Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express is opening today and I will probably be in line to see it. My decision to see the movie grew slowly.

First, I was at a theater with my niece during the summer when I saw the preview. She slapped her knee with excitement. It didn’t catch my fancy.

Then I saw another preview. I liked the synchronization of the scenes with the music. But do I just like the music?

As the date drew closer, I saw the trailer more often. With the music. And the timing of the scenes.

About a month before the movie’s due date, I was in a book store and saw the book. “Oh, Agatha Christie,” I didn’t realize that. I did not buy the book.

More previews.

“You know,” I thought, “mom loved mysteries and had a collection of Agatha Christie books that she used to keep on her headboard bookshelf. I wonder if we still have those? I could read the book and then go see the movie.”

After fairly extensive searching I discovered we no longer have mom’s books. They were probably donated.

My co-worker likes to read and has a lot of books. I wonder if she has a copy?


Okay, how about the library?

I went to the library and saw a set of familiar looking Agatha Christie books. “Those look like mom’s….” but there is no way to prove that theory now and this story isn’t really about that. There was one missing book from the set – Murder on the Orient Express. How dare someone have the same idea as me!

But I wasn’t ready to give up quite yet. There are other libraries in the county so I walked over to a computer and searched for the book. Sure enough, there was one copy at the college library (which I didn’t know my library card worked in that library as well. That seems to be a new development). I checked out a couple of movies that I found and double checked with the librarian. “My library card will work at the college?” I asked doubting my discovery.

“Yes,” she assured me.

I drove to the college. It’s been about 20 years since I’ve been in the college library and even when I attended school there I don’t think I ever actually checked out a book from the Hay Library. Sun lights divide the library into two sections. The library is on the second floor and the sun roofs go all the way down to the first floor which means to go through the whole library one must circle around. I started down one side looking at the topics. At the end I crossed over to the other side and worked my way back up. No fiction section.

I could have asked for help at this point but that would be a little too easy. I started again.

“Oh, literature – not fiction here,” I realized my error and started going through the section. The C’s stretched before me but it wasn’t there. Then I realized it was divided into a sub-section by country. I googled Agatha Christie and realized I needed to be in the ‘English’ section. It took a little doing to realized how big the Literature section was but I finally found the English section.

Still not there.

Another sub-section by genre.

Good grief.

I used my phone again to look up the library system again and see the call number.

Why did I wait so long to do that?


Found it and found two books marked as “Agatha Christie” but it still wasn’t there.

I looked at my phone again. It said the book was in ‘mainstream.’ I looked on the shelf above and beneath. Just two books? That can’t be right.

Then I realized those were books about Agatha Christie not by Agatha Christie.   Although after reading a little blurb on the author’s life maybe I should go and check one or both of those out.

But tricky  organization.

Found the actual selection and went through all the titles. Still no Murder on the Orient Express. By this point I had invested too much time in this process to go quietly in the night empty handed. I saw a librarian re-shelving books and asked her about it. Just in case she didn’t believe me I showed her my phone.

“Oh yes,” I just pulled that one for a display. It is up here.” She led me to the front of the library. As she checked out the book she asked, “Going to see the movie?”

“Yes, but I haven’t read the book before so I want to read it before I go see it.”

She nodded at the obvious statement.

I got home and started reading.

Now, I have a habit of reading the end of a book. I do it with all my books because I want to know if I should invest the time of reading something. That’s one reason why I don’t do mysteries. It’s not really a mystery if I already know the ending. But I refrained from reading the end on this one.

Well, I refrained for three days. By day three I knew who did it and I still had 2/3 of the book to read.

I hope I enjoy the movie!

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