4 50 from Paddington (Miss Marple Series)

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Overview

Through the window of her first-class coach, Mrs. McGillicuddysees a woman being strangled in a passing train, No onebelieves her except her good friend Miss Marple. Now theinimitable sleuth must find a body and match wits with a killer

Originally published as What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!.

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4:50 from Paddington

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Overview

Through the window of her first-class coach, Mrs. McGillicuddysees a woman being strangled in a passing train, No onebelieves her except her good friend Miss Marple. Now theinimitable sleuth must find a body and match wits with a killer

Originally published as What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
No one does it better than Agatha Christie.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451200518
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/28/2000
  • Series: Miss Marple Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.96 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades. Twenty-four of Christie's best whodunits are now available from Black Dog & Leventhal as part of their bestselling hardcover Agatha Christie Collection.

Biography

Agatha Christie is the world's best-known mystery writer. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language, and another billion in 44 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her writing career spanned more than half a century, during which she wrote 79 novels and a short story collection, as well as 14 plays, one of which, The Mousetrap, is the longest running play in history. Two of the characters she created, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the irrepressible and relentless Miss Marple, went on to become world famous detectives. Both have been widely dramatized in feature films and made-for-TV movies. Agatha Christie died in 1976.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Mary Westmacott (used for her romantic fiction)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 15, 1890
    2. Place of Birth:
      Torquay, Devon, England
    1. Date of Death:
      January 12, 1976

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Mrs. McGillicuddy panted along the platform in the wake of the porter carrying her suitcase. Mrs. McGillicuddy was short and stout, the porter was tall and freestriding. In addition, Mrs, McGillicuddy was burdened with a large quantity of parcels; the result of a day's Christmas shopping. The race was, therefore, an uneven one, and the porter turned the comer at the end of the platform while Mrs. McGillicuddy was still coming up the straight.

No. 1 platform was not at the moment unduly crowded, since a train had just gone out; but, in the no man's land beyond, a milling crowd was rushing in several directions at once, to and from undergrounds, left-luggage offices, tea rooms, inquiry offices, indicator boards and the two outlets, Arrival and Departure, to the outside world.

Mrs. McGillicuddy and her parcels were buffeted to and fro, but she arrived eventually at the entrance to No. 3 platform, and deposited one parcel at her feet while she searched her bag for the ticket that would enable her to pass the stem, uniformed guardian at the gate

At that moment, a voice, raucous yet refined, burst into speech over her head.

"The train standing at Platform 3," the voice told her, "is the 4:54 for Backhampton, Milchester, Waverton Carvil Junction, Roxeter and stations to Chadmouth. Passengers for Brackhampton and Milchester travel at the rear of the train. Passengers for Vanequay change at Roxeter." The voice shut itself off with a click, and then reopened conversation by announcing the arrival at Platform 9 of the 4:35 from Birmingham and Wolverhamp ton.

Mrs. McGillicuddy found her ticket and presented it. The man clipped it,murmured: "On the right -- rear portion."

Mrs. McGillicuddy padded up the platform and found her Porter, looking bored and staring into space, outside the door of a third-class carriage.

"Here you are, lady."

"I'm traveling first class," said Mrs. McGillicuddy.

"You didn't say so," rumbled the porter. His eye swept her masculine-looking pepper-and-salt tweed coat disparagingly.

Mrs. McGillicuddy who had said so, did not argue the point. She was sadly out of breath.

The porter retrieved the suitcase and marched with it to the adjoining coach where Mrs. McGillicuddy was in stalled in solitary splendor. The 4:54 was not much pa tronized, the first-class clientele preferring either the faster morning express or the 6:40 with dining cars. Mrs. McGillicuddy handed the porter his tip which he received with disappointment, clearly considering it More applicable to third-class than to first-class travel. Mrs. McGillicuddy, though prepared to spend money on comfortable travel after a night journey from the North and a day's feverish shopping, was at no time an extravagant tipper.

She settled herself back on the plush cushions with a sigh and opened a magazine. Five minutes later, whistles blew and the train started. The magazine slipped from Mrs. McGillicuddy's hand, her head dropped sideways, three minutes later she was asleep. She slept for thirtyfive minutes and awoke refreshed. Resettling her hat which had slipped askew, she sat up and looked out of the window at what she could see of the flying countryside. It was quite dark now, a dreary, misty December dayChristmas was only five days ahead. London had been dark and dreary; the country was no less so, though occasionally rendered cheerful with its constant clusters of lights as the train flashed through towns and stations.

"Serving last tea now," said an attendant, whisking open the corridor door like a jinni. Mrs. McGillicuddy had already partaken of tea at a large department store. She was for the moment amply nourished. The attendant went on down the corridor uttering his monotonous cry. With a pleased expression, Mrs. McGillicuddy looked up at the rack where her various parcels reposed. The face towels had been excellent value and just what Margaret wanted, the space gun for Robby and the rabbit for Jean were highly satisfactory, and that evening coatee was just the thing she herself wanted, warm but dressy. The pullover for Hector, too . . . her mind dwelt with approval on the soundness of her purchases.

Her satisfied gaze returned to the window, a train traveling in the opposite direction rushed by with a screech, making the windows rattle and causing her to start. The train clattered over points and passed through a station.

Then it began suddenly to slow down, presumably in obedience to a signal. For some minutes it crawled along, then stopped, presently it began to move forward again. Another up train passed them, though with less vehemence than the first one. The train gathered speed again.

At that moment another train, also on a down line, swerved inward toward them, for a moment with almost alarming effect. For a time the two trains ran parallel, now one gaining a little, now the other. Mrs. McGillicuddy looked from her window through the windows of the parallel carriages. Most of the blinds were down, but occasionally the occupants of the carriages were visible. The other train was not very full and there were many empty carriages.

At the moment when the two trains gave the illusion of being stationary, a blind in one of the carriages flew up with a snap. Mrs. McGillicuddy looked into the lighted first-class carriage that was only a few feet away.

Then she drew her breath in with a gasp and half rose to her feet.

Standing with his back to the window and to her was a man. His hands were round the throat of a woman who faced him, -and be was slowly, remorselessly, strangling her. Her eyes were starting from their sockets, her face was purple and congested. As Mrs. McGillicuddy watched, fascinated, the end came, the body went limp and crumpled in the man's hands.

At the same moment, Mrs. McGillicuddy's train slowed down again and the other began to gain speed. It passed forward...

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

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(12)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

    "I want you to find a body."

    When a friend witnesses a murder, Miss Marple enlists the aid of Britain's best and most intelligent domestic to solve a plot as deliciously twisted as only Christie could concoct.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome Story!

    I first read this book about 10 years ago, and spent the next decade trying to find it again. It was out of print for a while before I bought my Nook Color and found it on the B&N website. Agatha Christie definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat and write endings that you never see coming. Case in point, check out And Then There Were None.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2009

    Agatha always, GREAT!

    How else can you think, judge or read of any Agatha Christie's books than with 5 STARS!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another Train Story

    Usual twists and turns by MS Christie

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