Mittwoch, 21. März 2007
4.50 from Paddington
As a huge fan of all the mystery novels by Agatha Christie, you can imagine that I was thrilled to bits to find her novel "4.50 from Paddington" at Moser after what seemed like a century of searching for it. (the picture you can admire above is the facsimile of the first edition of the book)
Now, half way through the book, I figured out I should write a few words about it on my blog.
The best thing would be to transcribe the blurb for you, so you get a feel about this masterpiece of crime fiction:
For an instant the two trains ran together, side by side. In that frozen moment, Elspeth was sure she witnessed a murder. What else could it have been? As she stared helplessly out of her carriage window, a man had remorselessly tightened his grip around a woman's throat. The body crumpled. Then the other train drew away.
But who, apart from Jane Marple, would take her story seriously? After all, there were no suspects, no other witnesses...and no corpse.
As you can deduct from the above, the book is really compulsive reading. The whole story evolves around a rich Victorian family-the Crackenthorpes- as the body of the death woman has been found in the barn on the premises of their castle. In the chapter I'm currently reading all the members of the family have come together to discuss how to deal with the fact that the police are poking their noses around the castle and suspecting everyone as potential murderers.
The book has everything that constitutes a well-written crime novel- the Victorian setting, a family, whose members are in the red, the maid of the village, who also has a feel for the evil (Miss Marple) etc In other words, "4.50 from Paddington" has all the ingredients of an unputdownable novel.
What I personally adore about Christie's books in general is the Victorian setting. It is a time were maids are still a necessity, were rich people live in castles and were women don't work. A whole era, mystical for me from today's point of view, unfolds in front of my eyes when reading any of her books.
All in all, I sincerely hope I was persuasive enough to make you want to read one of her books some time in the future. I would strongly recommend reading either "Murder on the Orient Express" or "Ten Little Indians".