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Publisher's Summary

Hoping to make a clean break from a fractured marriage, Agatha Christie boards the Orient Express in disguise. But unlike her famous detective Hercule Poirot, she can't neatly unravel the mysteries she encounters on this fateful journey.

Agatha isn't the only passenger on board with secrets. Her cabinmate Katharine Keeling's first marriage ended in tragedy, propelling her toward a second relationship mired in deceit. Nancy Nelson - newly married but carrying another man's child - is desperate to conceal the pregnancy and teeters on the brink of utter despair. Each woman hides her past from the others, ferociously guarding her secrets. But as the train bound for the Middle East speeds down the track, the parallel courses of their lives shift to intersect - with lasting repercussions.

Filled with evocative imagery, suspense, and emotional complexity, The Woman on the Orient Express explores the bonds of sisterhood forged by shared pain and the power of secrets.

©2016 Lindsay Ashford. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Woman on the Orient Express

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    3 out of 5 stars

Light & enjoyable

I was a huge Agathe Christie fan as a teenager and in my early teens, and although I have not read much by the author since devouring all her books in my youth, this amazing woman still intrigues me. Therefore I was quite excited when the audiobook version of The Woman on the Orient Express popped up in my recommendations from Amazon earlier this month, hoping to find out more about the mystery still surrounding the author’s life.

Focusing on events that may have inspired Christie’s writing and lead to the meeting between the author and her soon-to-be husband Max Mallowan, the novel is mainly set on the Orient Express on its journey from London to Baghdad, and at the archaeological site at Ur. Christie’s friendship with Katherine Whooley is well documented in history, and in her novel, Ashford stages the first meeting between the two woman aboard the train. To complete the trio, Ashford also includes a third – fictional – character, Nancy Nelson, a young woman who flees England as she is carrying her married lover’s child. As the train journey progresses, the three women get to know each other and form a tentative friendship, which sees them all travelling to the archaeological site at Ur, where Katherine has been working.

I loved the historical details Ashford seamlessly slips into the story, like the mystery surrounding Agatha’s recent breakdown, or the speculations about Katherine’s medical issues that may have contributed to the suicide of her first husband. Nancy is the only character who is not based on an actual person from Christie’s real life, and I admit I struggled a bit accepting her into the fold. With Christie’s death still falling into my lifetime (she died in 1976, and yes, I am that old!), it is too current for me to accept these “alternative facts”, and I’m not sure if the blend of fact and fiction is really for me when it concerns the recent past. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s descriptions of the train journey to many exotic locations, staying true to an era in history where women were not as free to travel and forge their own path in life – which makes Christie all the more remarkable. The story inspired me to pick up an old copy of Christie’s autobiography, which I read in my early twenties and now want to revisit again. I will enjoy comparing the two stories (as I am sure that Christie may have also slipped a few fictional elements into her version of events – wouldn’t you, given the chance?).

All in all, The Woman on the Orient Express was a light, enjoyable story for my daily commute. Whilst I found some of the events in the last part of the story slightly predictable and differing a bit too much from historical facts for my liking, it put an interesting spin on a chapter in Christie’s life which saw her moving on from her broken marriage and finding new love. Justine Eyre provided a wonderful narration, which brought all characters and places to life for me.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Agatha Christie lovers

Absolutely wonderful and in true Christie style keeps you guessing. Characterisation is spot on. You can see the main players as they interact and speak. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this very interesting and cleverly crafted book. I will be looking for more books by this author.

1 person found this helpful

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Narrator

Narrator has a lovely voice but I found her way of reading a little distracting. I managed to get over that and finish the book. A nice light read for the holidays.

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Not for me this time

Sorry, but I could not finish reading this book, the title implied an Agatha Christie mystery, I will peruse the description ,ore thoroughly in future

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  • Ruth
  • 20-02-2017

Very enjoyable "woman on transportation" book

After being thoroughly disgusted with Girl on a Train, and The Woman in Cabin 10 and their neurotic, alcoholic, unreliable narrators, I was delighted to find a book with a protagonist I could stand being in the company of. This is a fictionalized account of a period in Agatha Christie's life, and I found the story engrossing and entertaining. Some mystery, some suspense, some romance, some exotic locations, and a ride on the Orient Express adds up to some fun reading/listening.

Other than when she was attempting various foreign accents (thankfully, very brief), the narrator does a good job and is pleasant to listen to.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Semiformal
  • 03-05-2017

Don't listen, read it instead

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I didn't make it 10 minutes listening. The biggest annoyances were words ending in the letter P. In her reading they also ended in F. Stump became stumpf, stop became stopf, plump became plumpf, etc. Like her upper lip is extremely swollen. She also reads a bit hysterically, where it sounds like the female characters are always shaking and on the verge of tears. I've heard Justine Eyre before and barely made it through a different book for the same reasons. I thought I heard she was native to the UK so I thought some of those things would not be as prominent when not faking an American accent, but I was wrong. I'm not normally this harsh, but I can't say I will ever listen to another book read by Justine Eyre.

