I read all of Agatha Christie’s books in the years of elementary through high school. Hercule Poirot heavily influenced my idea of what a Frenchman should be, and I read all of his lines in my head through the filter of my French teacher in 5th grade (Miss Marple sounds like my grandmother, but stuffier, in my head). I haven’t picked up one of her mysteries for at least twenty years but my daughter has recently started to be interested in mysteries so I was happy to guide her to this book. Somehow, I had forgotten THE ENTIRE PLOT of this book despite having read it multiple times in the past. I’ve always dreamed of taking an overnight train in a foreign country – just because of this book- and I forgot entirely what was going to happen. Except, of course, I remembered there would be a murder solved only by Hercule Poirot.
My very poor memory worked out in my favor, though, because it was a delight to puzzle through this one again. And as was always my pattern with Agatha Christie’s books I had no idea what the answer to the mystery was or even what clues I was meant to have pieced together by the end. Strangers, on a train, are stuck in a snow stoppage and one of their number is murdered. The killer must be one of the passengers, but who? And why?
Apparently there was a 2017 movie with an absolutely bananas cast including Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Willem Defoe, Olivia Colman, Leslie Odom, Jr and Kenneth Branagh as Poirot. The trailer looks like a mess, with a lot of pointed guns and Johnny Depp doing a terrible gangster impersonation but I’ll be watching it nonetheless.