First Sentence: It was five o'clock on a winter's morning in Syria.
In the Orient Express Calais Coach, a wealthy American is found dead of multiple stab wounds. The train is stopped in the snow and it quickly becomes clear the killer is still on board. Monsieur Bouc, the director of the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons Lits, asks his friend, and fellow passenger, M. Hercule Poirot to solve the case.
It had been about 25 years since last I'd read Dame Agatha but I now remember just how good she was. Her dialogue is flawless; it flows in the natural style of conversation, particularly multi-lingual conversation. I'm reminded, too, that her books were written in a time when the middle- and upper-class English had, and may still have, a rudimentary understanding of French so no translations were made in the story. Her humor is light and deft. Her characters, Poirot particularly, are fascinating representatives of certain classes of the time. Her clues are deftly placed and it such fun to watch Poirot engage his "little gray cells." Dame Agatha is definitely deserving of the term "classic." I'll not wait another 25 years before reading another of her books.