I've never read any Agatha Christie before. As much as people rave about her I was put off by the PBS renditions of her stuff. But I've got an outline for a sci-fi murder mystery forming in my head so I thought I should familiarize myself more with the English Manor House Murder genre. "Orient Express" counts in that genre because the whole thing takes place in an isolated setting where nobody can enter or leave. It had been sitting in my to-be-read pile for a few months. What better time to crack it open than when riding a train?
This is a Hercule Poirot mystery. He's returning from a case in Syria and manages to squeeze into the last cabin in a sleeper car on the Orient Express train. Naturally, somebody is murdered. The train gets stuck in the snow leaving Poirot to solve it instead of waiting for the proper authorities at the next station.
The book is an easy read that flows well. I'd have no trouble handing a copy to an 8th grader. Or at least where I think an 8th graders reading level should be. There's a reason Agatha Christie's books have survived so long and appeal to a wide cross section of society. They're good books and easy to read. This isn't something by Dickens that only appeals to people who need to feed a superiority complex.
p.s. I've also picked up a copy of the movie "Clue" for my research.