not the best, certainly not the worst, but duly entertaining
I’ve been working my way through the Hercule Poirot books (in publication order), and one element that I appreciate is that Christie avoids a formulaic set-up. Sometimes Poirot is accompanied by his friend Hastings (Mysterious Affair at Styles), sometimes by a local person (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd), sometimes he solves the case from his armchair (one of the stories in Poirot Investigates), and sometimes he acts like 007 (the not-very-good The Big Four).
In this novel, Poirot doesn’t appear until the second third of the book. The first third lays out a variety of distinctive storylines that only come together on the titular Blue Train. Something bad happens. Poirot brings his A game. Red herrings abound. A great travel read. (I read it on a trip to Brazil: it got me through five days.)
Note on potentially offensive content: Murder as entertainment and vanity.