4:50 from Paddington (Miss Marple #8) 4 discussion


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[Potential spoilers] Driving me crazy: who does Lucy "obviously" choose?

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message 1: by Carly (last edited Sep 10, 2012 10:13AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carly At the end of this book, someone asks Miss Marple who Lucy will choose and she responds, "Isn't it obvious?" or something similar. Well, it wasn't to me. So, if you are a more acute reader, do you know who does Lucy choose (view spoiler). So, does anyone else who read this have an idea? Thanks!


Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* Wow surprised someone posted this as this has bugged me for years. Not obvious to me at all >:( I hate cliffhangers of any kind. Really I have no idea who she chose.


Carly Erin wrote: "Wow surprised someone posted this as this has bugged me for years. Not obvious to me at all >:( I hate cliffhangers of any kind. Really I have no idea who she chose."
Glad I'm not the only one! :)


Angela Lucy chooses the policeman who was a friend of Miss Marple's - Dermot Craddock. ;-) It's very understated, but it is there.


Susan I don't know... a case could be made that it's Bryan Easley... She gets along well with Alexander, and Bryan definitely needs someone like Lucy in his life.

It would definitely make Miss Marple happy if Lucy was with Dermot Craddock, but the case could be made for either of them.


Julie She kept remembering the pig sty so I think it was the Cedric--didn't she have a conversation with him by the pig sty. I know Alexander wanted her to marry his dad, but Miss Marple was against him, I think.


Domino The tv series starring Joan Hickson as Miss Marple had Lucy choosing Brian.

The main competition was a very worldly Cedric and Miss Marple discusses the matter in a very lovely matter of fact way, at the end.

I felt really bad for Emma.

The newer series starring Geraldine McEwan had an invented police character called Inspector Tom Campbell who Miss Marple knew. Lucy and he ended up together I think.

I loved both the tv series. They are so stylish and beautiful to look at. I love the actress playing Lucy in the Joan Hickson version.

Great question.


message 8: by Ili (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ili Angela wrote: "Lucy chooses the policeman who was a friend of Miss Marple's - Dermot Craddock. ;-) It's very understated, but it is there."

How do you figure that actually? I'm really curious because I breezed through the book so I might have missed the signs that pointed to Dermot Craddock.


message 9: by Carly (last edited Jan 23, 2013 06:25PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carly Ili wrote: "Angela wrote: "Lucy chooses the policeman who was a friend of Miss Marple's - Dermot Craddock. ;-) It's very understated, but it is there."

How do you figure that actually? I'm really curious beca..."

I love the idea also, but I am unconvinced. The BBC adaptation decided to swing for Craddock--it does make for an excellent ending--but in a later book ("The Mirror Crack'd"), he is still unmarried, which makes it seem more doubtful.

**edited to include quote from The Mirror Crack'd**
"'Perhaps you are married, Chief-Inspector?' Dermot Craddock shook his head. 'I have not so far that good, or bad fortune,' he murmured."


message 10: by Caleb (last edited Mar 30, 2013 04:07PM) (new) - added it

Caleb Peiffer Domino wrote: "The tv series starring Joan Hickson as Miss Marple had Lucy choosing Brian."

And I agree with their interpretation. I think Lucy was the sort of woman who would have sooner married Brian--certainly not Cedric. I forget who else was involved. Practically everyone was vying for her hand, weren't they?

Without saying too much, after reading "The Sittaford Murder" (A.K.A. "Murder at Hazelmoor"), which features a similar albeit entirely unrelated romantic situation, I am further convinced that Lucy would have chosen Brian.


message 11: by ^ (new) - rated it 3 stars

^ I’ve always believed Agatha Christie’s greatest ‘strength’ to lie in her remarkable ability to convince her reader that she’s written a classic whodunnit; with a satisfying exposé at the end of the book; which describes the totality of evidence and the entire process of deductive reasoning... except that if the reader looks closely, either the ‘evidence’ doesn’t seem to quite stack up convincingly, or ‘new’ so-called evidence, previously unseen & un-hinted at, is introduced.

But to be fair to Mrs Christie, I’ve never actually worked through one of her books methodically documenting the evidence & matching it line by line to the ‘solution. Life’s too short for that! What I describe in the paragraph above is merely my strong impression.

