Monday, January 2, 2023

Week 1 – Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Welcome to 2023!  On Mondays this year, let’s discuss and have fun with books. No I’m not writing book reviews. But this website is for writers, and writers like books right? So let’s have FUN with books!

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Original 1934 US title Murder on the Calais Coach, sold for $2. The US federal minimum wage began in 1938 at 25 cents per hour. So this book represented a full 8-hours [before taxes]. Current US federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour [$15.50 in California where I am]. So if this book released today at a similar price, it would be $58.

Poirot was on the Orient Express returning to London from Istanbul. 

The train was stopped in Yugoslavia [now divided into 6 countries] by a heavy snowfall.

While stopped, a passenger was stabbed 12 times and died. Poirot solves the murder.


~November 1974 – very successful adaptation 
        Albert Finney as Poirot
        128 minutes
        Budget $1.4 million
        Earnings $36 million in North America
~November 2017 – mixed reviews
        Kenneth Branagh as Poirot
        114 minutes
        Budget $55 million
        Earnings $102 million in North America, $351 million worldwide
IMO the best actor as Poirot is David Suchet, from the television dramatization Agatha Christie’s Poirot that ran 1989 to 2013. 
The actual train “the Orient Express” originally operated between Paris and Istanbul, from 1883 through its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s and until 2009 when it ceased operating because most people elected to travel by high speed rail and air.

It’s being restored to its 1920s glamour and coming back in 2024!

Its sister train still operates in 1920s luxury [for example: meals prepared by French chefs, linen table covers, crystal glassware, formal attire required for dining].  

A 2day/1night journey from Geneva to Innsbruck is approx $3,150 US. The full journey from Paris to Istanbul in a grand suite can run over $100,000! 

Check out more photos of the inside

Have you read the book? Seen any of the movies? Ridden on the Orient Express?  Or do you have a recommendation for our next FUN with books?  Tell us in the comments!

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