Only Shakespeare and the Bible have outsold Agatha Christie.
With sales of her detective novels at over a billion in the English speaking world and another billion in foreign languages, it’s no wonder she’s called the Queen of Crime. Now, to coincide with a new, star-studded movie version starring Kenneth Branagh, Dame Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp, a special edition of her most famous mystery, Murder On The Orient Express, is being released. The book, with its striking crimson red cover, is designed to appeal to all Christie fans and to a new generation of readers.
First published in 1934, the gripping story begins in the dead of night when the luxurious Orient Express train is caught in a ferocious snowstorm and has to halt its journey. All the passengers, including the Agatha Christie’s most adored and long-standing character, Belgian private detective, Hercule Poirot, are stuck halfway through their three-day pilgrimage across Eastern Europe. Poirot, woken by a scream in the night, puts off investigating and goes back to sleep.
In the morning they discover that a most dreadful thing has happened – a passenger, an American millionaire by the name of Ratchett, has been savagely murdered during the night. It strikes Poirot as odd that one day earlier Ratchett had offered him $20,000 for his protection. Even stranger is the fact that Ratchett’s door was locked from the inside. The crime scene is bloody: the poor American has been stabbed a dozen times, and with wounds like that, it’s clearly no suicide. It takes some convincing until eventually, a reluctant Poirot begins investigating the mysterious murder and it dawns on him and the other passengers: the murderer is still on the train. Matters only get worse when he analyses the crime scene and discovers that the murder wasn’t committed alone. The murderer had help.
The wily Poirot interrogates the suspects, many of them enraged and anxious as a result of the delayed journey and the brutal murder. As the mystery deepens, the fear grows and the tension on board the stationary train ratchets up to unbearable levels.
Murder On The Orient Express is regarded by many crime buffs as one of the most difficult whodunits to solve. If you’ve never read an Agatha Christie before, then try out your detective skills with this great mystery.
About the author
Agatha Christie was born in the UK’s Torquay in 1890 and taught herself to read at the age of five. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was written towards the end of WWI. It introduced us to Hercule Poirot, who was to become the most popular detective in crime fiction since Sherlock Holmes. Agatha Christie is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 19 plays, and six romance novels under the name of Mary Westmacott. Christie is credited with laying the foundation for all crime fiction as we know it today. Popular UK writer Val McDermid says reading her whodunits as a child was pivotal to her becoming a crime writer. ‘Agatha Christie is a kind of genius,’ says another acclaimed UK author, John Banville. ‘A brilliantly ingenious story,’ said Dorothy L Sayers who wrote a few herself.