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The Train Now Departing: Two Novellas (The Train Now Departing and When 'The Mousetrap' Closes)

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3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  383 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Featuring the two novellas:The Train Now Departing and When “The Mousetrap” Closes

“Full of suspense and surprise. These carefully written little gems showcase Grimes at her best.”—Library Journal

“Grimes has created a work of value here, a book that expands her art, her reputation—and possibly her audience.”—The Richmond-Times Dispatch

“Atmospheric and chilling…Grimes [exhi
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Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by NAL (first published May 8th 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 649)
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Kathleen
Introspective, insightful, painfully honest, these two novellas depict the story of two middle-aged women living a self-imposed, solitary life. Their emotional isolation is interrupted by an accidental meeting with a stranger, a chance meeting that evolves into regular meetings over a period of time, life-changing, and with a personal cost.

The first woman, identified only by “she,” meets for lengthy, late lunches with a travel writer. For pages, the reader observes the dance of their conversatio
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Mimi
Dec 15, 2011 Mimi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of the best, underrated novellas I've read. Deserves more than just being put on sale or buried under stacks of unworthy other titles.
Mary
Dec 06, 2015 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a strange book and a bit boring. It has two main
characters, a man and a woman. The man is a travel writer
and goes to many foreign places. The young woman was left
a large sum of money by her parents. She was a teacher and
no longer saw the need to work. Each day she went to the
local train depot to eat meals and chat with the waitress.

When her gentleman friend, the writer, returned home from
his travels, they met for lunch. Their conversations were
mostly about the restaurants and food ser
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Lisa M.  Gott
Jan 04, 2016 Lisa M. Gott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love new releases, but sometimes we get so caught up with books of today, that we forget about books from yesterday. And I don’t mean the classics, either. But the ones nestled snuggly somewhere in between.

Instead of wandering through the library with a specific selection in mind, I like to wander and let the book choose me. It’s funny how that happens. And I’m not even sure how this little gem of a book leaped into my arms, but I’m so very glad it did.

The Train Now Departing features two nove
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JZ
Aug 19, 2012 JZ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diane
Jan 25, 2009 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two short stories about two different, but similar, women. Both are mature, lonely, quite-living but curious. Both meet mysterious men in a public place, strike up unlikely friendships, that unsurprisingly turn out to be one-sided. I related to these women in their frustrating but compelling friendships with aloof men more more than I would like. It was difficult to place the stories in period, until she let some little snippet drop about current events -- very tiny snippets, easily missed. I lo ...more
Ralph
Jul 17, 2013 Ralph rated it liked it
Martha Grimes is at her best when working with strong characters, a definite sense of place, and a good supporting cast for the main character(s) to play off of. In both of these novellas, she has none of those things. There is no real suspense in either "The Train Now Departing" or "When the Mousetrap Closes," and a sense of apprehension does appear for a bit in the later story it is unfulfilled, like a long rambling joke told by a stranger on a journey but which never quite gets around to havi ...more
Susan Liston
Oct 31, 2015 Susan Liston rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
I read the four and five star reviews and I agreed, these are two beautifully crafted stories. I preferred the second one, When The Mousetrap Closes, but overall both were very sad and depressing to me. (When I read a mystery/crime author I would like some nice murder and mayhem to cheer me up, thank you.) So the two star rating in this case is purely personal taste.
Rhialto
Apr 13, 2015 Rhialto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is in the same style as the Emma Graham series (oh when will there be a new one in that series?)with the introspective flow of consciousness with the clever story twist at the end. Alexander McCall Smith does this well, and both are superb story tellers.
Dora
Apr 22, 2014 Dora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first novella was a struggle to finish, although the redundancy reflected the relationship in the story. The second novella I found captivating. Grimes does a good job of developing emotions the reader can readily identify with.
Beni Bee
May 22, 2015 Beni Bee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the train now departing 4/5 and the mousetrap 5/5 I felt so hurt reading this . one can definitely relate to the emotions in this book. a slow read which I enjoyed for sure. it's rare but It was necessary to take this book slow and understand exactly how the characters felt. sigh
Becky Rippel
Mar 23, 2014 Becky Rippel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: donated
I have read all of the Richard Jury and a couple of her others and this just plodded along. There are two novellas in this book - the title and 'When The Mousetrap Closes' and both are equally lame.
M'heeraw
Jan 31, 2016 M'heeraw rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I could only get though the first novella. I found the story drawn out with and the character annoying. I wanted to see story progress but I felt like the whole story did not move an inch.
Lynda
Sep 16, 2014 Lynda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow and steady - two novellas that explore a relationship between a man and a woman.
John Sargent
Mar 18, 2015 John Sargent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nicely done. She doesn't have to write mysteries to be entertaining.
Wilbur
Sep 05, 2015 Wilbur rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martha Grimes channels Barbara Pym.
Toni
Jul 29, 2015 Toni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars
Patricia
Margaux
Sharon Holford
Jan 20, 2012 Sharon Holford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Well.......I guess I've now read all of Martha Grimes books. These two novellas are it.
The first one kind of bored me and the only thing that saved it was the ending.

The second one was predictable, but I liked it even if it wasn't very nice. Which goes along with
what the male character says to the woman - I don't think you'd like it. But I did.
Melanie
Sep 20, 2008 Melanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't the biggest fan of this book, but luckily is was a short read. It has a depressing tone all the way through it. Maybe a person has to dig in a little deeper to really understand the greatness of the story, but I wasn't left wanting to do so.
Jumana
Apr 10, 2013 Jumana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well-written, but very, very slow-moving. This is a compliation of two short stories about lonley, middle-aged women that become emotionally dependent on shallow relationships. The second story was more interesting than the first one.
Kimberly
Jun 27, 2009 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Consisted of two novellas on the subject of lonely women. The stories were well written and the characters so accurately portrayed as Grimes can do. The stories were not gripping, but pleasant quick reads.
Kristen
I really liked this author's writing style and particularly liked the second novella, "When the Mouse Trap Closes." I would have liked to see more development of the secondary characters, though.
Meme
Oct 09, 2009 Meme rated it liked it
This is a tiny book although it took me a while to get through it, although then I couldn't stop thinking about it. I wonder what the author's motivation for these stories was?
Annie
Aug 01, 2012 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
True to Mrs Grimes; well written and a good story (well, actually 2 stories but I'm still in the first one). I am definitely not disappointed and I knew I'd like this book.
Jim
There's a reproduction of an Edward Hopper painting on the front cover, which captures the essence of this lovely little book.
Sarah
Jul 25, 2011 Sarah added it
Well-crafted novellas about characters with small and contained lives that still hold exquisite curiosity about the larger world.
John Mccullough
Oct 15, 2012 John Mccullough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two novelettes which are only loosely related. As usual for Grimes, well-written. Unusually, not about crime.
Maurice
Feb 05, 2008 Maurice rated it really liked it
Ms Grimes' women cooly assess the men in their lives and the men fall far short of the women themselves.
Richard Demott
Jan 05, 2015 Richard Demott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
They were unique and interesting but not enough to make me search out other works by her.
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Martha Grimes is an American author of detective fiction.

She was born May 2 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to D.W., a city solicitor, and to June, who owned the Mountain Lake Hotel in Western Maryland where Martha and her brother spent much of their childhood. Grimes earned her B.A. and M.A. at the University of Maryland. She has taught at the University of Iowa, Frostburg State University, and Montg
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