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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > September 2018 - 4:50 from Paddington

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 18231 comments One of the group reads for September is 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie. Please discuss the book in this thread.

Renee and/or Kristie will be leading the discussion.

In order to receive a badge you must:
1. have completed the book before or during September 2018.
2. discussed it in this thread. Discussion must be more than "I read the book and I liked it". Discussion requires something more substantial and analytical of what you read, for example, thoughts, opinions, impact it had on you, what was your favourite part, was it what you expected it to be like etc. You may also like to review the book and post a link to the review in this thread. Please refer to our group spoiler policy for further information.
3. Report that you have read AND discussed the book in the reporting thread (include a brief summary of what you thought of the book).

General Rules:
1. Please mark your spoilers with the spoiler tags along with mentioning what stage of the book you are at so other's don't get a nasty shock. Chapter numbers/titles are generally best as they are the same across all formats and editions. See our spoiler policy
2. The book may be combined with the Year Long Challenge, Topplers, and Monthly Challenges.

Happy reading!


message 2: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments I’ve started and I’m probably about 20% in. Not much of a spoiler, but I love that Christie has (view spoiler)


message 3: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments Wow... the views of women back then. I cringe at some of the comments that are made and just accepted by everyone present as fact or common knowledge.


message 4: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments This is really terrible, but I can't remember if I've read this one already. I love Miss Marple and have read several of the series before the days of GR, but I just can't decide if this is one of them. Ah well, a good reread never hurt anyone.


message 5: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments I’m sure you’ll know if it’s one you’ve read as you start reading, Tricia. Let us know!


message 6: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments Yeah, that's what I was thinking.


message 7: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2695 comments It doesn't help that so many Agatha Christie books have been renamed. Did this one start out as "What Mrs. McGuillicuddy saw?"


message 8: by Lanelle (new)

Lanelle | 3396 comments Casceil wrote: "Did this one start out as "What Mrs. McGuillicuddy saw?""

It did.

I've checked the ebook out from the library. I'll start reading it as soon as I've finished the book I'm reading now.


message 9: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 20703 comments I read this one a little over two years ago. I'm not sure if I still have it on hand or if I gave it away. I have a vague recollection of things and a picture in my head of the train passing by a home or place on a hill.


message 10: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments I've now read the first two chapters, and it's not sounding familiar. So I'm pretty sure I haven't read it before, but yet, I have a vague idea of some things that are coming. Who knows? Maybe I read a spoiler at some point or something. It's sort of boggling my mind. I'm just going to try to forget what I know, or think I know, and carry on. LOL

Anyway, about chapters 1 and 2: I've never been on a train, but there is a popular day trip around here where you drive to South Bend which is about an hour away, and then take the South Shore train into Chicago. This book is making me want to do that. I've thought it would be a fun thing to do for a while, but it's getting moved up on the list.

I agree with what Kristie said about (view spoiler)


message 11: by siriusedward (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 887 comments Casceil wrote: "It doesn't help that so many Agatha Christie books have been renamed. Did this one start out as "What Mrs. McGuillicuddy saw?""

So this will work as Book with two Titles?


message 12: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments Tricia, re: your spoiler (view spoiler)


message 13: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments siriusedward wrote: "Casceil wrote: "It doesn't help that so many Agatha Christie books have been renamed. Did this one start out as "What Mrs. McGuillicuddy saw?""

So this will work as Book with two Titles?"


I believe so. If you go to the book's page and click all editions, both names are listed.


message 14: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments I'm at 71% and (view spoiler)


message 15: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments Tricia wrote: "Anyway, about chapters 1 and 2: I've never been on a train, but there is a popular day trip around here where you drive to South Bend which is about an hour away, and then take the South Shore train into Chicago. This book is making me want to do that. I've thought it would be a fun thing to do for a while, but it's getting moved up on the list."

I've been on a train, but never in the separate rooms where you can sleep. The trains I've been on all just had a bunch of seats like a big bus. There was an area where you could buy overpriced food, but no dining area. You just brought it back to your seat.

