The Mystery of the Blue Train: A Hercule Poirot Mystery Paperback – Sep 27 2011
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“No one is better at misdirection than Agatha Christie. She dangles the key to the mystery in front of you and you still don’t see it.” (Peter Lovesey, Anthony award-winning author of Stagestruck)
“The Empress of the crime novel.” (Sunday Express (London))
From the Back Cover
When the luxurious Blue Train arrives at Nice, aguard attempts to wake serene Ruth Kettering fromher slumbers. But she will never wake again—for aheavy blow has killed her, disfiguring her featuresalmost beyond recognition. What is more, herprecious rubies are missing.
The prime suspect is Ruth’s estranged husband,Derek. Yet Hercule Poirot is not convinced, so hestages an eerie reenactment of the journey, completewith the murderer on board. . . .See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
And that almost soap-opera glamour permeates all of Agatha Christie's "The Mystery of the Blue Train," where Hercule Poirot finds himself (once again) on a train where a murder has been committed. As the little Belgian sleuth slowly unwinds the crime, Christie darts among the intertwining stories of the various suspects -- from a philandering playboy to a serene small-town girl -- although she sometimes stretches the logical deductive process a little thin and lingers too long on the superfluous layers of the story.
American millionaire Rufus van Aldin gives his daughter Ruth Kettering a necklace of supposedly-cursed rubies, including the legendary Heart of Fire... right before he discovers that Ruth is planning to divorce her unfaithful husband Derek, and is secretly having her own affair with her old lover, the Comte de la Roche. When detective Hercule Poirot stays aboard the Blue Train headed for the French Riviera, a murder inevitably follows -- Ruth is found strangled, with her famous ruby missing.
With a little nudging from van Aldin, Poirot begins investigating the case. And he has no shortage of suspects -- Derek, the Comte, Derek's lover Mirelle, and even the quiet and pleasant Katherine -- who might have killed Ruth for the stolen jewels, or for love, or both. And though the debt-ridden Derek seems like the obvious suspect, since he inherits all of his wife's wealth, Poirot soon comes to believe that a more complicated and sinister crime has taken place.Read more ›
This book has held up surprisingly well considering it is nearing the century mark. It describes a way of life that is long past which could be confusing the 21st century reader who does not understand the stigma that had been attached to divorce, limited opportunities for women or personal servants but the core conflicts of the story remain current to today.
The only flaws I see in this story are the number of subplots and secondary characters but this is more than made up for by the ending which has the typical Christie flair.
When Ruth Van Aldin Kettering is found murdered on the Blue Train en route to her annual winter trip to the French Riviera, it is up to Hercule Poirot to discover if she was murdered because the famous jewel was in her possession or was she murdered by her husband or his mistress or was there yet another sinister motive.
This excellent tours de force is a landmark book for Christie fans because from this point until sometime in the late 60's every novel she published was brilliantly plotted and never failed to challenge the mystery reader.
Agatha Christie was known for experimenting with plots in short stories before developing them more fully in novels. The Mystery of the Blue Train is a prime example of this, so you might wish to go back and read her earlier short story "The Mystery of the Plymouth Express" if you enjoyed this one.
Hercule Poirot unravels the web of intrigue slowly and the finale is a wonderful feeling of recognition and the juicy understanding of the author's prowess.
This book is great reading, buy it, pick it up, read it through and then smile as I did when it was over. Weep because your enjoyment and suspense cannot continue as Poirot wraps up the ending.
Do not weep, there is the 'Sittaford Mystery' and 'A Murder is Announced' and 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd' and 'Curtain' and the very excellent 'Mysterious Affair at Style' to read.
I am sure Agatha Christie fans everywhere wish she could have kept on writting forever as I do. We shall miss her always.
Most recent customer reviews
I am really enjoying this book and find it difficult to put it down.
It is very intriguing and a good guessing game. I fully recommend reading it.
The book offers all of the usual Agatha Christie touches: Hercule Poirot in fine form; a young woman who ends up getting married; a few rogues; and numerous likely suspects. Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2004 by E. Clinton
I just finished reading this book and I very much enjoyed it. The characters are well developed, although from many areas of the world and the setting flits around. Read morePublished on Dec 28 2003
There's little doubt as to why Agatha Christie personally dislikes this book. Charming and warm though it is, this book is not the most exciting Christie book I've ever... Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2003
I thought it was pretty good, much better than the "Tuesday Club Murders". The ending was not all that contrived, as stories go, and the characters interesting and developed. Read morePublished on Sept. 15 2003 by Neri
The Mystery of the Blue Train is not Agatha Christie's most famous or best train mystery, that would come a few years later, but it is a worthwhile addition to the Hercule Poirot... Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2003 by Ricky Hunter
Christie felt that The Mystery of the Blue Train was her weakest book and in fact stated on occasion that she hated it. Read morePublished on June 9 2003 by Lisa Bahrami
Actually, I think this book is well written, but I think it does not have that personality that Agatha Christie used to write in her books. Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2002 by Mario Gonzalez Dorado
Of all her novels, Agatha Christie reportedly felt MYSTREY OF THE BLUE TRAIN was her weakest effort. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2001 by Gary F. Taylor