10 people found this helpful

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  • WYldflower
  • 03-11-2016

A great read

Most of the time I buy audio books because of the genera and rating without always reading the summary of what the book is about. Bring a Netflix binge watcher of Poirot, I was pleasantly surprised that this book was about Agatha Christie. It was beautifully written and had heartwarming story. It's one I will certainly listen to again.

33 people found this helpful

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  • Patt LaPierre
  • 15-02-2017

Woke up anticipating listening

Not my usual genre but this novel excels in every aspect I delight in and expect in the best of novels.Intriguing plot, complex characters and natural, unforced dialogue.So captured me that I completed the novel in less than a day and a half; woke up excited about resuming listening.Narration is perfectly suited to characters and plot that is faultless and in large part what makes the novel so throughly captivating.

6 people found this helpful

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  • donna
  • 28-02-2017

excellent story - stick with it

At first I put the book down because it was difficult to follow. then i re-read the reviews and decided to give it another try. so glad i did! Don't miss this story. It is an entertaining and heartfelt mystery.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Grandma Jane
  • 17-01-2017

Good Walking Listen

The story was a little contrived, but good light listening. Narrator's voice was too windy and wispy.

21 people found this helpful

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  • RueRue
  • 26-11-2016

Biographical fiction

I enjoyed this biographical fiction of Agatha Christie until the author decided to emphasize romance over characterization. The melodramatic finale kinda ruined the story. I really like this narrator, and she did a good job with this.

45 people found this helpful

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  • Beada
  • 04-04-2017

Narrator is bothersome

I do not like not know when a sentence ends. This narrator has the terrible habit of ending sentence on an uptick in her voice. It makes all the sentences sound like questions. Very annoying.
The story is fine but slow and predictable.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Eileen
  • 14-01-2017

Three Women and A Baby

The narrator does an excellent job of changing tones just enough to help distinguish character changes. The author used vivid descriptions to draw the listener in. It's a good read and has sold me on both author as well as narrator for future book selections.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Wren Monaghan
  • 15-03-2017

Doesn't really go anywhere

No great mystery solved here. A overall boring story with flat characters and a terrible performer. Her accents are terrible and her cadence is frustrating to listen to. I may have enjoyed the story more if I'd read it instead of listening to it, but it's still not a book I'd recommend to those who enjoy Christie or Conan Doyle.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Carôle
  • 30-01-2017

Didn't Finish…

I would rather have not rated this novel, because I know that I cannot be fair, but…

I'm afraid that I did not give the novel time to grip me - I progressed to chapter 4, but I really couldn't tolerate the narrator's voice! I found it quite grating - that doesn't normally happen with me, I can accept most accents, dialects and tones, but not Justine Eyre's I'm afraid. Listen to the sample first and then make your decision. The general reviews were ok, but I couldn't get sufficiently into the book to say if it was any good. Slow starting.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Edith V
  • 18-08-2021

A brilliant book .

I loved this book . The narrator was wonderful .
The best book For a long time .

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  • Lynn
  • 18-11-2020

Unusual and very entertaining

Loved both the book and the audible which I have listened to twice. The content forced me to find out more of Agatha Christie's private life which I also found interesting. Narration was brilliant, Justine Eyre has a wonderful voice and accent which brought the characters to life. Highly recommended.

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  • lell71
  • 29-10-2020

Can’t listen any more

The narrator ruined this for me. She just seems to warble her way through. And the Welsh accent was the final straw! It was a mix between West-country, Scottish and Irish. Not a hint of Welsh. If this was produced again with a different narrator, I think I would love it, as I’m an ardent Agatha Christie fan. I’m going to request a refund as it’s intolerable.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sandy
  • 12-03-2020

Good book, dreadful narration

I listened all the way to the end, so it must have kept my attention, but using a Canadian to do a pretend RP accent was such a bad move. It spoiled it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mia M.
  • 18-02-2020

Ruined by narration

I started this purely as it one was of the first books with free narration on kindle unlimited that I came across that appealed to me. I haven’t quite finished this yet, but the story is engaging and I would read more from this author. I would however, do all in my power to avoid anything from this narrator again. Weird pronounciations, dull monotone, and the bit which has prompted me to review before finishing, a welsh accent that is mostly (bad) Irish. There are so many excellent narrators out there, was this one found in the bargain bin at Lidl?

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  • Donna
  • 13-10-2019

Pretty good overall

Kept me interested walking back and fore to work. Pretty good overall and would recommend.

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  • alexandra68cats
  • 08-09-2019

I irritating pronunciations by the narrator

Great plot and character portrayal poor narration but I still very enjoyable looking forward to more by this author

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hungry Bookworm
  • 02-07-2019

So enjoyable

I love Agatha Christie books and really enjoy reading books that have Agatha in it .
The narrators voice too a little getting used to, but enjoyed the so much that i dismissed that fact.
This book gave me such joy, i loved the way in which the story was told, the pace was constant and description of places, food and activities was excellent, i could see the charecters and places were alive in my head as i listened.
Totally recommend this 🤩

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Craftyweasel
  • 23-01-2019

Thoroughly Enjoyable.

As a Christie fan I was impressed with the real life detail and found this book a real pleasure. Well drawn characters, gorgeous descriptive details and a good pace and plot. Would have given more than five stars of I could.

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