In Agatha Christie’s classic mystery 4:50 From Paddington, a woman in one train witnesses a murder occurring in another passing one…and only Miss Marple believes her story.For an instant the two trains ran side by side. In that frozen moment, Elspeth McGillicuddy stared helplessly out of her carriage window as a man tightened his grip around a woman's throat. The body crumpled. Then the other train drew away. But who, apart from Mrs. McGillicuddy's friend Jane Marple, would take her story seriously? After all, there are no other witnesses, no suspects, and no case -- for there is no corpse, and no one is missing. Miss Marple asks her highly efficient and intelligent young friend Lucy Eyelesbarrow to infiltrate the Crackenthorpe family, who seem to be at the heart of the mystery, and help unmask a murderer.
What a daunting task to write about the most famous mystery writer, Agatha Christie. She was born in 1890 in England, where she was home schooled by her American father. It was an unusual way to be educated for the times. Her father did not want her to begin learning to read until age eight, but out of boredom, she taught herself to read by age five.
In his research, Curran found a plethora of information about Agatha. He outlines many of those interesting facts. Since there are so many, just a few will be mentioned here. Agatha could have been an excellent performer as a pianist, but she was much too shy to perform. She once had three plays running simultaneously in London. She traveled around the world in 1922, which would have been quite a feat back then. Agatha loved dogs. She has a rose named after her. She never did drink alcohol nor smoked. Her last public appearance was in 1974, at the premier of the movie, Murder on the Orient Express. Agatha Christie's name has appeared every day for 53 years in every newspaper with a West End London theatre listing. Her favorite flower was Lily of the Valley. The information about this illustrious author goes on and on. It is a great asset to readers that author John Curran wrote the definitive book about an iconic author. One other interesting fact was that Agatha met Archie Christie in 1912, married on Christmas Eve 1914, spending their honeymoon at The Grand Hotel in Torquay, but Archie returned to France on Dec 27th due to the War. Agatha and Archie fid not really experience married life until he was posted at the London War Office. Agatha has been quoted as saying only then did she feel that her married life truly began.
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