Murder on the Orient Express Book Summary - Murder on the Orient Express Book explained in key points

Murder on the Orient Express summary

Agatha Christie

Brief summary

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie is a classic whodunit mystery featuring the famous detective Hercule Poirot. When a murder occurs on a luxurious train journey, Poirot must use his keen powers of deduction to unravel the truth.

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    Murder on the Orient Express
    Summary of key ideas

    The Setting of the Crime

    In Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, we are introduced to the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The story begins with Poirot boarding the luxurious Orient Express train in Istanbul, planning to travel to Calais. However, his journey is interrupted when a fellow passenger, Samuel Ratchett, approaches him and asks for protection, claiming his life is in danger. Ratchett offers Poirot a large sum of money, but the detective refuses, sensing something sinister about the man.

    Later that night, the train is unexpectedly stopped by a snowdrift, stranding it in the middle of nowhere. The next morning, Ratchett is found dead in his compartment, having been brutally murdered. Poirot is asked by the train's director, M. Bouc, who is also his friend, to solve the case before the authorities arrive, as he fears the negative publicity will harm the train's reputation.

    The Investigation Begins

    Poirot agrees to take on the case and begins interviewing the passengers and the train's staff. He discovers that Ratchett was, in fact, a criminal named Cassetti, responsible for the kidnapping and murder of a little girl named Daisy Armstrong. The Armstrong case was a high-profile tragedy that had shocked America, and the passengers on the train are revealed to be connected to it in various ways.

    Among the passengers are Colonel Arbuthnot, who was the military officer in charge of the investigation, Mary Debenham, the governess of the Armstrong household, and Princess Dragomiroff, a close friend of the Armstrong family. All of them had a motive to seek revenge on Cassetti for his heinous crime, and Poirot realizes that the murder was a collective effort by the passengers to serve justice.

    The Collective Crime

    As Poirot delves deeper into the case, he uncovers the extent of the passengers' involvement in the murder. He learns that they had conspired to create an alibi for each other, ensuring that no one person could be identified as the killer. They had also manipulated the evidence to mislead the investigation, making it appear as if an outsider had committed the crime.

    Despite the complexity of the situation, Poirot is determined to uphold justice. He respects the passengers' intentions, acknowledging that they were driven by their love for the Armstrong family and their desire for retribution. However, he cannot condone their actions and is committed to revealing the truth.

    The Unusual Conclusion

    In a surprising turn of events, Poirot presents two solutions to the case. The first is the official version, which he shares with the authorities upon their arrival. In this version, an unknown stranger boarded the train and murdered Ratchett, leaving behind a few misleading clues. However, Poirot also shares the true version of events with M. Bouc and Dr. Constantine, another friend on the train.

    In the true version, Poirot reveals the passengers' collective involvement in the murder. He explains that he cannot bring himself to turn them in, as he believes they acted out of a sense of justice. Instead, he plans to create a solution that will protect them from the law. Poirot's decision leaves his friends shocked, but they ultimately agree to support him.

    The Aftermath

    In the end, the authorities accept the official version of events, and the passengers are cleared of any suspicion. Poirot, M. Bouc, and Dr. Constantine agree to keep the truth to themselves, and the case is closed. The train is finally able to continue its journey, and Poirot reflects on the moral complexities of the case, acknowledging that justice is not always black and white.

    In conclusion, Murder on the Orient Express is a captivating mystery that challenges traditional notions of justice and morality. Agatha Christie's masterful storytelling and Hercule Poirot's unique approach to crime-solving make this novel a timeless classic in the detective fiction genre.

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    What is Murder on the Orient Express about?

    Murder on the Orient Express is a classic mystery novel by Agatha Christie. Set aboard the luxurious train, the story follows renowned detective Hercule Poirot as he investigates a murder that occurs during the journey. With a limited pool of suspects and a locked room mystery, Poirot must unravel the truth behind the crime in this gripping whodunit.

    Murder on the Orient Express Review

    Murder on the Orient Express (1934) is a gripping murder mystery by Agatha Christie that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its intriguing plot and clever twists, it will keep you guessing until the very end.
    • Christie's complex and fascinating characters add depth and suspense to the story, making it a captivating read.
    • The book's meticulous attention to detail and the way all the clues are carefully weaved together make it an engrossing puzzle that will challenge your detective skills.

    Who should read Murder on the Orient Express?

    • Readers who enjoy classic mystery novels
    • Those intrigued by intricate whodunit plots
    • People who appreciate well-crafted characters and clever storytelling

    About the Author

    Agatha Christie was a renowned British author known for her captivating mystery novels. With a career spanning over 50 years, Christie wrote 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections. Her most famous works include "And Then There Were None," "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd," and "Murder on the Orient Express." Christie's intricate plots and memorable characters have solidified her as the Queen of Crime and have made her books timeless classics in the genre.

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    Murder on the Orient Express FAQs 

    What is the main message of Murder on the Orient Express?

    The main message of Murder on the Orient Express is a captivating tale of murder and mystery set against the backdrop of a luxurious train journey.

    How long does it take to read Murder on the Orient Express?

    The reading time for Murder on the Orient Express varies from reader to reader. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just a few minutes.

    Is Murder on the Orient Express a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Murder on the Orient Express is a classic murder mystery that is definitely worth reading. It keeps you on the edge of your seat with its clever plot twists and suspenseful storytelling.

    Who is the author of Murder on the Orient Express?

    The author of Murder on the Orient Express is Agatha Christie.

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