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4:50 from Paddington Hardcover – Mar 27 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Pub (March 27 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579126936
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579126933
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 2.5 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #910,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Of all Christie’s detectives, it’s Jane Marple who best understood what can drive ordinary people to the extraordinary act of taking a life.” (S. J. Rozan, Edgar Award-winning author)

“The great mistress of the last-minute switch is at it again…. Even the experts have given up any attempts to out-guess Miss Christie.” (New Yorker)

“Precisely what one expects: the most delicious bamboozling possible in a babble of bright talk and a comprehensive bristle of suspicion all adeptly managed to keep you much too alert elsewhere to see the neat succession of clues that catch a murderer we never so much as thought of.” (New York Herald Tribune)

“A model detective story, there is never a dull moment.” (The Times (London))

“The suspense is agonizing.” (Daily Mail (London)) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

For an instant the two trains ran together,side by side. In that frozen moment, Elspeth witnesseda murder. Helplessly, she stared out of hercarriage window as a man remorselessly tightened hisgrip around a woman’s throat. The body crumpled.Then the other train drew away.

But who, apart from Miss Marple, would take herstory seriously? After all, there were no suspects,no other witnesses . . . and no corpse.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Elspeth McGillicuddy had spent a busy day Christmas shopping in London so when she settled into her comfortable 1st class train compartment on her way to visit her friend it was natural that she dozed off for a few minutes. It was most unsettling that she woke up just in time to see a murder being committed in a passing train. It was understandable that the train conducter did not believe this elderly lady's fantastic story. It was fortunate that Mrs. McGillicuddy's friend was none other than Jane Marple.
Miss Marple believed her friend was not imagining whole thing. When the police found no evidence of the crime Miss Marple began to investigate for herself. She located the most likely place a body could be disposed of, a large estate owned by the Crackenthorpe family and arranged for a confederate, Lucy Eyelesbarrow to work for the family.
The Crackenthorpe family is another of Christie's large dysfunctional families dominated by a disagreeable father (Luther), downtrodden daughter (Emma), ambitious son (Harold) and a pair of blacksheep - the artistic Cedric and the slightly crooked Alfred. Two other siblings have died, Edmund and Emma. Emma's husband, Bryan and son, Alexander are also part of the household.
The body is found, more murders commited, the culprit unmasked and the true motive revealed in dramitic fashion by Miss Marple.
Along the way romance flourishes and leaves the reader with an unanswered question.
The family is very much like characters from similiar families in other books, (HERCULE POIROT'S CHRISTMAS, A POCKET FULL OF RYE, CROOKED HOUSE and others). This, coupled with the various titles this story has had over the years - WHAT MRS. McGILLICUDDY SAW, EYEWITNESS TO MURDER and MURDER SHE SAID, could lead a reader to think they had read this one before. Do not pass this one by, it is worth reading for the delightful Lucy Eyelesbarrow alone!
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Format: Audio CD
----is the original title of this Jane Marple offering, a much better choice than "4:50 From Paddington" which is a little bit deceptive and a lot more lackluster. Miss McGillicuddy, while riding the entitled train, saw a woman being strangled on a train running parallel to her own.
Miss McG. reports this shocking occurrence to her hostess Miss Marple, the police and the train authorities. No body is found, and the authorities chalk up the report to an elderly lady's vivid imagination. But Miss Marple knows that one thing rock-solid Elspeth McGillicuddy lacks is a "vivid imagination." If Miss McG says she saw a murder, Miss Marple is certain a murder did, in fact, take place. Her curiosity aroused, Miss Marple enlists the aid of young Lucy Eyelesbarrow. Lucy is a delightful character who combines fearsome organizational abilities with all consuming charm and tact. In a fine bit of sleuthing, Miss Marple ascertains the only area where the body could have been dumped from the train is on the Crackenthorpe (don't you just love these names?) estate, Rutherford Hall.
Lucy gets herself hired at Rutherford to find out about the people, and hopefully locate the body. The head Crackenthorpe is the old, miserly father who enjoys his poor health and depriving his grown children with equal enthusiasm. The family consists of his martyred spinster daughter, three sons, a son-in-law and a grandnephew schoolboy. Clever Lucy finds the body residing in a sarcophagus in a falling down barn on the property. The murderer would have to be very familiar with Rutherford Hall and its environs to have found such a resting place.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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. What she sees is the back of a man strangling a woman. No one believes Mrs. McGillicuddy since no corpse is found and no injured woman turns up at any hospital. Only Miss Marple believes her friend. Although Mrs. McGillicuddy is leaving for Ceylon to spend Christmas with her son, Miss Marple continues her quest to prove her friend's story. First she books passage on the same train and narrows the search for where a body should have been thrown to the area around Rutherford Hall, the large family estate of the Crackenthorpes. The family consists of the semi-invalided and grouchy Mr. Crackenthorpe, his daughter Emma, three sons, a son-in-law, and a grandson. At least four of the men are likely candidates for the strangler.
Because Miss Marple is not young enough to physically search for the body in unknown territory, she engages Lucy Eyelesbarrow, one of Christie's most interesting female creations. Lucy quickly gains employment at Rutherford Hall as a domestic and busily does all the legwork for Miss Marple. Meanwhile, Jane Marple has taken up residence at a nearby home and advises and assists Lucy.
In 1961, this became the basis for "Murder, She Said," the first of four films starring Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple. Although it deviates from the book, most notably in the omission of Lucy, it is enjoyable and worth viewing.
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