Reader reviews for 4:50 from Paddington

One of the classics -- I've probably read it two or three times, since as Ogden Nash once said, "One Christie book is as good as a lib'ry." Other than Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, I can never remember whodunit!
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While traveling by train, Elspeth McGillicuddy witnesses a murder taking place in a train car that's on an adjacent track. She reports it to the porters and train officials as well as the police when she reaches her destination. However, because there were no other witnesses and no body can be found, no one believes her ... except her good friend Miss Marple. I usually read the Hercule Poirot books. Prior to this one, I had only read two other Miss Marple books and didn't enjoy them as much as I enjoy Poirot. However, this one was definitely an exception. I was hooked on this book right from the start. It seemed like Miss Marple was more of a minor character in this story, but it was still a really good story with a good cast of characters and very well written and a great setting. I will definitely be reading more Miss Marple now.
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Just finished listening to this one and I still enjoy it!Mrs. McGillicuddy was going to visit her friend in the country when she witnesses a murder in the train next to hers. Trouble is, no one believes her. And when no body is discovered, they all conclude she's one of those batty old ladies with more imagination than sense.All except her friend, Jane Marple. Miss Marple knows her friend has very little imagination and a high regard for the truth. So she sets off to discover a body.
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Mrs McGillicuddy sees a women being murder on a train but no one believes her, with the exception of her friend Jane Marple. When the body doesn't turn up Miss Marple enlists the help of Lucy Eylesbarrow to find the body and discover just who murdered the woman and why. This is classic Christie complete with red herrings and misdirection and the revelation of the murderer is a complete surprise - and I love how Miss Marple manages to identify him.
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This was my first time reading an Agatha Christie novel (after having seen many adaptations on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery program) and I have to say that it was just delightful!

The majority of the novel takes place at a large manor in rural England - the perfect place for a murder mystery in my opinion - and we follow along as Lucy Eyelesbarrow and Dermot Craddock investigate the lives and histories of the Crackenthorpe family, all under the unassuming direction of the elderly Miss Marple, our detective extraordinaire whose age prevents her from doing most of the poking around.

While I would have liked to have seen more of Miss Marple in the story, I understand that this is a later book and that Christie was likely using the opportunity to develop other sleuth characters. She did a wonderful job developing the character of Lucy, and there's plenty of the splendid Miss Marple in the end. I imagine that earlier novels will feature Miss Marple more front-and-center, and might recommend one of those as an introduction to her detective work.

Christie seems to have a way of convincingly leading you on as you try to solve the murder before the reveal, then just when you think you've got it, obliterating all notions of that accusation forcing you to start back at square one. While I was almost certain that I knew "whodunit" even before most of the characters, I was utterly surprised in the final chapters when Miss Marple swooped in to neatly frame and explain what she had deduced. And while it might seem a little fantastical to assume that all but the old lady had wool pulled over their eyes, the entire plot was believable and had no gaping unexplained or implausible holes.

While I can't recommend this book for any sort of intellectually-broadening characteristics, I do very much recommend it as a well-written and entertaining novel (especially for the Anglophile) and as a great alternative to the much inferior cop-dramas that litter the TV listings.
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I was sooo close to figuring this one out!The mystery takes a little while to get rolling. I had to put it aside a couple of times. It took until about page 70 for the story to pick up.
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One of the classics -- I've probably read it two or three times, since as Ogden Nash once said, "One Christie book is as good as a lib'ry." Other than Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, I can never remember whodunit!
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This is the second book that I've read in the Agatha Christie summer reading challenge. In this novel we find that Miss Marple's friend has witnessed a murder on the opposite train when the two trains were crossing paths. She only got a brief glimpse and so she cannot identify the murderer or his victim. From these tenuous beginnings Miss Maple is able to puzzle out the solution to the mystery. She is joined on her quest by Miss Lucy Eyelesbarrow who is a professional domestic servant and amateur sleuth. Lucy is a really fun character and I really enjoyed reading about her. The thing I especially love about these mysteries is the timeless quality to them. While some things in them are old fashioned the murders themselves never are. I think you could take the case in the this story change the names and come up with something that happened recently. I love Miss Marple and look forward to exploring more. For now I am off to investigate another Agatha Christie character, Hercule Poirot. I hope to finish Three Act Tragedy in time for the airing of the Masterpiece Classic movie this Sunday.
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Another one in third person, not first person. It could have been even more fun, I think, if it'd been from a character's point of view -- perhaps Lucy's, since I thought she was a fun character, and I rather hope she shows up again in future... Doubtful, but you never know. She was the most interesting part of it, for me, with her cheerfully getting on with things and working hard and doing detective work at the same time. More of her in general would have been nice -- maybe more of her potential romances, too.

The misdirection was quite well done in this one, since I had no idea who it could be -- I suspected everyone by turns, I think. I knew 'whodunnit' from someone else's review, before I got to the end, so I'm not sure I'd say there were adequate clues to figure it out for yourself, though...
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While traveling by train, Elspeth McGillicuddy witnesses a murder taking place in a train car that's on an adjacent track. She reports it to the porters and train officials as well as the police when she reaches her destination. However, because there were no other witnesses and no body can be found, no one believes her ... except her good friend Miss Marple. I usually read the Hercule Poirot books. Prior to this one, I had only read two other Miss Marple books and didn't enjoy them as much as I enjoy Poirot. However, this one was definitely an exception. I was hooked on this book right from the start. It seemed like Miss Marple was more of a minor character in this story, but it was still a really good story with a good cast of characters and very well written and a great setting. I will definitely be reading more Miss Marple now.
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