2008: 144. The Mystery of the Blue Train

“It was close on midnight when a man crossed the Place de la Concorde.  In spite of the handsome fur coat which garbed his meagre form, there was something essentially weak and paltry about him”

The Mystery of the Blue Train, Agatha Christie

Although this is a Poirot novel, it is one I’ve only read a few times - quite frankly, I am not that enthused about Christie’s earliest novels, as she just hasn’t found her groove quite yet (or you know, authorial voice - potato/potato!).  And this one was even less exciting for me because I am certain that Christie wrote a short story version of this which I had read more recently, such that I exactly remembered the way the plot went down, even though I haven’t read the book for years.  So, in terms of the mystery itself it was kind of a bust.  But I still enjoyed the re-read for two reasons - one, the fact that I always think Hercule Poirot is a ridiculously charming character and enjoy spending 226 pages with him, and two, his crime solving partner here is a great character.  Her name is Katherine Grey, and, after years spent as a companion to a fretful old woman, she has recently come into money.  She goes to the Riveria, and becomes involved with the murder of a wealthy American woman - she was the last person to speak to the woman alive, and she finds herself falling (against her better judgment) for the woman’s ne’er-do-well estranged husband.  Naturally, Poirot makes her an ally in his attempt to solve the murder.  Katherine, who is living life for the first time in the midst of murder was by far my favorite part of the mystery - Christie often writes about young women with pluck, but Katherine was a little different from her stock spunky character - she is more mature, and has a little bit of sadness for her lost time, which goes hand in hand with her determination to start living her life.  

Date/Place Completed: 9/22/08; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction, Re-read; Agatha Christie Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017