Wednesday, February 02, 2011

4:50 From Paddington

4:50 From Paddington. Agatha Christie. 1957/2007. Black Dog & Leventhal. 288 pages.

Mrs. McGillicuddy panted along the platform in the wake of the porter carrying her suitcase. Mrs. McGillicuddy was short and stout, the porter was tall and free-striding. 

Mrs. McGillicuddy was returning from a busy day Christmas shopping, she certainly didn't expect to witness a murder. No, when she boarded her train, she had no idea that she'd witness a murder--a man strangling a woman--on another train, a passing train. It's a shock to be sure. What's even more shocking, perhaps, though frustrating may be the better word, is the fact that no one believes her story. No one except Miss Marple, her friend. So despite the fact that Mrs. McGillicuddy reported the crime--and Miss Marple joined forces with her to report the crime to all the proper people, this crime remains a non-crime. Why? No body was found on the train. No body was found on the tracks. But Miss Marple knows that her friend is telling the truth. And she's willing to hire someone--a younger woman, Lucy Eyelesbarrow, to help her find the body and solve the case. Will they find the body? Will they learn her identity? Will they be able to find the murderer? Can they reason together his motive for the crime? The first step, for Miss Marple, is to make a reasonable guess as to where a body could be thrown from the train (and concealed). Lucy then takes her place at the closest residence--a large estate, it happens to be, as a servant. She'll "snoop" around to see if she can find the body. And if she does, when she does, she may just stick around to see if the family has been involved in the crime...

I enjoyed this one. I enjoyed Miss Lucy Eyelesbarrow! I did. And, of course, I loved Miss Marple. I found this a satisfying, compelling read!

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kailana 11:19 AM  

If I give in and start this series, where should I start?

Kate {The Parchment Girl} 11:56 AM  

This looks like my kind of mystery! I think I read an Agatha Christie when I was a kid, but I wasn't big on it then. I think it will suit me just fine now...

Becky 1:44 PM  

I believe The Murder at the Vicarage is the first Miss Marple mystery novel (1930). Though she appeared in one of Agatha Christie's short stories in 1927--according to wikipedia. So Murder at the Vicarage or Tuesday Night Club might be good starting places!

I do hope you enjoy!

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