Lucy's fate included!


message 12: by Carly (last edited Apr 18, 2013 12:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carly ^ wrote: "I’ve always believed Agatha Christie’s greatest ‘strength’ to lie in her remarkable ability to convince her reader that she’s written a classic whodunnit; with a satisfying exposé at the end of the..."

Certainly she is fantastic at making the reader feel foolish at the end, but I'm not convinced there's not something genuine about they mystery itself. I used to read her books as puzzles, methodically trying to figure out the murderer.
How "fair" or "logical" the story is depends on the book. And Then There Were None just isn't a fair mystery; although you might feel at the end that the guilty party was obvious, it's just not actually true during the story. Orient Express is another basically unguessable one. Ackroyd drops clues, but since it breaks one of the "rules of detection," it's also basically unguessable. I also tend to find Miss Marple stories to be more opaque.
But many of the more straightforward Hercules Poirot ones--Death on the Nile, Cards on the Table, Evil Under the Sun, etc-- actually are, to my mind, very well-done puzzle stories.

When I compare her to any other mystery series, except maybe the rather tedious Doctor Thorndyke, I think she tends to set up the best puzzles: difficult, but with sufficient clues. For comparison, take Sayers or Marsh (you can guess the killer within 50 pages) or P.D. James (the villains have such opaque motives that nine times out of ten, she relies on a posthumous audio recording to explain their rationale.) Christie's style is similar to Holmes, except that the clues--if not their interpretations--are always provided for the reader at the time when the detective observes them. This is not true in the Holmes stories, where observations are often provided only with conclusions, except for a few "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time" types of examples. I can definitely find fault with some of Christie's stories...I just can't think of anyone who sets up the puzzle better.


message 13: by ^ (new) - rated it 3 stars

^ Carly wrote: "^ wrote: "I’ve always believed Agatha Christie’s greatest ‘strength’ to lie in her remarkable ability to convince her reader that she’s written a classic whodunnit; with a satisfying exposé at the ..."

I have to be honest and admit that I've never read any Poirot.

Incidently, & tangentially going off topic, if you haven't read any of Edmund Crispin's detective novels (Gervase Fen); then you could be in for a real treat!


Carly ^ wrote: "Carly wrote: "^ wrote: "I’ve always believed Agatha Christie’s greatest ‘strength’ to lie in her remarkable ability to convince her reader that she’s written a classic whodunnit; with a satisfying ..."

Ooh, thanks for the rec! I feel like I've run into Gervaise Fen, but none of the books are springing to mind...added to TBR.

I think the Poirot stories are some of Christie's best. If you want one where I think the mystery is quite well-plotted and there really is a logical and guessable puzzle, go for Death on the Nile.


message 15: by ^ (new) - rated it 3 stars

^ Carly wrote: "^ wrote: "Carly wrote: "^ wrote: "I’ve always believed Agatha Christie’s greatest ‘strength’ to lie in her remarkable ability to convince her reader that she’s written a classic whodunnit; with a s..."

Thanks; I'll keep my eyes open for a copy of "Death on the Nile." I'm in one second-hand bookshop or another at least onece a week; so it shouldn't take me too long to find a half-decent copy of a bestseller such as that.


Curtis Minsel Angela wrote: "Lucy chooses the policeman who was a friend of Miss Marple's - Dermot Craddock. ;-) It's very understated, but it is there."

Angela, I just finished the novel and my thought was also Craddock ---- can't tell you why.

Curt


message 17: by Ana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ana This has always bothered me. I think Christie did not know herself and she is winking at the reader. "Choose your own adventure" I can see a rationale for both!


Indeneri I got the impression that she ended up with Bryan. He was there at the end of the book helping her make sandwiches, and none of the other suitors were mentioned in connection with Lucy after that.


message 19: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne While I can make the argument for Cedric, I think she would choose Bryan ... I have never seen any hint of Dermot Craddock with Lucy.


message 20: by Jennifer (last edited Oct 06, 2013 10:13PM) (new)

Jennifer If Lucy marries it isn't Dermot Craddock. In the Mirror Crack'd from side to side (set some years later) Craddock states he has never married...

BTW I generally dislike the movie/tv servies adaptions with Geraldine McEwan, I feel who ever wrote this series doesn't actually like Agatha Christie novels at all - they always change the plots, and to no good effect either, the changes just add confusion. I really don't know why they'd do that - I mean who'd watch an Agatha Christie movie (or read one of her books) if they didn't like Agatha Christie novels?

