Philip's Reviews > 4:50 from Paddington

4 by Agatha Christie
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Jun 22, 11

Read from June 19 to 22, 2011

Re-reading a Christie favorite, first read in 1974 under its U.S. title, WHAT MRS. MCGILLICUDDY SAW!, one of several novels Christie wrote concerning a murder on a train - as two trains run parallel to each other at the same speed, a window-shade snaps open and Mrs. McGillicuddy is startled to see a woman being soundly strangled by a man whose back is to the window . . . nobody in charge seems to believe her, but fortunately she's on her way to visit her friend, Jane Marple, who does, even though there are no reports of a body being found on the train or in the surrounding area where it happened.

6/22: Much as I like 4.50 FROM PADDINGON (mainly because of the fascinatingly awful Crackenthorpe family), I have to agree with Robert Barnard that "Miss Marple apparently solves the crime by divine guidance, for there is very little in the way of clues or logical deduction." Miss Marple is definitely on the sidelines here and not privy to much of what goes on (and nor are the police, for that matter). But it gets high marks for readability, and for its depiction of a dysfunctional family divided by money, including a cranky father who shockingly wastes no sentiment on the deaths of two of his sons.
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