The Mystery of the Blue Train–Agatha Christie

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I have the complete Agatha Christie bound in blue leather, these, in fact. They sit in a bookcase completely unsorted, so I’m just grabbing one off the shelf at random and reading it.

Last night’s book was “The Mystery of the Blue Train,” which Agatha herself apparently hated. I didn’t hate it, but it’s not her most dazzling work.

For those unfamiliar, it goes like this:

Ruth Kettering is the daughter of a massively rich American businessman, married to the heir to some sort of British lord who is carrying on a flagrant affair with a French ballerina. The dad insists she file for divorce and she reluctantly agrees.

The reluctance is not out of devotion to her husband, but because she’s having an affair of her own, with a self-styled French count her father had bought off when she was younger.

The husband won’t accept a bribe to let the divorce happen easily (remember, this is pre-no fault divorces) and the wife heads off to the French Riviera, carrying with her a ruby necklace worth half a million pounds (in 1928 money, mind you) her rich daddy had just given her.

Her husband, his mistress, her maid and Hercules Poirot are all traveling on the same train. They arrive in Nice and discover Ruth Kettering dead.

A former paid companion (even in the 1920’s you could buy your friends, but it was less frowned upon) is the last person besides the maid to speak to her alive. She had advised Ruth not to rendezvous with the fake count.

The maid says, a man came onto the train and surprised Ruth, causing her to tell the maid to stay in Paris.

Was the mysterious man/murderer her husband? Or her lover? Or none of the above?

But wait, there’s more suspects! All the suspects!

I always recommend Christie, even if it’s not her best work. Maybe check it out from the library instead of buying it. Of course, that’s what I do with most of my books because I’m cheap like that.

For Christmas, someone gave me an Agatha Christie trivia book, this one, and I think it would be fun to ask you a trivia question on her books as I review them.

Ada Mason’s trip to Nice was cut short when she disembarked from the train in Paris at the order of her employer. Her story seemed airtight, but there was a leak in her alibi and her true identity was revealed. Who was this actress?

I’ll give you the answer in the next post.

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