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4.50 from Paddington (1957)

de Agatha Christie

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: Miss Marple (7), Miss Marple: Chronological (17)

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4,5691012,456 (3.76)199
For an instant the two trains ran together, side by side. In that frozen moment, Elspeth witnessed a murder. Helplessly, she stared out of her carriage window as a man remorselessly tightened his grip around a woman's throat. The body crumpled. Then the other train drew away. But who, apart from Miss Marple, would take her story seriously? After all, there were no suspects, no other witnesses . . . and no corpse.… (mais)
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Charming, cozy mystery

I read my first two Agatha Christie this past year; both were Inspector Poirot mysteries. This is my first Miss Marple mystery. I adore the characters Ms. Christie introduces us to in her stories; Ms. Marple is delightful. Beyond that, I was a little less impressed with the unfolding of the mystery than I was in And Then There Were None or Murder on the Orient Express, but I liked the character development better, and the characters themselves. ( )
  bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
Light fare in Agatha Christie’s comfort zone of defined characters, roles, and traits: everything is orderly and fits in, foul deeds and malign intentions included.
There’s little nuance or reflection, as the story is always moving neatly on. The key scene of this book, an assault witnessed through a train window from another train travelling alongside, is certainly memorable. Miss Marple is the detective of record, but barely features in this book, acting from a distance, and appointing here instead another capable and independent woman, Lucy Eyelesbarrow, to do the hands-on sleuth work. She does it, and the case is solved, the book resolved. ( )
  eglinton | Dec 31, 2023 |
A quick page turning read from Agatha Christie, featuring her Miss Marple character. I had seen the classic TV adaptation with Joan Hickson some years ago, which was a bit of a spoiler as part way through the book I remembered who the murderer was and how Miss M brought him to justice, but it was still interesting to see how it played out.

Elspeth McGillicuddy is an old friend of Miss Marple's and is on the 4.50 train from Paddington on her way to visit Miss M a few days before Christmas. She wakes from a nap to see a train alongside hers, traveling in the same direction. Then a window blind flies up to reveal a blonde woman being strangled by a figure in a dark coat with his back to Mrs McGillicuddy. In moments, the trains change speed and the murdered woman disappears, but Mrs McGillicuddy tells the guard who thinks she dreamed it, and then leaves a note with the station master. When she tells Miss M, they both visit their local police station the next day and report it.

Days pass and no body is found. Miss Marple does some sleuthing, using a map of the line, and takes the train that she has worked out must be the one her friend saw. She concludes correctly that the body has been thrown out in a particular place near to a particular estate and old house. As she is getting on in years, she enlists the help of a resourceful young woman, Lucy Eyelesbarrow, to go undercover at the house as an all-in domestic help (Lucy has a business doing this) and find the body, because the police have given up looking at this point, thinking it is a figment of an elderly lady's imagination.

The chief attraction of the story is the interaction of Lucy with the other characters at the house and her effect on the men there, who all end up proposing, even the cantankerous old father. The murderer is by no means easy to identify especially since there are a number of red herrings about the identity of the murdered woman. A number of appealing characters are featured including the young son of one of the possible suspects, and his close friend, who go searching for clues once the body is discovered. I also enjoyed the few scenes where Miss Marple appeared - because she isn't in that much of the book, we are either 'with' Lucy or the police inspectors who are investigating - and where she shows a positive zest in outwitting the killer. This is a 3 star to me as I would have liked more Miss Marple, but a satisfying read for all that. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
In this mystery, Miss Marple delegates the legwork to a young acquaintance of hers, Lucy Eyelesbarrow. Lucy was a good character, and Miss Marple is always fun to watch as she trips up people who underestimate her, but I found the solution hard to figure out from the clues provided. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Nov 13, 2023 |
I think my disappointment is partly cause near the end I had someone else pinned. Even if they made less sense, Marple hinted at them a few times and their motive is a reasonable one. Here, everything's set up for this person but their motive is... less than stellar. If your plan is to marry the daughter and take the money (a plan which requires you to murder 4/5 people to collect it in its entirety, btw. a plan which will almost certainly be discovered), it seems a bit premature to start murdering before you've even got engaged. I mean yeah it'd be more suspicious but also less of a crapshot. Also, to start murdering people while there's a lot of attention on the case because of another murder? I guess it was an attempt to frame someone else but given there was no evidence to implicate anyone else it wasn't very convincing. Also, he planted one piece of evidence in such a silly way that it feels absurd - the 2 kids were examining everywhere for evidence and then found a piece of an envelope in a waste shed. Marple suggests he deliberately lead them to look there, but we have no evidence they ever talked. To expect them to find an envelope in a huge shed of waste paper seems to be expecting rather too much. In fact, the murder which opens the book seems a little poorly planned - to murder someone on a train in public, regardless of it being non-corridor and having the blind down - seems very dangerous. What if someone saw you disposing of the body? Also, the murderer isn't interviewed by the police in the same way as the others even though we KNOW he has intimate knowledge of the house, which is apparently their reason for interviewing everyone else. It just feels a little silly that we don't even get him to give a lie. Of course, it's all part of trying to keep him out of people's mind as a possible suspect but still. Also, the whole thing was wrapped up in about 4-5 short pages. Seemed incredibly rapid.

Really I can't complain cause everything was fair and the evidence did point to him. But Christie can't write characters that well - she's very tell, not show - so when the mystery's weak the whole thing falls down. Not a bad book by any means, and an easy read that's interesting enough, but just a weaker effort that leaves some disappointment.

By the way, I saw someone else suggest this, so I'll say I thought the murderer was the father. Unfortunately this doesn't really fit everything: I can't think of a reason for him to commit the original murder, for example, although I'm sure one could have easily come up - maybe even just he didn't want to spend more money supporting someone? But he had a perfect motive: he hated most of his kids a lot and was constantly talking about how he'd outlive them while also worrying about having to spend money on them. During the poisonings later on he's mentioned as causing a fuss several times that allowed the poisonings to occur. He'd naturally be assumed to be the target because his death allows other people to inherit a lot of money. He has intimate knowledge of the house, including the sarcophagus. Marple tells a story right near the end about someone killing their children for exactly this reason that's clearly supposed to implicate him but there's stuff throughout that implicates him and it'd be unexpected but not a little ridiculous like the real ending is ( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (49 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Christie, Agathaautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Barnard, RobertIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Fox, EmiliaNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Franceschini, PaolaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Grant, Richard E.Narradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Griffini, Grazia MariaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hickson, JoanNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Himmelstoss, BeateNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Laine, Anna-LiisaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Orengo, NicoPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Simonsen, HelgeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Whitfield, JunePerformerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Mrs. McGillicuddy panted along the platform in the wake of the porter carrying her suitcase.
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Original title for the US publication was What Mrs McGillicuddy Saw!, and a 1963 paperback edition used the title Murder, She Said.
Abridged edition: Please do not combine with the unabridge edition.
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For an instant the two trains ran together, side by side. In that frozen moment, Elspeth witnessed a murder. Helplessly, she stared out of her carriage window as a man remorselessly tightened his grip around a woman's throat. The body crumpled. Then the other train drew away. But who, apart from Miss Marple, would take her story seriously? After all, there were no suspects, no other witnesses . . . and no corpse.

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