Finally, I got around to reading Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie. It was a treat to read a genre classic by the genre leading lady.
My first thought, as the plot unfolded was, this sounds like the Lindberg baby kidnapping. I searched and lo, I was right. Dame Christie said she was inspired by that horrible crime. I thought she did a magnificent job in assembling a cast of characters, none of whom seemed to have a motive or opportunity and all who ended up having both.
The mystery is a claustrophobic variation on the isolated country manor, in which a train from Istanbul to Paris is stalled in a snowstorm. No one can leave, no one can communicate with the outside world. The murder happens in a locked room.
I watched the latest movie version after finishing the book--the one with Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot, Judy Dench as Princess Drogomiroff, Michelle Pfeiffer as Mrs. Hubbard, and Johnny Depp as Ratchett. I liked it. I know it's gotten some mixed reviews but it was dazzling. One huge difference between the movie and the book was all the time the characters spent outside the train car. Branagh, who was also the director, chose to make an avalanche stop the train in its tracks rather than a snowstorm. That meant that once the train was stopped, the characters could get out and walk around a bit. It would have been a less visually impressive film had all the shots been confined to a train car's interior. Very cramped, dark versus brilliant.
See what I mean?
I thought the book was first rate, Christie at the top of her game. I thought the film was a fine adaptation--true to the book, with some modern issues thrown in to make it feel less dated.
This book is part of my 2018 Back to the Classics challenge, classic crime story category.