4.50 from Paddington: Miss Marple Mysteries

July 5, 2016 - Comment

Agatha Christie Classic Mrs. Elspeth McGillicuddy has come from a shopping expedition to visit her old friend Jane Marple for Christmas. On the way, her train passes another train running parallel to her. Then, a blind in one of the compartments flies up and she sees a man with his back to her strangling a

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Agatha Christie Classic

Mrs. Elspeth McGillicuddy has come from a shopping expedition to visit her old friend Jane Marple for Christmas. On the way, her train passes another train running parallel to her. Then, a blind in one of the compartments flies up and she sees a man with his back to her strangling a woman. She reports it to a ticket collector who does not believe her. When arriving at Miss Marple’s cottage, she tells all to her. Mrs McGillicuddy describes the woman as wearing a fur coat and with blonde hair. Only Miss Marple believes her story as there is no evidence of wrongdoing. The first task is to ascertain where the body could have been hidden. Comparison of the facts of the murder with the train timetable and the local geography lead to the grounds of Rutherford Hall as the only possible location: it is shielded from the surrounding community, the railway abuts the grounds, and so on. Lucy Eyelesbarrow, a young professional housekeeper and an acquaintance of Miss Marple, is sent undercover to Rutherford Hall. Josiah Crackenthorpe, purveyor of tea biscuits, built Rutherford Hall in 1884. His son, Luther, now a semi-invalid widower, had displayed spendthrift qualities in his youth. To preserve the family fortune, Josiah has left his considerable fortune in trust, the income from which is to be paid to Luther for life. After Luther’s death, the capital is to be divided equally among Luther’s children. Luther Crackenthorpe is merely the trustee of Rutherford Hall and hence, according to the will, cannot sell the house. The house itself will be inherited by Luther Crackenthorpe’s eldest surviving son or his issue. Buy the Book for the whole Story.

Comments

Antoinette Klein says:

Murder Without A Corpse Challenges Miss Marple In “The 4:50 From Paddington” Agatha Christie gives us another in her long list of detective stories involving a large family at their estate. This is, in my opinion, one of the best, and begins when Elspeth McGillicuddy, a friend of Miss Marple’s, is returning from Christmas shopping in London and on her way to visit Jane in St. Mary Mead. Her train is running alongside another one on a nearby track, and Mrs. McGillicuddy has an excellent view inside the parallel carriage of the other train…

Carver Green says:

WILL SOMEONE LET THE WOMAN SPEAK? What “improvements” have been made for the Bantam edition? There are already major differences in punctuation, word choices, and scene breaks between the original Collins (4:50 FROM PADDINGTON) and Dodd Mead editions of this novel. There are further differences between the Dodd Mead editions republished by Random House/Avenel and the Dodd Mead editions republished by Simon & Shuster/Pocket. There are further additions still in the Signet, Berkley, and Black Dog & Leventhal editions. For…

John Austin says:

Trains, trays, tablets, and tittle-tattle. Old and new readers of Agatha Christie’s whodunits will not be disappointed with her 1957 puzzler. It has an unforgettable opening sequence, an ingenious denouement, and an interesting sleuth, especially created for the occasion, named Lucy Eylesbarrow. Although it is the elderly Jane Marple who exerts her powers of detection, she does it by remote control while her much younger friend does the spadework – or the domestic work. As Agatha Christie explains, “The point about Lucy Eylesbarrow…

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