Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express" displays, in the middle of a vivid setting, which may create a feeling of enclosure (the train), a suspenseful scenario, a puzzled mystery, whose key is found by the charming Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, to whom all mystery-lovers have already got used to. As all her books, "Murder on the Orient Express" revolves around the leit-motif : "Who dunnit?", a question whose response the readers won't reach until the last chapter of the novel.The action of the novel takes place on the Orient Express, a famous early twentieth century passenger train, mostly in one of the compartments on the Istanbul-Calais coach where a murder is committed, and in the restaurant car following. Among the passengers, readers can easily recognize Hercule Poirot, who is returning on the train from Syria, where he has just solved a crime for the French government; he doesn't have the opportunity to enjoy his voyage, as when the train is forced to halt in Yugoslavia by a snowstorm, just after the murder, Poirot is prevailed upon by the railway director, M. Bouc, to investigate. The victim is an American businessman, named Ratchett, and the suspects are an international collection of travelers : Mrs.
Hubbard, a loquacious American; the Princess Dragomiroff, an exotic Russian travelling with her maid; the Count and Countess Andrenyi, a Hungarian diplomat and his wife; Mary Debenham, an English governess; the British Colonel Arbuthnot, returning from India; Greta Ohlsson, a Swedish missionary, and a few others, many of whom are not what they seem. Will Poirot find the killer? Undoubtedly. Who is the killer? Poirot's final solution is among the most audacious of Christie's plots; in fact, our famous detective puts forward two theories and allows M. Bouc to choose between them...Conserving the special flavour of Agatha Christie's novels, "Murder on the Orient Express" is filled with intriguing characters, shady happenings and questionable alibis. But nothing is puzzled enough for Hercule Poirot... n'est-ce pas?