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.
I read this for my own personal self challenge as well as the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge 2010 and the Typically British Reading Challenge both of which are hosted by Carolyn of Book Chick City.
I haven't read any Agatha Christie books, I have them on my shelf but never reach for them for some reason. I keep meaning to try one since other readers seem to really enjoy them. Thanks for the review!
Oh I want to read this one right now! I don't think I've read this one yet.
You're making me make a mental note to pick up more Agatha's, which is a wonderful thing :)
I love Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, what an amazing writer! This sounds just as good, I've got to read it! :)
One of my "to-do" items...read an Agatha Christie. This one sounds good, too. I love mysteries that take place on trains!
I'm keeping this one in mind for the Poirot, Marples and Holmes challenge I'm in. It sounds like a good one.
Sounds like another wonderful Agatha Christie read for you. I have my first book on its way to me. I ordered Partners in Crime for our discussions on TuesBookTalks. I am looking forward to it!
I'm so loving your Christie reviews....I've got a lot to look forward to!!!
I haven't read Agatha Christie in a very long time. This sounds like a good one to get back to them. Great review! And you can check off two challenges at once with this one!
Hercule Poirot is one of my favorite detectives. I know he can be a little tough to take at times, but I do enjoy him.
I love reading your Agatha Christie reviews, they really make me want to go on a Christie binge :-)
Like you, I loved the heroines you mentioned. I think Christie's characters are often underrated, because they are very memorable -- and not just Poirot and Miss Marple.
I'm so glad you liked this book! I love the cool new cover (gotta love bling). Maybe it's time for me to reread this one.
I'm glad you enjoyed it, too. I gave it 4/5 stars.
oh yummy, well-crafted mystery, strong heroine, adorably naive man, and I must stress again, a well-crafted mystery! I've been waiting to initiate myself into this series for a while now but haven't been able to get my hands on the first book (I have a thing about reading #1 first), but now I really must find a copy!
thanks for the review!
One of my favourites. The Big Four is an attempt at a thriller, which is not worth rereading. She was having trouble fulfilling her publishing contract - her mother had recently died, and she was going through an unpleasant divorce. She always said she hated the Blue Train because it reminded her of an unhappy time, but I think it's one of her best. Some of her sadness seeps into the story.
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