Murder on the Orient Express | Study Guide

Agatha Christie

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Course Hero, "Murder on the Orient Express Study Guide," August 31, 2017, accessed December 19, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Murder-on-the-Orient-Express/.

Murder on the Orient Express | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Winter morning, 5:00 a.m.

    Hercule Poirot boards the Taurus Express for Stamboul.

    Part 1, Chapter 1
  • Later the same night

    Poirot hears Mary Debenham warning Colonel Arbuthnot not to speak about something.

    Part 1, Chapter 1
  • The next day

    Poirot boards the Orient Express for London.

    Part 1, Chapter 2
  • Later the same day

    A fearful Samuel Ratchett asks Poirot to work for him, but Poirot declines.

    Part 1, Chapter 3
  • During the night

    A sound awakens Poirot, and he hears a bell ring.

    Part 1, Chapter 4
  • A few minutes later

    Mrs. Hubbard claims a man is in her compartment.

    Part 1, Chapter 5
  • Around the same time

    The train gets stuck in a snowbank and cannot move.

    Part 1, Chapter 5
  • The next morning

    Samuel Ratchett's dead body is discovered.

    Part 1, Chapter 5
  • A short time later

    Poirot agrees to investigate the murder.

    Part 1, Chapter 5
  • Soon after

    Poirot and Dr. Constantine examine the body and crime scene.

    Part 1, Chapter 7
  • A short time later

    Poirot discovers the murder victim's real name is Cassetti.

    Part 1, Chapter 7
  • Over the next few hours

    Poirot interviews the conductors and passengers in the front coach.

    Part 2, Chapter 1
  • Later the same day

    Poirot ruminates over the collected evidence and conducts experiments to test his theory.

    Part 3, Chapter 4
  • A short while later

    Poirot comes up with an explanation that solves the murder.

    Part 3, Chapter 8
  • Soon after

    Poirot presents two solutions to the assembled passengers and conductors.

    Part 3, Chapter 9
  • After the presentation

    M. Bouc and Dr. Constantine select the first solution.

    Part 3, Chapter 9
  • A few minutes later

    Poirot concludes his investigation, and the murderers go free.

    Part 3, Chapter 9

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Part 1, Chapter 1 Two strangers are talking on a train platform in Aleppo, Syria. One is Lieutenant Dubosc, a young French lieutenant whos... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 2 Hercule Poirot books a room at the Tokatlian Hotel and finds letters and telegrams waiting for him. One informs him he n... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 3 As Hercule Poirot nears the end of a lunch with M. Bouc in the restaurant car, Bouc waxes philosophical about the romanc... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 4 On the second day of the three-day trip, the train stops at Belgrade at 8:45 p.m. for half an hour. Hercule Poirot goes ... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 5 After being awakened by noises in the night, Hercule Poirot cannot fall back asleep. He hears someone moving about in th... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 6 Hercule Poirot asks to speak to Hector MacQueen. While waiting for his arrival, Pierre Michel brings the passengers' tic... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 7 Hercule Poirot and Dr. Constantine go to Samuel Ratchett's compartment to view the body and examine the crime scene. Con... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 8 Dr. Constantine and Hercule Poirot join M. Bouc for lunch in his compartment while waiting for the passengers to finish ... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 1 Before meeting with the conductor Pierre Michel, Hercule Poirot asks M. Bouc about his employee. Bouc vouches for Michel... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 2 Hercule Poirot reinterviews Hector MacQueen. With little preamble, Poirot tells him Samuel Ratchett's true identity. Mac... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 3 Hercule Poirot interviews Edward Masterman, Samuel Ratchett's English valet, who has worked for Ratchett for about nine ... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 4 Mrs. Hubbard arrives in the dining car where Hercule Poirot is conducting interviews. She says a man entered her compart... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 5 Hercule Poirot interviews Greta Ohlsson, the Swedish lady. He starts out by asking for her personal data. She gives him ... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 6 Hercule Poirot tells Pierre Michel, the wagon-lit conductor, he has lost a button from his tunic, but Michel denies the ... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 7 Hercule Poirot next calls for Count and Countess Andrenyi to come to the dining car, but only the count appears. He is a... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 8 The next person Hercule Poirot interviews is Colonel Arbuthnot, who provides brief answers and is not very forthcoming. ... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 9 Cyrus Hardman meets with Hercule Poirot, M. Bouc, and Dr. Constantine in the dining room for his interview. A "big, flam... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 10 Antonio Foscarelli, an Italian-born, naturalized American salesman of Ford cars, arrives next in the dining car for his ... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 11 When Hercule Poirot interviews Mary Debenham, he begins with a few routine questions and asks her to write her address. ... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 12 Hercule Poirot, M. Bouc, and Dr. Constantine discuss Mary Debenham's interview. Poirot explains he was trying to get und... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 13 Now that everyone who might provide evidence has been interviewed, Hercule Poirot, M. Bouc, and Dr. Constantine review w... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 14 Dr. Constantine leaves Mrs. Hubbard in the care of a restaurant attendant and follows Hercule Poirot and M. Bouc to her ... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 15 Hercule Poirot, Dr. Constantine, and M. Bouc go to each compartment to search the passengers' luggage. They begin with C... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 1 M. Bouc, Dr. Constantine, and Hercule Poirot reconvene in the dining car. After Bouc and Constantine tell Poirot they th... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 2 Hercule Poirot presents a list of 10 things needing explanation. These items include identifying the owners of the pipe ... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 3 Hercule Poirot, Dr. Constantine, and M. Bouc silently mull over the evidence. At last Poirot sits upright, puffs out his... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 4 Hercule Poirot conducts an experiment in the dining car. He arranges with the chief attendant for Count Andrenyi and Cou... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 5 After Count Andrenyi and Countess Andrenyi leave, M. Bouc praises Hercule Poirot's "excellent work" and, convinced of th... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 6 A peeved Colonel Arbuthnot joins Hercule Poirot, M. Bouc, and Dr. Constantine in the dining car for a second interview. ... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 7 When Mary Debenham arrives in the dining car, she makes eye contact with Colonel Arbuthnot before speaking to Hercule Po... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 8 Several individuals appear in the dining car and reveal their true relationship to the Daisy Armstrong family. Antonio F... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 9 The passengers assemble in the restaurant car. Pierre Michel asks if he can join them, and Poirot welcomes him to stay. ... Read More
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