review: The Woman on the Orient Express

The Woman on the Orient Express
by Lindsay Jayne Ashford

Favorite Quote: “For the train, like life, must go on until it reaches its destination. You might not always like what you see out of the window, but if you pull down the blind, you will miss the beauty as well as the ugliness.”

A fictionalized account of author Agatha Christie’s journey to Baghdad and the archaeological dig site at Ur in the late 1920’s, this novel reimagines her relationships with her friend, Katherine Woolley, and her future husband, Max Mallowan, as well as mixing a few invented characters into the narrative. Agatha, still reeling from her first husband’s infidelity and abandonment, decided a change of scenery would put her mind at ease and spark ideas for her mystery novels. Agatha’s companions all have secrets of their own, and these eventually come to light as the characters’ lives become entwined.

I devoured this audiobook and subsequently researched Agatha Christie’s life, as I had heard a little about her infamous “amnesia” incident, but was completely unaware of her interesting later relationships and travels (sensationalism, I suppose). The only Christie novel I have read is And Then There Were None–I am not a big murder mystery fan–but now I am more inclined to give them a try. Perhaps it will entice me to branch out more often!