I think the Joan Hickson versions are the best for both acting & staying reasonably close to the novel.


message 21: by Kathryn (last edited Oct 30, 2013 06:35AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathryn Honestly, I can't see Lucy and Inspector Craddock simply because of the fact that they had absolutely no chemistry as far as I could tell. They barely even talked to each other. I suspect that she would probably have ended up with Bryan Eastley. She really liked Alex and Alex liked her. And Bryan was probably the only genuinely nice guy around.

And if you notice, towards the end Miss Marple talks to Bryan about a man who failed because he didn't listen to his fiancée who was extremely sensible. I feel like she was obliquely telling him to listen to Lucy when they got married/engaged.

My two cents, anyhow.


Stuart When I read it I figured she choice Bryan Eastly because she like him and his son and the rest of the family.


message 23: by Jiya (new)

Jiya I really think it might have been Cedric, because there are minor hints of Lucy thinking back to their conversation at the pigsty... Also, is it just me, or did anyone else notice, that Cedric sorta lives in a mess in his home in Ibiza... Mess= Pigsty... :P
Hahahahahaha its probably just me :P


Emily D'ambrosa clark I also think that Lucy marries Bryan. There is the strong attachment to Alex and that fast that Bryan always seemed so comfortable around Lucy. This is combined with the fact that Inspector Craddock is unmarried in subsequent books. Also Miss Marple goes out of her way to issue him a cautionary tale of not listening to his wife at the end if the book.

However, the most telling sign, which I have not seen mentioned above, comes from Lucy herself. Towards the end of the book she is visiting Miss Marple and acting 'completely out of character' as she realized for the first time that Bryan is a potential suspect as he can look like a 'tall dark man' from behind if his hair is slicked back. I believe it was this November that Miss Marple realized Lucy was in love with Bryan.


Emily D'ambrosa clark *in this moment....stupid Swype key


message 26: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne I always felt she married Bryan. Mostly because I did not find Cedric a sympathetic character. I think he'd be awfully hard to live with ... and Lucy is smart enough to know that.


message 27: by Stephen (last edited Jun 11, 2014 01:14PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Stephen Personally I view it as Christie' s "Lady or the tiger" ending.

It's intentionally left as undecided in order to allow us to speculate.

I'd assert that either surviving brother is equally valid, but the romantic in me is rooting for Bryan,the war hero. He seems to need her the most, and his son would benefit as well.

It also sets up that great paradox... a wife who has to keep telling her husband to listen to her less.


Velma Bryan certainly needed her more than Cedric, so I feel that option would be 'neater'.

But ultimately I like to think that Lucy didn't bother with any of them. She was so fabulously independent. The parallels with Miss Marple were all there: maybe she remained single and happy.


message 29: by Usama (new)

Usama Masood Its Cradockk! Its so obvious, the indifference he showed to her, and the way miss marples 'eyes twinkles at HIM'.


message 30: by Lara (new) - added it

Lara Also at the end of chapter 24, Craddock said "There's your LucyEyelesbarrow coming to see you," he said. "Well, I'll be off. My amour propre is very low this afternoon and having a young woman coming in, radiant with efficiency and success, is more than I can bear."
That hinted to me he had noticed her and was part of the suite of swains. The last line of the book is where Miss Marple's eyes are twinkling at him.
Now, I'd never taken this interpretation before. I'd always thought she'd end up with Bryan because she was fond of the boy.
So I guess I have to agree with the lady or the tiger ending and she'd end up with the guy I'd most want :-)


message 31: by Anonymous (new)

Anonymous Definitely Cedric. They are so similar. He always try's to talk to her. He says he doesn't like her so that me think he doth protest to much. She says to Marple that he sometimes makes her really angry. It's an Anne and Gilbert romance


message 32: by Greg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Greg Anonymous wrote: "Definitely Cedric. They are so similar. He always try's to talk to her. He says he doesn't like her so that me think he doth protest to much. She says to Marple that he sometimes makes her really a..."
Absolutely Cedric but not Craddock! Or maybe Brian. But I think Christie's point is that Lucy is a one-of-a-kind and has her pick of about anyone.


message 33: by Drush76 (new)

Drush76 No one really knows. The 1987 movie had Lucy fall for Bryan Eastley right from the beginning. The 2004 movie had Lucy end up with the investigating inspector WHO WAS NOT Dermot Craddock. As for Christie's novel, I don't know. One can only speculate.


