Customer Review

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry Aggie, not your best, 29 May 2007
This review is from: 4.50 from Paddington (Agatha Christie) (Paperback)
I truly love anything Agatha Christie. Her style and ingenuity are second to none, but not all reach the sublime standards of 'The ABC Murders' or 'And Then There Were None'. Like most Christie fans I cut my teeth on Poirot and then ventured into Marple territory.

Perhaps most importantly I managed to concoct my own theory of who the murderer was, and be completely wrong on that account. The plot runs thus; an old dear witnesses a murder on a train (the 4.33 from Padington), but nobody takes her seriously, except Miss Marple. She sends in an acquaintance, Lucy Eyelesbarrow, to Rutherford house to discover the body, which she manages.

Then we encounter what I feel makes this book rather poor for Agatha's standards. About 200 pages are devoted to finding out who the body is, with all sorts of theories thrown in. I mean, it would be blatantly obvious to any Christie reader that this was all misdirection. But even when the whole plot is revealed, there is no satsifaction, no 'aaaahh' moment when all the clues fit into place.

It has not been crafted with the same love of detail and misleading facts as we are used to, and comes across as very mediocre. Marple does not compare to Poirot anyway, but in this novel she is absent for vast tracts of the book, and this is to its detriment. It just felt formulaic, and unremarkable. If you want to appreciate how well she can write, read those I mentioned earlier, or plum for 'The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd'.
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