Regular readers of my blog might be speculating about my Agatha Christie Reading Challenge. They must be wondering whether this challenge is still on or not. My dear readers, the challenge is still on and I am hopeful of finishing it also. It is not that I am not reading Christie’s books because I am reading her books on a regular basis. It is just that I was not been able to publish my reviews of these books due to my other inescapable commitments. Well, I am finally here with some good news. I have finished some of the reviews and I am going to publish them one by one. And, this post is first of those reviews.
The book I am going to review today is 4:50 from Paddington. The book was also published as What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw. The book features our beloved Miss Marple. While travelling by a train Mrs. McGillicuddy witnesses a woman being strangled in another train traveling alongside hers. But did she really see the crime because no one has been reported missing? Additionally, no dead body was found on any of the trains. Nobody believes her. On the other hand, authorities mock her. And, here comes our elderly Miss Marple who not only believes Mrs. McGillicuddy but also takes charge of the investigation. For Miss Marple, Mrs. McGillicuddy would never make a story to just get attention. Miss Marple’s investigation involves finding both the person who was murdered and the person who committed the crime. From there starts a mystery filled with action, sleuthing and red herrings. The story has twists and turns on literary every page. Besides these, the book has a number of humorous moments too. Furthermore, Christie has also gently mocked the British culture in the book under review.
Christie has a way of convincingly putting a number of clues in front of the readers. These clues force the readers to solve the murder mystery by themselves. They try to solve the case but find themselves back at square one whenever they start congratulating themselves. This remarkable trait of Christie’s writing is visible in this book also. The story is filled with a number of clues and the readers will definitely try to locate the main culprit before the ending of the book. The characters of this book are well drawn. I especially liked the character of Lucy Eyelesbarrow. While it is a Miss Marple story, it is Lucy who plays a dominant role in the story-line. Another character that impresses you is of a young boy who loves playing the role of detective. Though my favorite will always be Hercule Poirot, I like the character of Miss Marple too. The manner in which she places herself in place of different people and predicts their behaviour is really fun to read. Nevertheless, as is the case with other Miss Marple books, Miss Marple does not play a dominant role here too. This makes you really annoying and you try to guess the reasons behind this. She definitely deserves more space in the book, not only in this one but in other books also.
Overall, this is yet another entertaining murder mystery from the mystery queen. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. The ending was both surprising and satisfactory. However, the same ending may seem far-fetched to some of the readers. That said, this book as a whole will not disappoint you.