message 34: by Greg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Greg Drush76 wrote: "No one really knows. The 1987 movie had Lucy fall for Bryan Eastley right from the beginning. The 2004 movie had Lucy end up with the investigating inspector WHO WAS NOT Dermot Craddock. As for ..."
Drush76, the fact that Christie is my favorite/most read author colors my opinion. But, it's my thought that Christie is saying Lucy is so independent and smart and strong that she could have her pick. And no matter what, she would have made a great life with Cedric or Craddock or Brian. Christie herself had complicated marriage/relationships, and I don't think Christie is one of the "one-soulmate-for-each" school of love. Christie had some hard lessons to learn, Lucy might be her own idolized version of herself. Oh, if I could have lunch with one person who has ever existed it would be Christie. And Jesus. And Lincoln.


message 35: by Greg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Greg And not necessarily in that order.


Nicole D. I was very disappointed in the ending. And not knowing who she choose. I don't like things left unresolved.


Doris Sorry, but I don't go along with the suggestions of either Bryan or Cedric. I rule out Bryan on the grounds that pity is a poor basis for marriage. Now, if Lucy were willing to wait about 10 years and rob the cradle, I could *maybe* see her with Alexander! As for Cedric, a tempestuous affair seems possible, but nothing longterm.

No, put me down in the Inspector Craddock camp. In fact, I think that could have led to a nice little spin-off series, with Inspector Craddock's infinitely capable and efficient wife lending a little behind the scenes help in his investigations.


message 38: by Kim (new)

Kim In Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks, she notes that Cedric is suppose to eventually be married to Lucy.


Doris Kim wrote: "In Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks, she notes that Cedric is suppose to eventually be married to Lucy."

Ah well, she's just the author! What does she know? :-)

I still insist Lucy could do better than Cedric and that Lucy and Dermot would have made a lovely couple.


Bonnie Maybe Lucy is really more ambitious than we suppose and she goes for Old Mr. Crakenthorpe! : )


message 41: by Louise (last edited Oct 27, 2015 09:56PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Louise Culmer Agatha Christie apparently favoured the artist. Lucy woukd certainly have an interesting life with him.


message 42: by Usama (new)

Usama Masood Bonnie wrote: "Maybe Lucy is really more ambitious than we suppose and she goes for Old Mr. Crakenthorpe! : )"

Ha ha


message 43: by Susan (new)

Susan Daly Yes, Kim's right. It was revealed in the Secret Notebooks that it was Cedric. Frankly, I thought Bryan was pretty feckless. But I didn't like Cedric much either.

And furthermore, why on earth did she have to marry anyone? She was clearly a terrific independent operator and Mrs. C would have done well to spin her into her own series, or working alongside Miss M, handling the physical stuff.

Much as I love Agatha's mysteries, I've always found her capacity for credible romance to be around 3 out of 10.


message 44: by Usama Masood (new)

Usama Masood Ahmad Cedric noooooooooooooo, i was SURE it was Craddock, which means im not the greatest Agatha Christie fan, my whole life is a lie!!!


message 45: by D (new)

D Actually I was disappointed in the choice of Cedric, but then I'm not Lucy. She's adventurous and Cedric would be much more interesting to live with than Bryan. Also, she's clearly interested in money and Cedric will inherit the most!


message 46: by Anny (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anny I prefer Lucy with Bryan more. Cedric seems attractive and challenging but I just like Bryan more. Cedric sounds rude most of the time.


message 47: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne I agree!


Stephen Just watched the TV version with Joan Hickson as Miss Marple. It was pretty clear that the screen writers for THAT version were rooting for Brian. They made Cedric out to be a philanderer and had Lucy overhear his "confession" about a liaison with a married woman.


message 49: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn I have watched the new version of Marple (which you can generally watch and it won't spoil the book) and read all of the Christie books multiple times. I know they are one offs, but in another book Craddock is married to someone else. That has always driven me crazy when I went back and re-read 4:50 to Paddington.


message 50: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn Jennifer wrote: "If Lucy marries it isn't Dermot Craddock. In the Mirror Crack'd from side to side (set some years later) Craddock states he has never married...

BTW I generally dislike the movie/tv servies adapt..."




Ever notice that they've made them very PC for example, with a lesbian couple in A Murder is Announced? Also does anybody know why they never put Henry Clithering in any of the movies? Also, Craddock shows up in A Murder is Announced but they don't play on the Clithering connection.


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