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The latter point is best encapsulated in the review by Francesca Steele in The Spectator on November 4, Many of her early novels are resolutely set in the Cold War launched by the Bolshevik Revolution. Lenin and Trotsky were mere puppets. Poirot of course eventually thwarts them, but the threat is very real. Li Chang Yen, the chief villain of that piece, a real Fu-Manchu, is scarcely the isolated murderer of polite society. Nor is this a one-off. Bolshevik conspirators are found in other Christie works of the s, as in the first Tommy and Tuppence adventure, The Secret Adversary , in which the Bolsheviks are linked to the IRA, to left-wing unions, and to a traitor within.

Murder on the Orient Express - Teachers Guide by Novel Units, Inc.

The lack of appearance of a struggle suggests that Ratchett was unconscious before he was stabbed, and Poirot notes the smell of a sleep aid barbital in the coffee that had been delivered to Ratchett the night before. As typical in murder mysteries, everyone is a suspect, and each character takes a turn as the most likely killer. In case some readers are unfamiliar with the resolution, I won't give any more details away, but if you've seen other versions of the story, you may still be surprised by the conclusion to this film.

Different companies ran trains on different routes, but the end points were consistent. For the vast majority of the Orient Express 's existence, steam locomotives pulled the trains over mountain passes and through long tunnels.

Read Along "Murder on the Orient Express" ch.4-5 audio book

It was a significant feat of engineering to get train tracks through such difficult terrain, and we see both bridges and tunnels in the film. The film's depiction of steam power gives teachers a chance to discuss energy conversion and some of water's striking properties.

Murder on the orient express worksheet

A steam engine converts the chemical energy of a fuel typically wood or coal into the kinetic energy of the train by heating water past its boiling point, and making steam. Expanding steam pushes pistons that drive the wheels. Water is an amazingly good substance to use for this because it stores a huge amount of energy in the conversion from liquid to gas. It takes a lot of fuel to heat water and make it change phase from liquid to gas in chemistry, we say that water has a large latent heat of vaporization.

That means that when steam reverts to liquid, a lot of energy is released.

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Every stroke of a steam engine causes some of the steam to change back into liquid water as it gives up its thermal energy to the motion of the piston. Steam locomotives pulled trains from the early s all the way up to the s, when they were replaced globally by diesel-electric engines.

All you need to keep a steam train going is a supply of wood or coal and water for the boiler.

Murder on the Orient Express - Teacher Guide by Novel Units

Old westerns often show the water tower next to the railroad tracks, where trains would refill their tanks. The abundance of wood and coal, the flexibility of fuels, and simplicity of the engine all contributed to its longevity. Trains in the United States switched to diesel fuel a bit earlier than those in other countries because of large desert areas in the southwestern states.