Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Mystery of the Blue Train

The Mystery of the Blue Train. Agatha Christie. 1928/2011. HarperCollins. 320 pages.

I have gradually come to appreciate--dare I say even love?--Hercule Poirot. Even so, this one took three or four chapters to take to this one. At first I thought I couldn't even finish it, I just didn't like the flow of the first few chapters, introducing all these people (often nameless), the focus on a piece of jewelry, all this big build-up before introducing the main characters, etc. The story was oh-so-slow to start. But then at one point, everything started to click, started to move, and the novel became much better.

So what is this one about? Well, let's start with the victim, Ruth Kettering. She's in a very unhappy marriage. She's in love with someone else, her husband is in lust with someone else. (Well, to be fair, I think she's in lust with someone else too. Except I think she honestly thinks that that lust is love, while I think the husband, Derek, is more realistic and realizes it is what it is.) Her affair being somewhat mostly private and out of the public's eyes, his not so much, he's "in lust" with an exotic dancer. Ruth's father is an American millionaire, and he is pressuring her to divorce her husband and start over. When the novel really opens, he's gifting her with some very, very, very expensive and oh-so-rare jewels, rubies. These are gems with a PAST and then some. Several weeks, if not several months, go by, and the novel next opens with a train trip. Ruth is on her way to meet her lover, her husband and his mistress just happen to be on the same train, and yet supposedly no one knows this. But perhaps it isn't right to start with the victim? Since the main character, the main character besides Poirot, is a young woman who's just recently inherited money. Katherine. This is truly more her story. For she's on the train as well, and she met Ruth just hours before her death. The two took a liking to one another, and Ruth confided in her a good deal. Even told Katherine how uneasy she felt about this trip, like something horrible was going to happen to her.

It was easy to see why Katherine was so likable. It really was. This Agatha Christie novel was good. I wouldn't say that it's one of the best, best, best mystery novels ever. Christie wrote so many, so many GREAT novels, that it would be hard for this one to make the top five or top ten, but it is definitely a good novel. I liked it!!!

Read The Mystery of the Blue Train
  • If you're a fan of Agatha Christie
  • If you're a fan of Hercule Poirot
  • If you're a fan of British mysteries, especially British mysteries set on a train 

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Ah, I LOVE me some Ms. Christie! This one I haven't read but it looks great.