Every once in a while I like to immerse myself in a good British mystery novel. And the “The Mystery of the Blue Train” was just that.
It begins with the initial several chapters of introduction of seemingly distantly related characters each with their own nuances, dark secrets and ambitions. The tone for murder is set early and if you have read enough of Agatha Christie you can easily predict the following things
-> The murder will happen in/on/at the “subject” mentioned in the title ( Blue train)
-> Several of the aforementioned characters will also be in the vicinity of the murder
-> Timing of the murder will be extremely crucial
-> What actually happened and what a witness saw would be different
-> The murderer would definitely be the least suspected character and if you were paying enough attention you could figure out how
In spite of all the above trademarks that make a cozy Hercule Poirot mystery, Blue Train is an interesting enough story where the fun part is actually discovering clues along with Poirot and sort of putting them together. It’s quite complex and I believe its better than some of the recent Agatha Christie’s that I have read
The premise is simple – Mrs Kettering, an heiress, is murdered for priceless rubies as she travels on a train to meet her lover in France. Several people would have wanted her dead – her husband – who stands to inherit her millions OR her lover – who is famous for swindling women in high society OR a Frenchman- who is interested in her jewels OR just a train robber who knows that the jewels are aboard. Who could it be?
Poirot is also on the train, and graciously offers his services to the French Police to help with the case. Which he does. To find out more read the book!!
Poirot has never been known to be modest but in this book he is so far from it that it almost seems out of character. He actually states somewhere that – ” he is the greatest detective in the world”. Found that a little weird.’
Verdict : I really enjoyed it and it was one of the better Poirot mysteries
PS – Check out Zoya’s review at http://silvermists.wordpress.com/2011/12/10/mystery-of-the-blue-train/