SPOILER ALERT !!!! SPOILER ALERT !!!! SPOILER ALERT !!!! After taking the Taurus Express from Aleppo in Syria to Istanbul, private detective Hercule Poirot arrives at the Tokatlian Hotel. There he receives a telegram prompting him to return to London. He instructs the concierge to book him a first-class compartment on the Simplon-route Orient Express service leaving that night. Although the train is fully booked, Poirot obtains a second-class berth through with the intervention of a friend and fellow Belgian who is also boarding the train, Monsieur Bouc, a director of the railway, Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. A brash and vulgar American businessman named Ratchett is aboard the train with his personal secretary and translator, Hector McQueen. Once Poirot is recognized as the famous detective, Ratchett approaches him and asks if he will act as his protector as Ratchett has been receiving death threats. Poirot, repulsed by Mr. Ratchett, refuses the case. M. Bouc has taken the last first-class cabin, but arranges to be moved to a separate coach and gives Poirot his space. The first night Poirot sleeps in first class, he observes some strange occurrences. Early in the morning, he is awakened by a cry from Ratchett's compartment next door. The conductor knocks on Ratchett's door, but a voice from inside responds, "Ce n'est rien. Je me suis trompé" (It is nothing. I am mistaken). Poirot has difficulty sleeping because there is a peculiar silence on the train. Mrs. Hubbard rings her bell and tells the conductor there is a man in her room. Poirot rings his bell for water, and the conductor informs him that the train is stuck in a snowbank before he hears a loud thump next door. The next morning, the train is still stopped and M. Bouc informs Poirot that Ratchett has been murdered and the murderer is still aboard. Poirot tells M. Bouc he will investigate the case. He first examines Ratchett's body and compartment. He discovers the following: the body has 12 stab wounds, the window had been left open, presumably to trick the investigators into thinking the murderer escaped, even though there are no footprints in the snow, a handkerchief with the initial 'H', a pipe cleaner, a round match different from the matches Ratchett used, and a charred piece of paper with the name 'Armstrong' on it. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT ????