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For an instant the two trains ran side by side. In that frozen moment, Elspeth McGillicuddy stared helplessly out of her carriage window as a man tightened his grip around a woman's throat. The body crumpled. Then the other train drew away. But who, apart from Mrs. McGillicuddy's friend Jane Marple, would take her story seriously? After all, there are no other witnesses, no suspects, and no case -- for there is no corpse, and no one is missing. Miss Marple asks her highly efficient and intelligent young friend Lucy Eyelesbarrow to infiltrate the Crackenthorpe family, who seem to be at the heart of the mystery, and help unmask a murderer.

Topics: Trains, Murder, Women Detectives, Inheritance, Family, Secrets, Private Investigators, Suspenseful, 1950s, Series, England, 20th Century, Female Author, and British Author

Published: HarperCollins on Mar 30, 2004
ISBN: 9780061738449
List price: $7.99
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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!read more
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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.read more
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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.read more
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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!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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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