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4:50 from Paddington

(Miss Marple #8)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  44,159 ratings  ·  2,267 reviews
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,
...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 30th 2007 by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (first published November 4th 1957)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  44,159 ratings  ·  2,267 reviews


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karen
fulfilling book riot's 2018 read harder challenge task #3: A classic of genre fiction AND #23: A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60. i didn't want to double up like this, but i have been neglecting this challenge for a couple of months and now i have to scramble.

i started this reading year off in a very ambitious frame of mind. in addition to setting my own reading goals as far as # of books to read and personal reading challenges, i decided to join the cool kids and participate i
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Ahmad Sharabiani
4:50 From Paddington (Miss Marple, #8), Agatha Christie

Mrs Elspeth McGillicuddy is on her way from a shopping expedition to visit her old friend Jane Marple for Christmas. Her train passes another train running parallel and in the same direction as her train.

Then, a blind in one compartment flies up and she sees a man with his back to her strangling a woman. She reports it to a sceptical ticket collector who passes the report for investigation.

When arriving at Miss Marple's cottage, she tells
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carol.
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christie fans, classic mystery fans

Mrs. McGillicuddy is traveling by train when she witnesses a woman being strangled in the train traveling alongside hers. She reports the incident and is promptly dismissed, leaving her to turn to her friend, the resourceful Miss Marple. Strange as it seems, Miss Marple believes her:

“Mrs. McGillicuddy looked at her without comprehension and Miss Marple reaffirmed her judgment of her friend as a woman of excellent principles and no imagination.”

I always forget about that brief section in 4:50 fro
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Simona B
"The truth is people are an extraordinary mixture of heroism and cowardice."

•I don't really want to consider Miss Marple's character a flaw in itself, but not only I don't particularly connect with her, she wasn't even present most of the time. Since the figure of the detective is one of the things I consider and value the most in a crime novel, I was disappointed. (Long story short, long live my favourite Belgian egghead.)

This investigation ran so long. It just dragged on and on for 200 pages
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Brina
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Labor Day weekend is here, marking the end of summer. What an extraordinary summer it has been: almost no baseball, no trip to the beach, and pretty much all of my time devoted to reading. This year I have rekindled my enjoyment in reading Agatha Christie’s cases. I have long read mysteries in between denser prose and nonfiction to clear my palette, but I have found myself craving Dame Christie not as a palette cleanser but to see if I could put fit the pieces of the puzzle together and figure o ...more
Anne
Lucy Eyelesbarrow is the best thing about this book. Loved her. Why is she not in more books?
She and Miss Marple were just an unbeatable team!

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However, that ending came out of nowhere like a giant ex machina sky-beam.
No. I do not agree with that one at all. I normally don't mind when Christie makes someone unlikely character the murderer, but this one was poorly done.
POORLY DONE.
Everything from the slipshod way the murderer was 'identified' by the witness to the idiotic reasoning behind the murde
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megs_bookrack
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This classic Marple story gets an 'F' from me:

Fast. Fun. Fantastic.

...more
Adrian
An excellent Miss Marple, with her at her very best, ably assisted by Lucy Eyelesbarrow. A great story, very original, with a large cast of possible suspects or are they possible victims.
Well woven as ever by the Mistress of Crime into a story with a number of red herrings and a wonderful denouement. Certainly worth a read.
daph pink
8/82(after reading 7 successful books of her this was bit disappointment for me...)
..................
I have nothing against Miss. Marple I love her so much maybe not as much as I love Poirot but this book didn't work for me!
Mike
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So let's say you are an elderly Scottish woman. While you are returning from a day of christmas shopping in the city you happen to glance out the train window and see something quite unsettling in a neighboring train: A MURDER

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No one else is around and when you report this terrible, unsettling crime you are met with severe skepticism. What is one to do? You've just seen a woman killed, you have no idea what the murderer looks like, and you are afraid you one will believe the rambling of a silly o
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Susan
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mrs Elspeth Gillicuddy is returning from Christmas shopping to visit her friend when a train, going in the opposite direction to the one she is travelling on, stops opposite her carriage and she witnesses a murder. Nobody believes her story, but, of course, the friend she is visiting is Miss Marple, who is very willing – not only to believe her, but to investigate.

Having deduced the likely place for a body to be left, Miss Marple involves the super efficient Lucy Eyelesbarrow to take work at Ru
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Jason Koivu
Jan 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery, crime
An enjoyable quickie. Fittingly, it's the sort of mystery quick-fix you could finish on a train, say London to York...or better yet, London to Paris!

In 4.50 from Paddington an old lady witnesses what she believes is a murder on another train traveling alongside hers. The police have nothing to go on besides her story and they're disinclined to believe her. In steps Miss Marple, that aged busybody. With the help of a young acquaintance, Marple strings together the evidence from the sidelines.

In
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Carolyn
Agatha Christie's writing and skill at plotting mysteries is such that her books stand up so well to time and still seem fresh today despite being published over 60 years ago.

This is one of my favourite Miss Marple novels, where her friend, Elspeth Gillycuddy swears she saw a woman being strangled in a train going past hers. However, as no body is later reported, no one believes her. Except Miss Marple of course, who sets about figuring where the body could have been dumped out of the train and
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Alex
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Began so well. Such an intriguing story line. An old woman travelling by herself on a train to Paddington, witnesses a man strangling a woman in a train that moves parallely with her train. For a split second she sees the act, then her train overtakes the other. Shocked, she informs the ticket collector as well as the police, both of them think she had lost her mind. Luckily her friend is Miss Jane Marple who believes in her and is excited too. Eager to know the identity of the murdered woman, b ...more
jade
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of classic murder mysteries & clever banter
Recommended to jade by: Shannon
Shelves: murder-mysteries
“like a general planning a possible battle, miss marple thought through the facts for and against further action.”

that quote above perfectly illustrates miss marple in this novel. she’s a general coordinating her troops, playing grandmaster chess in the background while nobody even realizes it, and then in the end the trap snaps shut around the murderer.

anyway, it all starts when mrs. mcgillycuddy goes home from christmas shopping on the train, happily gazing out the window -- until
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Stephanie Anze
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
Mrs. Elspeth McGillicuddy is riding the train after Christmas shopping. When her wagon and the one parallel to hers stop briefly, Mrs. McGillicuddy witnesses a man strangling a woman and her body falling limp to the ground. Then, the trains move again. She reports what she saw to the conductor but he does not take her seriously. Good thing Mrs. McGillicuddy is on her way to visit her friend Jane Marple. She relates what she saw and Miss Marple believes her and launches her own investigation into ...more
Phrynne
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
A quick, fun easy read! I always enjoy Miss Marple and in this story she is at her sleuthing best. This book was originally published in 1957 and yet it still reads so well. In fact reading it is just the same as reading one of today's cozy mysteries set just after the war. And the best thing is I don't think I will ever have read all her books - there are just so many!
Melindam
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I still have no clue who Lucy Eyelesbarrow is supposed to marry... :)
Nandakishore Varma
I am a person who loves trains. Absolutely. I can keep on staring out of the windows of a moving train for hours, watching the landscape go by, trying to construct imaginary histories of the people glimpsed.

Well, Mrs. McGillicudy saw something much more exciting - and frightening. She saw a man choking a woman to death on the nearby train, as both trains ran parallel for a few minutes. Now without a clue, without a location, and without even a body, Miss Marple has to solve the case - but solve
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David Schaafsma
I am rushing to read all of the Miss Marple mysteries, enjoying them less than Christie's Poirots, but I always find something to recommend in them, even if don't love them. First, she is the World Master of these kinds of cozy mysteries. And how amusing to have this old "pussy" (her own word for herself! Lay off me!) unbelievably invited by the police to help them solve all these small town murders.

The best thing about this (in spite of the fact that a few Christie murders happen on trains) is
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Andrea Cox
Oh, the mystery! I don’t know why I haven’t read Miss Christie’s books before. She knew how to spin a great tale! From the intriguing characters to the twists and turns, I was hooked all the way through this one. Yep, I moved it to my to-purchase list, despite the two dozen expletives and a handful of profanities. The story is one that I’ll read a few more times in my life, I’m sure. It’s gripping and interesting and one to study if one would like to learn how to write a great mystery.

Content: A
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Ken
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Christie is firing on all cylinders it’s just a joy to be reading one of her mysteries. This Miss Marple Adventure has the perfect amount of mystery and suspense with a fascinating hook that drew me in straight from the start.
I got so engrossed that I read the whole novel within a day!

Just as two trains are passing parallel to each other, passenger Mrs. Elspeth McGillicuddy witness a women being strangled in the other carriage.
Informing her friend Jane Marple who believes her account spark
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samantha  (books-are-my-life20)
This was a cute one
Luffy
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Huzzah, I guessed the identity of the murderer correctly. I hit on his identity fairly early, when only one of the three murders had been committed. I didn't know anything else. Sadly to say, I couldn't guess the identity of the strangled lady. What propelled this book to 5 stars is the enormous interest I had for the first murder, which was evil in character but also very exciting to read about. Then there's the two basic murders of the brothers. They catch you unawares. They highlight the firs ...more
Emily
The mystery in this one is simply okay - a little bit more fantastical than other Christie books - but Lucy Eyelesbarrow, competent domestic-for-hire, makes up for that. And Miss Marple is at the absolute top of her game. This book made me laugh out loud more than once:

“Listen, darling,” said Lucy. “Are we investigating crime, or are we match-making?”

Miss Marple twinkled.

Also, as Claire says, the amount of people in this book who think that murder is a perfectly appropriate hobby for two bo
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Jack Heath
5 Stars. What an imagination Ms. Christie had. Talented as a writer, talented as a story teller, but extraordinary at transforming everyday experiences into the basic ingredients of a novel. Two trains going in the same direction, one passing the other. It may not happen as often these days, but in the era before the ascendency of the private car, it would have happened daily in England to thousands. In that instant a murder takes place in one, which is witnessed in the other. No one believes Mi ...more
Julie Davis
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up on Kindle's daily deal sale not long ago. It is just what I needed and I forgot just how easy it is to sink into an Agatha Christie mystery.

This has always been one of my favorite Christie books. Mrs. McGillicuddy wakes from a nap on a train to see another train has pulled exactly alongside them for a moment ... when a window shade snaps up she becomes the witness to a man strangling a woman before the other train sweeps the scene from sight. Ignored by the authorities when she
...more
Ruth
4:50 from Paddington was just the classic English
country house mystery I love to read. Agatha
Christie captures the readers from the start when
Mrs. McGillicuddy's train runs parallel to another,
she witnesses a woman being strangled to death.
Who was she? What happened to the body?
Miss Marple brilliantly puts together a plan,
enlisting the aid of a clever Miss Lucy
Eyelesbarrow, overseeing the case throughout
book. It always intrigues me how a sweet
harmless "old" lady can bring down the most
for
...more
Cyndi
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Nice little murder mystery with The Agatha Christie twist at the end.
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
Book 7 for the Miss Marple challenge. This is another of my favourites in the Miss Marple series with an interesting puzzle and a denouement that takes one (or at least took me) entirely by surprise. When Elspeth McGuillicuddy witnesses a murder on a train journey back from London after Christmas shopping, the railway authorities believe it to be only a dream and the police can find no evidence—and no body. Luckily for her (but not for the murderer), Mrs McGuillicuddy had been on her way to meet ...more
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42,426 followers
Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in t
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Other books in the series

Miss Marple (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1)
  • The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple, #2)
  • The Body in the Library (Miss Marple, #3)
  • The Moving Finger (Miss Marple, #4)
  • A Murder Is Announced (Miss Marple, #5)
  • They Do It with Mirrors (Miss Marple, #6)
  • A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple, #7)
  • The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (Miss Marple, #9)
  • A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple, #10)
  • At Bertram's Hotel (Miss Marple, #11)

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