4:50 from Paddington – Review

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4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie
Age: Adult
Genre: Mystery
Location: England
Source: Public Library
Publisher: Signet Classics 
ISBN: 0451200519
217 Pages

This book was read as part of the Miss Marple feature, hosted at The Sunday Book Review.

This week’s discussion is centered around the Miss Marple novel: 4:50 From Paddington, or What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! 

On a typical train ride to visit a dear friend, Elspeth McGillicuddy witnesses a most severe and heinous murder through the window into a train headed in the opposite direction. With no one believing what she saw, Mrs. McGillicuddy turns to her friend Miss Jane Marple for advice. Soon Miss Marple is on the case, leading us through a series of events and clues as she tries to solve the murder of the mysterious woman.

Following the classic mystery formula, I think fans of Dashiell Hammett will really appreciate this book because of its wit, humor, characters and the twisting plotline. I tried to guess who-dun-it numerous times and was wrong at each turn. I adored all the characters, especially Miss Marple. She reminded me of Angela Lansbury from the Murder She Wrote TV series I used to watch as a child. This was my first Agatha Christie book and I deeply regret I never read her work earlier. There were quite a few mentions of other mysteries that she solved sprinkled throughout this novel. I would have loved to known about those crimes and how she solved them.

Digging into the death of the mysterious woman, Miss Marple and her aides are led into the Crackenthorpe estate. This is a home of greedy children, a miserly old father, tension and frustration oozing throughout the family members. Anyone and everyone in associated with Rutherford Hall is a suspect, but just who is the suspect? That is cleverly disguised through various clues, alibis, subsequent murders taking place.

Join the discussion of 4:50 from Paddington at The Sunday Book Review and be a part of the Cooling Down with AC group this summer.

Book 26 of 2011

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