Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

This is a classic mystery featuring Hercule Poirot, and I gave it a rating of three out of five. Agatha Christie is one of the greatest mystery writers of all time, but I'm not sure that this novel has enough action for adolescent readers. Hercule Poirot is a Belgian detective on a train traveling through Europe. A rich man is murdered, and all of the suspects must be on the train. The man had asked f0r Poirot's protection earlier, because he suspected someone would try to kill him while on board the train. To complicate things a bit, the dead man was actually a criminal who had killed the baby of a famous American during a kidnapping. The man was not convicted of the crime, so there are many people who may have wanted to see him dead. Poirot's job is to examine the evidence, consider the testimony of witnesses, and to consider the psychology of the guests on the train and figure out the identify of the killer.

I liked this book, but the format of the novel may turn off some adolescent readers. Most of the chapters focus on the testimony of individual witnesses and collection of clues. It's very methodical, step-by-step. I usually enjoy this format, because the evidence is laid out before me and I have the chance to solve the crime. I fear that young readers may not have the patience and desire to analyze clues that is required to enjoy this book.

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