Title: The Mystery of the Blue Train
Author: Agatha Christie
Page Count/Review Word Count: 232
The Queen of Crime is back with another classic tale of murder and intrigue, in which the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot investigates the murder of a millionaire’s daughter and the theft of her valuable diamonds. It’s a similar story-line to most of Christie’s other work, but there are a couple of things to make this particular novel stand out.
The characterisation, for example, is fantastic – each character is believable and easy to relate to, even eighty five years after its publication. Sure, there’s no real equivalent to the eponymous ‘blue train’ (unless you count the Eurostar), but it’s easy to picture the train as it chugs across Europe with a murderer on board.
It’s also easy to read – I powered through it with a constant headache, and though I didn’t see the ending coming, I had a good guess. That’s exactly what you want from a detective story – it keeps you on tenterhooks throughout, then delivers the coup de grace at just the right time to keep you interested and engaged throughout.
Miss Christie wrote over ninety novels (though some were under her pen name of Mary Westmacott) and you’re hardly spoiled for choice, so start elsewhere and move on to this when you’re ready.