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4:50 from Paddington (Miss Marple Mysteries…
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4:50 from Paddington (Miss Marple Mysteries (Paperback)) (original 1957; edition 2000)

by Agatha Christie

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3,256742,499 (3.75)141
Member:Atlas
Title:4:50 from Paddington (Miss Marple Mysteries (Paperback))
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Signet (2000), Edition: Reissue, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:mystery, Miss Marple, fiction

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4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie (1957)

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» See also 141 mentions

English (69)  Danish (2)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
This is one of the better of the second rank of Christie novels for me, beginning with the dramatic incident of an old lady on a train (not Miss Marple herself, as shown in the film version starring Margaret Rutherford) witnessing a woman being strangled in a train on a parallel track going in the same direction. The initial disappearance of the body is resolved, narrowing the place of its discovery to a remote house inhabited by an extremely cantankerous old man and his largely rather unpleasant offspring. The usual red herrings are present of course, and the final resolution and identification of the murderer only comes in the final few pages, with no previously laid clues that I could see. Published in 1957, this contains some of the attitudes of the time, especially the simultaneously amusing and rather alarming stereotyping by everyone including the police, for example, of bohemian types as being likely murderers, and of the murder of a French woman being much less important than the murder of an English woman. A good and well constructed story. ( )
  john257hopper | Dec 8, 2018 |
In which a woman witnesses a murder on a passing train, leading Miss Marple to a feuding family.

"4.50 from Paddington" (or "What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw" in the US) is a strong Marple work written on the cusp of Christie’s middle and late periods. As with many of her best works, there’s an intriguing and unsettled family dynamic, which spits out suspects left, right and centre. Best of all, there’s a strong investigator character in Lucy Eyelesbarrow, a young woman who goes undercover for Miss Marple at Rutherford Hall, which allows Marple to play to her strengths without the novel coming across as laconic. (Lucy is also the best thing about the better-than-average Joan Hickson adaptation.)

Several late Christie works deal with “unclear murders”: a clue suggests someone died at some point somewhere, but with no clear information. (Witness the later Tommy and Tuppence books, for instance.) Most of the time, this leads to a confused narrative, relying too much on conflicting memories without the emotional strength that ties into the powerful nostalgia novels such as "Five Little Pigs". Here, though, there’s enough intrigue in the murder – occurring on one train, witnessed by a woman on another – and Rutherford Hall provides so many possibilities, that things just work.

"4.50 from Paddington" has elements of a classic, but doesn’t quite cut the mustard, for the simple reason that betrays many Marple novels: the limited, hazy clues simply don’t yield much fruit. In the climax, Marple is so certain of her case that she plants an elaborate – and very public trip – to catch the killer. Had she proven incorrect, this would surely have given the game away to the true murderer. Given that it’s so hard to see how Marple reaches her conclusions – or, rather, how she reaches them with so much certainty – this seems reckless. However, I’ll call this one a very solid read.

[Sometimes found under the title "Murder, She Said", to tie in with the 1960s adaptation starring Margaret Rutherford.]

Marple ranking: 3rd out of 14 ( )
1 vote therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
When Mrs. McGillicuddy arrived at Jane Marple’s house for a visit, she has an extraordinary tale to tell – she witnessed a murder! During her trip, another train ran parallel to her own and when a window shade suddenly went up, she saw a man strangling a woman. She immediately reported events to the train personnel and to the police. The problem is, no body turns up in the next several days, nor is anyone reported missing. It’s up to Miss Marple to figure out what transpired.

I enjoyed this mystery because it showcased Miss Marple’s deductive reasoning more than other novels I’ve read. She doesn’t just have to account for human behavior, at which she is an admitted expert. She has to figure out where that body could have gone. After a couple trips via the same train, she deduces the body must be at Rutherford Hall. She enlists the help of Lucy Eyelesbarrow, a professional cook and housekeeper, to work at Rutherford Hall and find the body. Once found, the mystery turns toward possible suspects – all members of the Crackenthorpe family: 74-year-old Luther, his unsavory sons Harold, Cedric & Alfred, daughter Emma, dead daughter Edith’s husband Bryan. When one of the family ends up dead, Inspector Craddock suspects money as the motive. Luther is sitting on a fortune that he can’t touch and will pass to his children once he dies. But, what did the dead woman have to do with any of it?

Craddock is Marple’s godson, so their interactions added some personal connections to the story. I really liked Lucy as well and wouldn’t mind seeing her pop up in another story. The ultimate conclusion was satisfying. Another solid mystery from Christie. ( )
  jshillingford | Sep 21, 2018 |
I really liked the character of Mrs. McGillicuddy, and her experience of seeing a murder through a train window. I know that weird feeling of separation, of watching a scene that feels not quite real - but is. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
I forget about Agatha Christie's books and when I read one I remember why they are still being read today. They are good! This is one of Miss Marple's books. Her friend has seen a murder on a train but no one believes her. It is up to Miss Marple to find the body and the murderer.

I enjoyed this book. I tried to figure it out but was wrong on the culprit. I liked how different people were purposed as the culprit, each with a motive. The story moves rapidly. I liked Alexander and the women in the book. The men left much to be desired. The plot was believable.

I will be reading more by Agatha Christie. ( )
  Sheila1957 | Sep 5, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (87 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barnard, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fox, EmiliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franceschini, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griffini, Grazia MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hickson, JoanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Himmelstoss, BeateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laine, Anna-LiisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orengo, NicoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simonsen, HelgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whitfield, JunePerformersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Five Complete Miss Marple Novels: The Body in the Library, A Caribbean Mystery, The Mirror Crack'd, Nemesis, What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! by Agatha Christie

Miss Marple Omnibus Volume 1 (WRONG ISBN) by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie Crime Collection: 4:50 from Paddington, Lord Edgware Dies, Murder In Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie

Murder on Board: Three Complete Mystery Novels: The Mystery of the Blue Train / What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw / Death in the Air by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express [and] 4:50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie

4.50 From Paddington / After the Funeral / A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

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Mrs. McGillicuddy panted along the platform in the wake of the porter carrying her suitcase.
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Original title for the US publication was What Mrs McGillicuddy Saw!, and a 1963 paperback edition used the title Murder, She Said.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451200519, Mass Market Paperback)

Sensible Elspeth McGillicuddy is not given to hallucinations. Or is she? After she boards the Paddington Station train and becomes a witness to an apparent murder, no one believes her but her friend-the indomitable sleuth Miss Jane Marple.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:15 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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, no other witnesses, and no corpse.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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