. This is probably my favorite Agatha Christie novel other than “And Then There Were None”. I completely agree that Suchet captures the very essence of Poirot.

    • He does indeed! On the whole I prefer the Miss Marple stories, but this is definitely one of the best Poirot’s. I like ‘And Then There Were None’ too – in fact, I like most of her books! If I had to pick an overall favourite, it’d be ‘The Moving Finger’ though.

        • Haha! Well, as you know, it’s always been my theory that I must have been adopted or accidentally swapped in the hospital…

          You can’t like Oliver Twist surely? It’s not possible! OK, the Bill and Nancy stuff is great, but Oliver himself? Yuck!

          But no, no, we’re not going to burn them – we’re going to attach them to my fence and the Professor is going to throw knives at them! Feel free to nominate a couple for the fence yourself….

          • I love Oliver Twist, although I agree that Oliver is the weakest character in it . But Bumble, the Sowerby’s, Fagin et al? It was the third Dickens I read after “A Christmas Carol” and “A Tale of Two Cities” when I was about ten, and I read it over and over for about three years. And I love anything by Verne, except Moreau, which I have never, either as a child or an adult, managed to finish, because of the vivisection.
            And if anybody throws knives at Sir Walter, I’ll set Gingy on him/her.
            There are millions of awful books in the world, but off-hand I can’t think of any I want to throw knives at.

            • I know, I know – there’s loads about Oliver that I love too…but for me it’s the weakest of all of Dickens’ work by miles. I must admit to never having read anything by Verne as far as I remember, but I have to allow the Prof to throw knives at something – and better that than Darby or Gatsby! Is this a different Moreau from Wells’ Moreau? (Which again I’ve never read though a copy of it has been sitting in the bedside cabinet for at least three years now…)

              Poor Prof – I don’t think he stands much of a chance against the combined might of Gingy and Tuppence, do you? 😀

            • Don’t let BigSister intimidate you, young lady!!

              (BTW, it should have been ‘Yucketh’, I believe.)

              Sir Walter isn’t bad, but Verne? He’s a painful infliction to the professor, definitely.

              BigSister, if you’re looking for books to destroy, look no further than HP.

              I’m not quite sure what a Gingy is, but it seems docile enough on the face of it.

            • You’re right – Oliver deserves the full ‘Yucketh’!

              I thought Gingy seemed fairly docile too the first time I reached out my hand towards him – soon learned! Stunningly gorgeous, but not really suited to tummy-tickling…

              And no – you cannot knife HP! For one, you’re destroying most of the books I love and for two, JKR will turn you into a rat…

            • 😀 BigSister does seem quite naughty.

              Gingy is a guy? The poor thing. How can he be tough with a name like that? What is it exactly?

              But you don’t like Fantasy! Maybe the professor is already a rat…of sorts…

            • I’m so glad you’ve realised what I’ve had to put up with all these years! She’s really very naughty indeed! And you feel inadequate because of how much she’s read? Imagine how I feel!! Of course, she’s had years and years…and years…longer to read than me…

              Gingy is short for Ginger – the hugest, gingerest cat in the history of the world. Even a Samurai Rat would be wise to be nice to him…

            • Well, you ladies seem to have read a lot, but does that intimidate this professor? Absolutely not! Usually every book he discovers he abhors. Maybe it’s a curse. Besides, JK doesn’t count as lit, nor does some other authors that I shan’t mention!

              Years and years and years? Goodness. If this professor didn’t know better, he’d think you wanted him to ask questions about that…

              😆 Yes, that’s right. I’m Spitz the Samurai Rat. Oh great.

            • The image of Professor Reepicheep is going to be difficult to erase… but take that as a compliment – that little rodent was one of my earliest heroes! 😎

              PS I agree JK doesn’t count as lit…

  5. You are of course right about Moreau – it is by Wells – senior moment. You will not like it!
    And nobody should throw knives at HP, though I don’t mind at all if you throw them at “A Casual Vacancy”.
    Surely you’ve read “Around the world in eighty days”?

    • Ah, of course I have – junior moment 😉 As far as I recall, I enjoyed it but didn’t particularly love it.

      Have you read A Casual Vacancy? It’s been sitting on my Kindle since publication day, but I’ve never been able to bring myself to read it.

  6. Yes, I read it when it came out. There’s nothing actually wrong with it, but it wouldn’t have been a best-seller if it didn’t have JKR’s name on it. Suspect she knew that herself, which explains the pseudonymous Cuckoo.

  7. Yes, I have days when I feel like that about Wells, then I remember Tthe War of the Worlds” “First Man on the Moon” “History of Mr Polly”, etc., and I change my mind.
    Spitz the Samurai Rat – there’s a whole cartoon series in there somewhere.

  8. It’s been a long time since I’ve read any Agatha Christie. Perhaps I should pick up a book while I’m on vacation on a distant island with no electricity in Maine. Between Christie and Stephen King, I could be shivering in the dark for days, praying my batteries last the night.

    • The I strongly suggest ‘And Then There Were None’ – nothing better than reading about a group of people trapped on an island with no way off, and being bumped off one by one…

      Enjoy your vacation! 😀

  9. Saw your blog on my recommended list and decided to stop by. I finished reading this book today. I enjoyed it, but I had already seen the Masterpiece Theatre adaptation and so the ending was spoiled for me. I intend to read some more Agatha Christie and see if I enjoy the genre. Btw I see you are on Goodreads. I am too. I’m biographyguy on there as well. I look forward to seeing more reviews on the various ficition books you encounter.

    -Dan

    • Thanks for stopping by, Dan! Yes, the mystery element is so important in Agatha Christie that if you already know whodunnit it can take away a lot of the enjoyment. If you’re looking to read more, Death on the Nile is a great one for Poirot (though you may have seen the film) and Murder at the Vicarage is one of my favourite Miss Marple stories.

      I don’t use Goodreads a whole lot except for placing reviews there, but I’ll pop over and look for you next time I’m in… 🙂

  10. Several years ago, I binged on all the Agatha Christies, but “Murder on the Orient Express” is by far my favorite. The movie version gives me chills every time. Also, in regards to your speculations…. have your read “Curtain,” the last Poirot novel?

    • Hahaha! I’d forgotten about that one! Poor Miss Marple better watch out – or book into a different hotel… 😉

      I love Agatha Christie – hence my cats being called Tommy & Tuppence! It’s hard to pick an overall favourite, but I think mine is probably The Moving Finger.

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