Thursday, 12 May 2016

This Black Friday the real SS Orient is back from the dead!

Today I'm donning my finest boat shoes and popping on the captain's hat for the official launch of the Agatha Christie Book Club 2—Murder on the Orient (SS). But don't worry! 

I'm not going to bore you senseless with a sales pitch here—check out your preferred e-retailer for that. Instead I'm going to remind you where I got the idea from and how true synchronicity works, courtesy of my Author's Note from the book (see below). 

I think the backstory is almost as fascinating as my novel. Damn, there I go with the sales pitch…

S.S Orient (5,390 tons),  Orient liner which made its maiden voyage to
                     Australia in 1879. From a lithograph after T.G. Dutton at the National
                     Maritime Museum, Greenwich, U.K. (PAH5285) 

Murder on the Orient (SS): A Note from the Author

"When I started conjuring up the second adventure for the Agatha Christie Book Club I wanted to take them on an exotic journey à la the infamous Orient Express, one of my favourite Poirot settings, and began looking around for ideas.

Boy, did I get lucky!
Worsley, William. The S.S. Orient galop [music] - Front Cover

In the early 1900s, there really was a classic steamship called the SS Orient that sailed between London and Sydney, via the Suez Canal and The Cape. According to my research, it was a gleaming ship, full of glamorous characters and several rather dubious deaths, and proved a perfect fit for my book club friends. While I have changed some details, including the original itinerary, for the sake of this contemporary plot, much of the information about the ship is authentic and can be found in the bibliography.

Sadly, however, the SS Orient has not been recommissioned nor is there a real-life replica floating about as I have imagined here, but an author can dream can’t she?

And a book club can jump aboard for the ride…
Bon voyage!"

For more info on the (real) SS Orient 
The SS Orient Story by Roy Clifford and Dave Knight

Happy reading, everyone, and I hope you enjoy the voyage.
xo Christina

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