Aboard the original Orient Express for the first time, Agatha Christie’s great-grandson James Prichard reminisced on how the Queen of Crime became enchanted with the fabled locomotive, and how its legendary route to the exotic east not only inspired one of her most famous novels, “Murder on the Orient Express,” but it defined her.“The Orient Express changed her life,” Prichard told The Associated Press.Christie first travelled on the iconic Orient Express in 1928 during the most painful moment in her life, after Prichard’s great-grandfather, Archie Christie, walked out on her.
“She wanted a holiday and someone suggested she went on an archaeological dig in Syria,” Prichard said. For a woman travelling solo in that era, the trip was “extraordinarily brave and adventurous,” he added. She met an archaeologist on the trip, Max Mallowan, who became her second husband, and they travelled via the Orient Express for years to digs in the Middle East. “That was their commute, that’s how they got there,” Prichard said.Prichard spoke about the family matriarch while travelling from Paris to France’s Champagne region on a train chartered by 20th Century Fox to mark the home entertainment release this month of director Kenneth Branagh’s movie “Murder on the Orient Express.” The train’s star-studded cast includes Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp.