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4:50 from Paddington

(Miss Marple #8)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  38,210 ratings  ·  1,897 reviews
Elspeth McGillicuddy is not given to hallucinations. Until she witnesses a murder at Paddington Station. But did she? No victim, no suspect, no other witnesses. In fact no one believes it really happened at all. Except her friend Miss Jane Marple, and she's returning to the scene of the crime to discover just exactly what Mrs. McGillicuddy saw.

Also published as
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 30th 2007 by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (first published November 4th 1957)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  38,210 ratings  ·  1,897 reviews

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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 in book rio
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 from Paddington that feelsher:
Simona Bartolotta
"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 without moving forwa•This
Ahmad Sharabiani
4:50 from Paddington (Miss Marple, #8), original publication year 1957
Characters: Miss Jane Marple, Lucy Eyelesbarrow, Mrs McGillicuddy.
Abstract: Having done her Christmas shopping, Mrs McGillicuddy relaxes happily in a train. Then another train, going in the same direction, draws abreast and for some minutes the two trains proceed side by side. That has happened to all of us. But in a first class carriage of the second train, Mrs McGillicuddy sees, to her horror, a man strangling a woman ... then the second train ga/>/>
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.
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


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, yo
Jason Koivu
Jan 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, mystery, fiction
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.

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
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
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
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!
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.
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This classic Marple story gets an 'F' from me:

Fast. Fun. Fantastic.

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
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I still have no clue who Lucy Eyelesbarrow is supposed to marry... :)
samantha  (books-are-my-life20)
This was a cute one
Susan in NC
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've seen the BBC Joan Hickson version of this very enjoyable mystery, and I thought I had read it, but now I'm not so sure...well, it was a five-star mystery for me! I started reading Christie in middle and high school and my library had more Poirots than Marples, and I was hooked. I still enjoy Hercule and his little grey cells, but I've come to appreciate Miss Marple for her ruthless grasp of the darkest side of human nature and her mind "like a sink", as she admits. Miss M. is sharp as a tac ...more
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Anna Luce
★★✰✰✰ 2.5 stars

My least favourite of Christie's novels.
The beginning was entertaining enough and it promised to be one of her "train murders" (something along the lines of The Mystery of the Blue Train and Murder on the Orient Express). What follows instead is a banal mystery that is mostly concentrated on family dynamics and inheritance.
The characters were one-dimensional versions of those that appear in Christie's better works. The mystery, if we can call it that, is very thin, and the novel doesn't succeed in building andis
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 boys is/>
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Nice little murder mystery with The Agatha Christie twist at the end.
Miss Marple is by far one of my favourite detectives and has been since I was 11 years old. There is something about the knitting, nice lady that always rang very true with me. I love how she compares life tothat in her village and the way she can talk about murder without even giving a blink. This one is a really nice read.
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, crime
24-carat Golden Age...

When Elspeth McGillicuddy glances out of the window of her train carriage, she can see straight into another train that is running parallel to her own. As a blind flies up on the carriage opposite her, she is horrified to see a woman being strangled by a tall, dark man. Unable to do anything to prevent it, she reports it to the conductor. He suspects she's just been napping and has dreamt the whole thing, but he's a conscientious man so he reports the matter at the next
Julie Davis
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 authoriti
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Dear Agatha, she does it everytime doesn't she?! I just loved this, it's definitely one of the Marple adventures I like best!
Sitting in the middle of an autumn thunder storm with the heat cranked up and a whodunit by the fantastic Agatha Christie really is the perfect scenario.

Although 4.50 from Paddington was a slow build the end result was just wonderfully murderous. By half way through I was thoroughly puzzled by who it could possibly be, both the murderer and the murdered. The hows and whys and who were simply fantastic as one unlikely scenario after another is brought to attention with no simple explanation in s
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
On her way to stay with her old friend Jane Marple at St. Mary Mead for a few days before traveling to Ceylon to visit her son, Elspeth McGillicuddy glances out of her train window and sees, through the window of a train on a parallel track, a man strangling a woman. Soon the trains are no longer in sync, so she sees nothing more, but she reports the incident as soon as she reaches St. Mary Mead.

Neither the railway authorities nor the police can find any trace of a corpse, so Mrs. Mc
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Amy by: Rachel R
*applauds happily*
Agatha Christie does it again! I really thought I had figured this one out, but, as usual, I was totally off track. There a host of possible suspects and a team of good guys (led by the ever indominitible Miss Marple) to ferret out the villain. I really liked Lucy Eyelesbarrow (though what a last name! O.O) She reminded me a little of Dorothy L. Sayers's Harriet Vane.

Though I read a lot of Christie, I haven't read any of her Miss Marple adventures since high school. I
Nov 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Miss Marple followers
Recommended to Phayvanh by: library book sale
It probably helps to have read a few Miss Marple books before getting into this one--both to fully appreciate the cleverness, and to have a backstory to our "old pussy", as she is called in this book. In absolutley no time does Miss Marple deduce the the solution to the missing corpse. She also wastes no time in finding a suitable proxy to unlock the mysteries of Rutherford Hall for her.

Indeed, Lucy Eyelesbarrow, is as capable and clever as they come. And she is very likeable: practically
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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 translation.

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)
“The truth is people are an extraordinary mixture of heroism and cowardice.” 15 likes
“Don’t go,” said Cedric. “Murder has made you practically one of the family.” 6 likes
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