Which fictional mystery crime novel involves an elegant train of the 1930s with a murder discovered aboard?
Agatha Christie (1890-2015) was an English writer known for her 66 detective novels, particularly those revolving around a fictional detective Hercule Poirot, a Belgian. ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ was her novel, first published in the United Kingdom on January 1,1934 and almost two months later in the United States under a different title, ‘Murder in the Calais Coach’.
The 256 page crime novel takes place on the fictional elegant train of the 1930s, the Orient Express, that is stoped on its tracks by heavy snowfall. A murder is discovered and Poirot’s trip home to London from the Middle East is interrupted to solve the case.
As the plot unfolds, the opening chapters take place in Istanbul and then the rest take place in Yugoslavia.
The reception of Christie’s novel was positive, with the London ‘Times Literary Supplemental’ printing, “Mrs. Christie makes an improbable tale very real, and keeps her readers enthralled and guessing to the end.” Across the great pond, ‘The New York Times Book Review’ wrote, “The great Belgian detective’s guesses are more than shrewd; they are positively miraculous. Although both the murder and the plot and the solution verge upon the impossible, Agatha Christie has contrived to make them appear quite convincing for the time being and what more than that can a mystery addict desire?”
Adaptations have included radio and TV broadcasts and both the 1974 film that was a critical and commercial hit followed by the 2017 adaptation.