I wonder if trains have just changed or if there are still some with sleeping and dining areas. I would think they still have sleeping areas at least, but I'm not sure.


message 16: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 18231 comments This book is based in England. Back then, I believe they had dining cars in trains. Not all trains though. I think the more first class trains did. I'd be surprised if there were sleeping cars on trains in England. Maybe when the steam trains were being used as it would take longer for trains to get to their destination but nowadays, you can get anywhere in the UK within a day so there's no need to have dedicated sleeping areas. I don't think many trains travel over night either now. But I guess it was more of a thing back then. However, for Europe and into Russia, there are definitely sleeping and dining cars but then the distances travelled are much bigger so there is more of a need for them.


message 17: by Clive (new)

Clive Matthews | 225 comments I started this book yesterday, it's a nice easy read so I'm already about a quarter of the way through.

I've not read any Agatha Christie before although I've seen lots of TV and film remakes and she is one of my wife's favourite authors. I know I probably shouldn't be but I'm amazed at how of it's era it is. From the names of the characters to the language used it just sounds very old fashioned.

I'm not getting anywhere with trying to guess the plot. I'm terrible at that at the best of times and I know that Christie often has everything come together quite late on so I'm not even really trying.

There are still trains here in Britain with sleeper cabins, most famously there's the Caledonian Sleeper which runs from near me in Northern Scotland down to London and back. I haven't seen a dining carriage on a train though, except for special tourist trains.


message 18: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 20703 comments Kristie wrote: "I'm at 71% and [spoilers removed]"

I remember thinking the same thing, Kristie!


message 19: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments Clive - I'm at 78% and I'm not sure who it is just yet! I've had a few thoughts on the matter, but I can't say with certainty. Christie likes to mix things up a bit anyways, so even if I really tried I'd probably be wrong.

The trains we were on went from Paris to London and from London to Edinburgh. I've been on commuter trains in the US, as well, but not long distance.


message 20: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments Kristie wrote: "I'm at 71% and [spoilers removed]"

(view spoiler)


message 21: by Cherie (last edited Sep 05, 2018 11:31AM) (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 20703 comments Tricia wrote: "Kristie wrote: "I'm at 71% and [spoilers removed]"

[spoilers removed]"


(view spoiler)


message 22: by Annerlee (new)

Annerlee | 2713 comments Sarah wrote: "This book is based in England. Back then, I believe they had dining cars in trains. Not all trains though. I think the more first class trains did. I'd be surprised if there were sleeping cars on t..."

In England, there's an overnight train between London and Cornwall still. It's called the 'Night Riviera' !! : / https://www.gwr.com/about-us/modernis...


message 23: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments Cherie wrote: "Tricia wrote: "Kristie wrote: "I'm at 71% and [spoilers removed]"

[spoilers removed]"

[spoilers removed]"


I've not read that one.


message 24: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments I've finished the book. I knew at least part of the ending, but there were still some surprises along the way. If I hadn't known anything, I don't think I would have been able to guess the outcome.

For a while I even thought (view spoiler)

There are still a couple of things that puzzle me though. (view spoiler)


message 25: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 18231 comments I did not know that Annerlee! Thanks. Oh and Clive about the one from Scotland to London. I will be looking in to this!


message 26: by Renee (new)

Renee (elenarenee) | 1650 comments Kristie I love this(view spoiler)


message 27: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments Tricia wrote: "I've finished the book. I knew at least part of the ending, but there were still some surprises along the way. If I hadn't known anything, I don't think I would have been able to guess the outcome...."

I considered (view spoiler)


message 28: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments Kristie wrote: "Tricia wrote: "I've finished the book. I knew at least part of the ending, but there were still some surprises along the way. If I hadn't known anything, I don't think I would have been able to gue..."


