An excerpt from my script review for Murder on the Orient Express which will be available 12/04/17:

2.) Plot Stability

Can a novel written in 1934 still be relevant and excite modern day audiences?

3way and I were discussing the twists and his argument was that this “whodunit” was a tad mundane by today’s standards.

I respectfully disagree, having gone into this fresh…never reading the novel, script, or watching one of the adaptations.

The beauty of the plot was every passenger on the train was indeed a suspect and had believable motive, crucial to any mystery!

Just when we are sure one character was the murderer, Poirot’s line of thought takes us down another path that leads to yet another suspect.

This is a perfect example of “timeless” because the tricks employed (again this assumes the novel contained the same attributes) not only still work today, but should be employed when writing our own mysteries.

We want the audience constantly guessing, and as in the dark as our hero trying to solve the case!

While reading/watching, one thinks, “Ah, this person’s definitely the murderer!” Fantastically you’re both “right” and “wrong” depending on your point of view.

***Beware of potential spoilers ahead!***

Page 2 – We’re shown a film reel of the Lind…er, Armstrong baby kidnapping and eventual murder.

We don’t know it yet, but the entire mystery will revolve around this single event.

Page 7 – Next, our star detective, Hercules Poirot!

Not only is he a meticulous individual, even when he appears to make mistakes, it’s all for a grander finale.

The bit where he caught the chief inspector? Fantastic!

Page 12 – The first of our “express” suspects…Mary and Doctor (referring to him that way because it’s a heck of a name to type out and gives my spell-check a migraine)..who seem to know each other, despite stating otherwise to Poirot…

Page 25 – Ominous foreshadowing of doom to come…Poirot is assigned to an UNEVEN number cabin! Da, da, daaa!

Page 41 – In the middle of the night, the train gets stuck in a blizzard, avalanche covering the tracks ahead, and the next morning a dead body is discovered. Finally…a murder on the Orient Express!

And here’s where all the characters begin to have motivation on why they’d kill Rachett, who wasn’t a great guy and had a shady past…

On top of that, clues are left for Poirot…too convenient of clues, and he’s forced to sift through what was left on purpose and what wasn’t.

It’s all very good, and worth reading/seeing or both!

The only issue I really had was at the end…

***SUPER SPOILER***

Okay…don’t read on if you want to be surprised…

What was the deal with Hubbard and the gun?

Can someone explain this to me?

Page 131:

HUBBARD HOLDS THE GUN. POINTS IT UNSTEADILY AT POIROT.

COUNTESS ANDRENYI
Mother, don’t!

HUBBARD
I already died with Daisy.

Before anyone can stop her she turns the gun on her own neck.

COUNTESS ANDRENYI
No! —

Too late. She pulls the trigger.

CLOSE ON THE HAMMER AS IT FALLS. STRIKES!

CLICK. CLICK.

THERE IS NO BULLET. THE GUN IS EMPTY…

…He takes the gun. Now knowing. There are no killers here.

Um, yeah there was…Hubbard tried to shoot you! She didn’t know there weren’t any bullets in the gun!!!

Why does Poirot let her go?

Everyone else, maybe, but not her. She was the mastermind and willing to kill an innocent person to cover it all up!

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