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4.50 from Paddington Hardcover – Large Print, Apr 1976


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 391 pages
  • Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books Ltd; Large type edition edition (April 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0854564748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0854564743
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,669,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie began writing during the First World War and wrote over 100 novels, plays and short story collections. She was still writing to great acclaim until her death, and her books have now sold over a billion copies in English and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. Yet Agatha Christie was always a very private person, and though Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple became household names, the Queen of Crime was a complete enigma to all but her closest friends.

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Review

‘A model detective story, there is never a dull moment.’ The Times

'The suspense is agonising.' Daily Mail

'Miraculously fresh from a vintage pen.' Sunday Dispatch

‘Without the female of the species, indeed, detective fiction would be in a bad way. Miss Christie never harrows her readers, being content to intrigue and amuse them.’ Times Literary Supplement

'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

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Featuring the incomparable Miss Jane Marple, who has 'an uncanny knack of always being right'. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John Austin HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 19 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
Old and new readers of Agatha Christie's whodunnits will not be disappointed with the 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 was that all worry, anxiety, and hard work went out of a house when she came into it." Accordingly, the tertiary-trained domestic, Lucy, is soon installed in Rutherford Hall, where Jane Marple believes a body thrown from a train might be hidden.
Surprises, further murders, gossip, marriage proposals, and poisonings follow in rapid succession, so that before you know it, the hours have sped by, the murderer is revealed, and you admit that once again you were quite unable to guess whodunnit.
Agatha Christie adds to the usual cozy elements of her murder mysteries a heavy involvement with passenger trains, timetables and railway matters so beloved of the British. Otherwise you'll find the book fits into the pattern of the dysfunctional family's struggles being worked out with a particularly stubborn, callous and crusty old man as the family's head.
Feature film and TV adaptations of this novel have been made, the most faithful to the text featuring Joan Hickson who also can be heard in an unabridged reading on audiotapes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By selina o'grady on 27 July 2011
Format: Paperback
This is my favourite Agatha Christie. A great beginning with an old lady seeing a woman being strangled in a passing train. No one believes her except, of course, her friend Jane Marple. Like Poirot, Marple can be exceptionally irritating, but in this one she keeps her little old ladyisms to a minimum, and even her habit of using St Mary Mead villagers as her template of humanity works quite well. It helps that Marple has a good sidekick - the competent, no-nonsense Lucy Eylesbarrow - who is infiltrated into the household where the suspected murderers are thought to be, and receives marriage proposals from all of them.

Christie at her best. Cliches kept to a minimum. Characters quite well rounded; the regulation lovers more Beatrice and Benedict sparring partners than sweet cooing doves. Christie provides all the safety of a world where you know order has only briefly been disturbed and will be restored by the end of the book, while at the same time leading the reader through a maze of promising paths and dead ends. This is the classic, beautifully constructed English detective novel, littered with clues, suspicion falling on everyone: the denouement literally made me gasp.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 May 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read all of Christie's books and I must say I enjoyed this one the most. It was solved through actual detective work and not just some detective who percieved the solution through out. Miss Marple is my favorite of Christie's detectives and Lucy Eyelesbarrow is a very admirable young lady.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Mark A. Corner on 22 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
There may not be a lot of corpses around (though there are some), but this has all the ingredients of traditional detective writing. First, you must have characters - a clever plot is not enough (though this is a clever plot). Maybe you just need three great characters in this genre - detective, sidekick and dastardly opponent, Holmes, Watson and Moriarty - but they matter, as in this story the characters of Miss Marple, Lucy and... (well, you can't name who did it, can you) matter. And the other thing you need is setting, a feel for landscape, for trains rattling along lines and bodies falling down embankments and ancient piles smelling of history. This is a great read, in a traditional genre you don't find much today, though Stanford and Crabtree sparring their way to a solution in Sam Napier's very westcountry murder case, Inspector Stanford's Conversion, comes closeInspector Stanford's Conversion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Simon Savidge Reads on 23 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
I am not the biggest fan of Poirot however I absolutely love a good Miss Marple, so I went to the TBR pile and the 4.50 From Paddington beamed out at me - how could I resist? I don't think I need to tell people what the premise of a Miss Marple novel is but I should anyway, just in case. Miss Marple is a lovely retired lady living in the delightful small village of St Mary Mead, she unfathomably ends up embroiled in murders, and decides she should go out and solve the cases in a slightly nosey busybody kind of way. I think she's great.

The tale starts as Mrs McGillicuddy takes the 4.50 from Paddington to visit her friend Miss Marple. ON her journey and being slightly nosey herself she is looking at another trains carriages when she sees a woman being throttled by a man. She naturally reports this and no one believes her, no one of course except Miss Marple. After no body is found and nothing is reported in the papers Miss Marple hires her friend Lucy Eyelesbarrow (some of the names are corking) to become a cleaner in a house near where the murder seems to have happened and where a body might just have been hidden. Lucy then has to report back to Miss Marple on regular occasions as she figures it all out coming to the correct conclusion of course.

Agatha Christie sometimes gets unfairly criticized for her prose. No it isn't flowery and never ending, she is blunt and gets to the chase whilst chucking in a few good red herrings which is what all good crime fiction should do. Also she looks at society and the human mind which has become incredibly fashionable again in crime fiction as it merges into popular literature.
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