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Murder On The Orient Express

            The timeless and universally popular writing of Agatha Christie sold over 400 million, making her the best selling writer after Shakespeare and the Bible. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie is a “who done it” mystery where our hero Hercule Poirot, is conveniently aboard a luxurious train traveling from Istanbul to Calais with the kidnapper-murderer of little Daisy Armstrong and her loving caretakers all seeking revenge. It makes a shocking conclusion when after the fabricated and elaborate alibis are probed disproving the twelve suspects, only to discover that all were the killers in a vengeful crime.
             The characterization shown in Christie’s work is minimal, yet of extreme importance. This style sets up a contrast between appearance and reality. Leaving out details from characters, and only showing the surface, is a technique that leaves room open for a sudden change or unexpected conclusion to her epic tales. Characters with only two dimensions have feelings and or motives left untold. “Putting on a generic social mask” (Birns 3) or playing a role is a technique used to sway suspicion. Some critics feel that she is a mediocre writer because the characters lack depth. The role-playing casts a shadow of possible guilt or innocence, giving the reader a wide range of suspects. Christie’s fiction is described as “deliberately flattened by roles that trick us into discounting them as murder suspects” (Birns 9). .
             Not only are the characters found in Christie’s writing “flat”, but are also deliberately very artificial. Thereby, a troublesome front is telling the reader a reason to think that they have all done something wrong. Some critics feel she had a knack for stamping women in very stereotypical way. For instance, the young women portrayed are often blonde, ignorant, and speak of nothing of importance.