The 4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie
6th December 2019. 5 stars.
I loved this whodunit from start to finish. It begins when the wonderfully named Elspeth McGillicuddy boards a train. She has no idea she’s about to witness a murder during her journey. Or did she imagine it as the police can find no body or evidence of a crime? Miss Marple is in no doubt that her friend saw what she saw and embarks on an ingenious plan to discover the location of the body. It’s uncovered within an old barn at Rutherford Hall, home to the dysfunctional Crackenthorpe family.
As with any classic whodunit, there are plenty of suspects, false trails and red herrings, and further deaths.
It’s all done with great imagination and style. The characters are sharply drawn with the minimum of fuss and allowed full rein to confuse and confound the reader. The carefully crafted plot ticks along at a steady pace, weaving here and there to build the suspense and intrigue before Miss Marple works it all out with great logic and insight to fill in the gaps in the police investigation.
One bonus I wasn’t expecting was the warm humour, best displayed by the author’s social commentary. It added another layer to my enjoyment of a story that holds up well against any of today’s crime fiction. If you enjoy a cunning cosy mystery, delivered with style and panache, you won’t go wrong with this story.
Agatha Christie’s audacious mystery thriller, reissued with a striking cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.
For an instant the two trains ran together, side by side. In that frozen moment, Elspeth witnessed a murder. Helplessly, she stared out of her carriage window as a man remorselessly tightened his grip around a woman’s throat. The body crumpled. Then the other train drew away.
But who, apart from Miss Marple, would take her story seriously? After all, there were no suspects, no other witnesses… and no corpse.
Tags: Agatha Christie, Crime fiction, Humour, Murder mystery