Alternate title: Murder in the Calais Coach
Agatha Christie's most famous murder mystery. Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American... read more
On his way home from a case Hercule travels on the Taurus Express to Istanbul. Upon his arrival in Istanbul, he runs into an acquaintance, Monsieur Bouc, who arranges accommodations for Poirot on the Orient Express to Calais. While aboard the train, Poirot is approached by an American man,... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
On his way home from a case Hercule travels on the Taurus Express to Istanbul. Upon his arrival in Istanbul, he runs into an acquaintance, Monsieur Bouc, who arranges accommodations for Poirot on the Orient Express to Calais. While aboard the train, Poirot is approached by an American man, Rachett, who attempts to hire Poirot to protect him until they reach their destination. He claims he has been receiving threatening letters and fears for his life. Poirot refuses, believing Ratchett to be an "animal".
Early in the morning, Poirot is awakened by a cry from the compartment next to him. When the conductor knocks on the door, a voice inside says "Ce n'est rien. Je me suis trompe." (It is nothing. I am mistaken.) A little while later, Poirot is bothered again by another passenger calling for the conductor, alarmed that there is a man in her room, but when the conductor arrives, no man is to be found. Poirot speaks to the conductor, who tells him the train is stopped, the tracks blocked by snow. Poirot hears one more loud thump from the next compartment before falling back asleep.
The next morning, Poirot is awakened by Monsieur Bouc, who informs him Rachett was murdered during the night. The train was stopped all night and it appears that the murderer was still on the train. Poirot agrees to investigate, and examines Rachett's body. Along with twelve stab wounds of varying depth and direction, Poirot finds a handkerchief with the letter "H" embroidered on it, a pipe cleaner, a match differing from those Rachett used, and a scrap of a burned note with the name "Armstrong" on it.
Poirot realizes that Rachett was the kidnapper in the Daisy Armstrong, an infamous American kidnapping that resulted in the death of the four-year-old girl. Poirot begins to interview the passengers on the train. He discovers that Rachett's secretary, Mr. McQueen, knew about the threats as well as the note. He also discovers that many passengers saw a woman in a red kimono walking down the train hallway the night of the murder, but no one on board has one. Another passenger bumped into a conductor wearing a uniform, but later says that none of the conductors on board was the man she bumped into. All of the passengers have alibis for the entire night. Poirot decides to conduct a thorough search of the luggage on board. He finds a conductor's uniform stuffed into a female passenger's luggage, a wet suitcase label, and the red kimono, neatly folded and lying atop his own suitcase.
One by one, Poirot reveals the real identity of the passengers on board and find they all have links to the Daisy Armstrong case: the child's godmother, nursemaid, aunt and governess are all on board, along with the family's former cook, driver, and friends. When Poirot discovers the final solution to the mystery, it is just simply astonishing to be believed.
“"Then," said Poirot, "having placed my solution before you, I have the honour to retire from the case. ..."”Poirot
‘Ce n’est rien. Je me suis trompé.’Highlighted by 92 Kindle customers
‘Voilàce qui est embêtant,’Highlighted by 71 Kindle customers
‘It is a good phrase that,’ said Poirot. ‘The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.’Highlighted by 56 Kindle customers
‘If you confront anyone who has lied with the truth, they usually admit it—often out of sheer surprise. It is only necessary to guess right to produce your effect.Highlighted by 55 Kindle customers
‘Mon ami, if you wish to catch a rabbit you put a ferret into the hole, and if the rabbit is there he runs. That is all I have done.’Highlighted by 54 Kindle customers
Lie back and think—use (as I have heard you say so often) the little grey cells of the mind—and you will know!’Highlighted by 51 Kindle customers
‘And now a passenger lies dead in his berth—stabbed.’Highlighted by 49 Kindle customers
M. Bouc was a Belgian, a director of the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons Lits, and his acquaintance with the former star of the Belgian Police Force dated back many years.Highlighted by 44 Kindle customers
‘The murderer is with us—on the train now…’Highlighted by 42 Kindle customers
‘Ce n’est rien. Je me suis trompé.’Highlighted by 38 Kindle customers
PART ONE: THE FACTS
1. An Important Passenger on the Taurus Express
2. The Tokatlian Hotel
3. Poirot Refuses a Case
4. A Cry in the Night
5. The Crime
6. A Woman
7. The Body
8. The Armstrong Kidnapping Case
PART TWO: THE EVIDENCE
1. The Evidence of the Wagon Lit Conductor
2. The Evidence of the Secretary
3. The Evidence of the Valet
4. The Evidence of the American Lady
5. The Evidence of the Swedish Lady
6. The Evidence of the Russian Princess
7. The Evidence of Count and Countess Andrenyi
8. The Evidence of Colonel Arbuthnot
9. The Evidence of Mr. Hardman
10. The Evidence of the Italian
11. The Evidence of Miss Debenham
12. The Evidence of the German Lady's Maid
13. Summary of the Passengers' Evidence
14. The Evidence of the Weapon
15. The Evidence of the Passengers' Luggage
PART THREE: HERCULE POIROT SITS BACK AND THINKS
1. Which of Them?
2. Ten Questions
3. Certain Suggestive Points
4. The Grease Spot on a Hungarian Passport
5. The Christian Name of Princess Dragomiroff
6. A Second Interview with Colonel Arbuthnot
7. The Identity of Mary Debenham
8. Further Surprising Revelations
9. Poirot Propounds Two Solutions
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