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4:50 From Paddington
By Agatha Christie

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4:50 From Paddington

4:50 From Paddington
A Miss Marple Mystery
By Agatha Christie
Ulverscroft Large Print, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-44480-228-3
Genre: Crime, Mystery

Also published as What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - July 19, 2010

4:50 From Paddington is a classic Agatha Christie story about an elderly woman who witnesses a crime - but no one believes her! In this case, the witness is Mrs. Elspeth McGillicuddy. While traveling on the 4:50 train from Paddington station she sees what she thinks is a man strangling a woman. The problem is, the crime that she witnesses takes place in another train, and Mrs. McGillicuddy claims to have seen the crime as the two trains passed.

While no one really takes her claim seriously, the police do conduct a rudimentary search. When they find no signs of a struggle, a body, anyone reported attacked, or any other witnesses to the supposed crime, they drop the case. The only one who believes Mrs. McGillicuddy's story is her old friend, Miss Jane Marple of St. Mary Mead.

This book has also been published under the title What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!, this is a charming cozy mystery in which Miss Marple sets out to prove that her friend's claim of witnessing a murder is true - and to uncover the identity of the culprit and his victim. However, unlike most of Miss Marple's cases, in this one she is going to need help to get to the bottom of this tantalizing caper. To that end, she enlists the aid of Lucy Eyelesbarrow, a thirty-two-year-old mathematician with a keen analytical mind and the willingness to pursue any line of work - even menial labor - if the monetary reward is sufficient or if there is something unusual about the job that just happens to strike her fancy. It was the unusualness of Miss Marple's request that brings Miss Lucy into the quest for the illusive killer that Mrs. McGillicuddy saw from her train window. Miss Lucy's job is simple, all she has to do is to find the body of the murdered woman! Lucy Eyelesbarrow is one of Christie's more unique characters and she could have easily carried a mystery series of her own. She is perhaps even more of a pivotal character in this book than is Miss Marple - as she is basically doing the physical work of seeking out the murder victim, and the murderer, under the direction of Miss Marple who has grown too frail to do such work herself. It does, however, fall to Miss Marple, using the information garnered by Lucy, to solve this case.

The 4:50 From Paddington is an all-around great mystery. It begins with a unique premise, is filled with a host of twists and turns, and people with eccentric characters and insights into English upper-class culture that makes this a truly memorable story. As well, so you don't get bored, Christie has also tossed in some additional murders, a marriage proposal, and other juicy tidbits that help to round out the story and to energize it with enough excitement to keep you up all night reading this book straight through from beginning to end!


4:50 From Paddington can be purchased directly from Ulverscroft.


Click Here for a complete list of all the books written by Agatha Christie.


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