Below is the second internal page of the Spring 1934 Crime Club magazine
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WE start the New Year with a new Poirot story, and when we say it is the best Poirot that Agatha Christie has yet written and the best detective story we have read for years, we are making a perfectly sane and well-considered statement. One can often judge the merits of a detective story by the amount of padding which the author thinks it necessary to insert. Let us say at once that there is not a scrap of padding from the first page of this book to the last ; it is a mass of figures and facts so intriguing that no reader will be able to resist making his own attempt to forestall Poirot in solving the problem.
It all happens on the famous Orient Express running from Istanbul right across Europe to Calais. Poirot takes the stage on the very first page. He is travelling back from the East where he has been helping the French Government to clear up a mystery of big political importance. On his journey back to London the murder is committed in the sleeping-
car in which he is travelling. There happens to be travelling in the same carriage a director of the Wagons Lits—a friend of Poirot's of long standing, who immediately asks Poirot to undertake the investigation of the case on the company's behalf. The murderer, when planning the crime, had failed to take Nature into account. The Orient Express runs into heavy snowdrifts and gets completely blocked up so that escape for the murderer is out of the question. He or she must be on the train. An examination of the body reveals only conflicting evidence—there are, if anything, too many clues I Then comes the examination of every passenger on the coach, one by one, and each occupying a chapter. These examinations by Poirot are extraordinarily well done and provide easily the best feature of the book. The whole thing is a question of time. For hours on end Poirot cross-examines his fellow-passengers, sifts and compares the evidence, but every tag end is so brilliantly accounted for by the author that at times it looks as if the redoubtable Poirot himself

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