4:50 From Paddington – Agatha Christie

Title: 4:50 From Paddingtoncover
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 288
Category: 8. Read a book written by a woman
Format: Paper

Date Started: July 5th 2017
Date Finished: July 7th 2017

This is the third and final of my Agatha Christie reads today and focuses not on the famous detective Poirot, instead it is one of her Miss Marple novels.

Miss Marple’s friend Ms. McGillicuddy is on her way to visit when she saw a woman being strangled on a train that passed by her very close to the station. Naturally nobody believes this older lady could have actually witnessed a murder except Miss Marple. But, and here’s the weird part, no body shows up. So this murder mystery is part search for the murderer and part search for the dead body.

This book is so short that I really don’t want to spoil any of the greatness by telling you more than that. But in traditional Agatha Christie fashion there is a twist at the end. And for once I actually saw the twist coming.

At any rate, there’s a chance there will be more Agatha Christie to come next year. So, what are your favourite Agatha Christie novels that I should be checking out?

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

 

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Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie

Title: Murder on the Orient Express853510
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 274
Category: 5. Read a book written before 1950
Format: Paper

Date Started: June 24th 2017
Date Finished: June 28th 2017

This is the second of my Agatha Christie books for the year, this is probably one of the most well known Agatha Christie books out there. So well known that it’s getting a brand new movie to be released this year. In fact, that’s the reason I chose this book because I wanted to read it before seeing the movie. Of course, having read the book I’m now wondering about some of their casting choices but we’ll see. Okay, mostly I’m wondering about Michelle Pfeiffer who is playing a character who is described as ‘homely’, a word I never would’ve thought to associate with Pfeiffer. But we’ll see.

At any rate, the famous detective Poirot boards the Orient Express on the way to a job, but someone is murdered on the train and it’s up to him to solve the murder. There aren’t that many people on the train but the victim seems to have rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

And again there’s a classic Christie twist at the end which is super fun and I won’t spoil it for you.

If you read no other Christie book then definitely read this one.

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Unexpected Guest – Agatha Christie

Title: The Unexpected Guestthe-unexpected-guest
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Murder Mystery/Play
Pages: 114
Category: 44. Read a book where a stranger comes to town
Format: Paper

Date Started: June 20th 2017
Date Finished: June 24th 2017

Okay, so this is a play not a novel as such but… It’s well worth a read. This is the first of 3 Agatha Christie works to make it onto my list this year. So I’ll address the obvious criticisms of Agatha Christie now. She has been criticised for having poor character development and while I agree that if Agatha Christie were writing now she probably wouldn’t get published for that reason it’s also important to remember that she is not writing now. Her books were written half a century ago when much character development was of a similar level. So yes the characters are incredibly superficial but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of any of the books I read of hers. In part perhaps because these books are incredibly short, but also because they have such great reveals that I wasn’t expecting.

In fact, that was my favourite thing about this play. Just as I was thinking it was a little bit boring and that it wasn’t worth my time, it turns out boom. Actually here’s this thing I just wasn’t expecting. Boom here’s another one.

This play is set entirely in a single room, with an unexpected guest coming across a house where a woman is standing over a dead man. A very clearly murdered man. And thus begins the murder mystery.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

The Girl on the Train (2016)

Title: The Girl on the Traingirl_on_the_train_ver3_xlg
Year: 2016
Director: Erin Cressida Wilson
Genre: Drama/Mystery
Date Watched: May 6, 2017
Category: #14 A drama

I was a little bit apprehensive when I heard that Emily Blunt had been cast as the main character in this movie, not because I don’t love her as an actress but more that I imagined her as being slightly older (until I was reminded that Emily Blunt is no longer a 20 something). As it turns out Emily Blunt was the perfect choice, but not just that so was Haley Bennett as the girl who went missing and Laura Prepon as the roommate.

If you’ve read the book then you’ll notice that the movie does stick to to the plot of the book quite well. Right down to the surprise ending.

Honestly, this book and the movie were slightly uncomfortable to read and watch for me because there is not a single likable character in the whole thing for most of the movie, maybe because I spent the whole thing hating each character for a different reason from the ex-husband who didn’t help his wife with a tough time to the missing girl who seemed to hate the baby she was sitting for and was sleeping with someone who wasn’t her husband. At the same time is really is a great movie (and a great book).

Rating: 3.5/5 stars