Kristie, I think you might be right about (view spoiler)


message 29: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments True, Tricia! (view spoiler)


message 30: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments Kristie, I guess it's not unusual for Miss Marple to know something the rest of us don't. LOL


message 31: by Cherie (last edited Sep 06, 2018 06:12PM) (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 20703 comments Tricia - Re the 2nd thing that still puzzle you. (view spoiler)


message 32: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments Cherie, that's about all I could come up with as well. As to what happened in this book, (view spoiler)


message 33: by Laura (Lclwags) (new)

Laura (Lclwags) (lclwags) | 598 comments Tricia: Re Msg 10 - Do you live in Indiana?! I'm in Columbus!
Mrs. McGuillicuddy - (view spoiler)

Clive - I haven't read many Agatha Christie books, but the ones I have read, kept me wondering until the end! I just finished Endless Night and was so proud of myself thinking I had it all figured out. Turns out I had a small piece of the puzzle, but there was so much I had missed!


message 34: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments @Laura, Yes, glad to meet a fellow Hoosier. I'm in Warsaw, about halfway between Fort Wayne and South Bend.


message 35: by Clive (new)

Clive Matthews | 225 comments I finished the book yesterday and unfortunately I can't say that I really enjoyed it.

(view spoiler)


message 36: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments Clive (view spoiler)


message 37: by Clive (new)

Clive Matthews | 225 comments Thanks Kristie, I did enjoy the writing style and I'm always happy to have lighter, easy read books available so I'll add your suggestion to my wishlist.


message 38: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments Yes, I would agree with others who have said that this isn't one of her best works. I was also disheartened by the fact that as the main character for whom the series is named, (view spoiler)

I actually do enjoy trying to figure out the endings of her books despite the fact that we don't always have all the information. The detective doesn't always have all the information either. Like in this book, (view spoiler)


message 39: by Laura (Lclwags) (new)

Laura (Lclwags) (lclwags) | 598 comments Finished the book last night and I was so far off with my theories!
Theories - (view spoiler)
Postcards - (view spoiler)
The ending - (view spoiler)


message 40: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments Tricia -Yes, trying to figure it out can be fun. (view spoiler)


message 41: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments Laura - theories (view spoiler)

postcards (view spoiler)

ending (view spoiler)


message 42: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments @Laura, so do you think that (view spoiler)

@Kristie, I completely agree with you about inaccurate information. That seems like an unfair thing to do to a reader. Also, you're right about the giant leaps that fictional detectives sometimes make to get at a resolution. While it would be possible for us to think of the same leap theoretically, it's highly unlikely that we would.


message 43: by Laura (Lclwags) (new)

Laura (Lclwags) (lclwags) | 598 comments Lucy - (view spoiler)


message 44: by Laura (Lclwags) (new)

Laura (Lclwags) (lclwags) | 598 comments Kristie - I agree (view spoiler)


message 45: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments Re: Lucy (view spoiler)


message 46: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments Yes, Laura, (view spoiler)


message 47: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 314 comments Tricia wrote: "Yes, I would agree with others who have said that this isn't one of her best works. I was also disheartened by the fact that as the main character for whom the series is named, [spoilers removed]
..."


I was disappointed by the lack of Miss Marple, also. I much prefer the old Margaret Rutherford movie version, where Miss Marple does all the sleuthing, and it makes the unexpected marriage proposal more amusing when it is Miss Marple rather than young pretty Lucy.


message 48: by Almeta (last edited Sep 14, 2018 06:05AM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10547 comments I finished this in audio yesterday. I made a few notes in the beginning Chapter by Chapter and, as usual, I got caught up in the tale and didn't want to stop to make more.

Here are my early thoughts:

Chapter One
"There were, she supposed, (view spoiler)

Chapter Two
At least Inspector Cornish(view spoiler)


message 49: by Kristie, Moderator (last edited Sep 13, 2018 04:36PM) (new)

Kristie | 15251 comments Almeta - Regarding your chapter 1 spoiler, I laughed at that. I thought (view spoiler)

What were your final thoughts on the book?


message 50: by Almeta (last edited Sep 14, 2018 05:54AM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10547 comments Chapter Five
I thought hitting (view spoiler)


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