Synopsis From Dust Jacket:
Hercule Poirot is en route from Calais to Nice on the Blue Train when he finds himself as the center of a vexing crime. A young American woman, Ruth Van Aldin Kettering, is found brutally murdered on board the train. The killer is still at large, and it is up to Poirot to pick him or her out among a cast of suspicious characters. Among them are Ruth's husband, Derrek Kettering, to whom she is unhappily marries, and an exotic dancer with a taste for a man like Derek.
As he pursues the killer, Poirot encounters several passengers with a keen interest in a large, legendary ruby that Ruth possessed, a gift from her wealthy father. It's a race against the clock for the charming detective...
Hercule Poirot is once again the star of this book, and I must say he was easier to take this time around. I think it helped that the story is told from a few different arenas and he isn't on every page. There is something endearing about him when I don't have to listen to him pontificate on every page.
The best part of this book was another strong female character that reminded me of Anne Beddingfeld and Virginia Revel. Katherine Grey is a wonderfully strong woman who keeps her own counsel and has a sharper eye and mind than most give her credit for. I have to give Agatha credit for being able to write sharp, intelligent women who would feel at home in 2010 solving crimes all by themselves.
The other character I really liked was that of Derek Kettering, the murdered woman's philandering husband. There is something so innocent and naive about him that you can't help but like him, so when he starts to feel something for Katherine you can't help but cheer them on.
Now that I got the character part out of the way, I'm going to say a quick word about the mystery itself, which is the whole point of the book. After reading The Big Four, I'm so excited to be reading a book that is not only well written but has a mystery that is so beautifully crafted that I couldn't help but smile the entire time I'm reading the book. I will recommend this book to anyone who loves a well crafted, murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.