How does one write a review of a mystery without giving away, the whodunnit? I'll see if I can figure it out :P
First off, this is a Hercule Poirot story. Naturally that means plenty of the little Belgians comments. He is returning to London from the Middle East when the train he is traveling on founders in a snowdrift at the same time a murder is committed.
At first it appears that no one had a good motive for killing the deceased. After interviewing all the people on the Stambul-Calais coach (these passengers being the only ones in question) and then going through their belongings, Poirot puts his 'little gray cells' to work. Naturally, as he is Poirot, he leaves his fellow investigators in the dust (and of course the reader--unless your brain jumps to conculsions faster than mine). By the end of the story everyone is a suspect...in a deeper sense than initially. But there, lest I spoil it, I won't say anymore.
Suprisingly, I nearly guessed the ending of this one correctly. I was quite close actually (I NEVER do that!) The usual Agatha Christie descriptiveness was there. I would say that this wasn't one of the best ones that I have read, however. There are others that stick in the mind better...like The Murder of Rodger Ackroyd (one of the very first Christies I read), Passenger to Frankfurt (I really enjoyed that one; it was somewhat different that most), and And Then There Were None (I believe that is the American title).
Especially in Poirot books, Christie tends to let the murderer (or murderers, depending on the story) get away with the crime if it serves 'justice'. For instance, if the murdered person happens to be a bad guy, once Poirot figures out 'whodunnit', he lets the murderer get away. (Of course, he wouldn't stand in the way if the law showed up, but still.) As a Christian, I recognize that this isn't Biblical. Vigilante justice, in a land with laws, is wrong. Thus, ending like that tend to set wrong with me--even if I'm glad the bad guy is dead. I would in no way call Poirot a Christian character. More of a moralistic, 'good' pagan. (Not counting his extreme arrogance concerning himself--Poirot, the mastermind crime solver. 'Detective' doesn't quite fit.)
4 1/2 Stars