The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot Series)

The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot Series)


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Robbery and brutal murder aboard a luxury transport ensnares the ever-attentive Hercule Poirot in The Mystery of the Blue Train, from Queen of Mystery Agatha Christie

When the luxurious Blue Train arrives at Nice, a guard attempts to wake serene Ruth Kettering from her slumbers. But she will never wake again—for a heavy blow has killed her, disfiguring her features almost beyond recognition. What is more, her precious rubies are missing.

The prime suspect is Ruth’s estranged husband, Derek. Yet Hercule Poirot is not convinced, so he stages an eerie reenactment of the journey, complete with the murderer on board. . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062573445
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/04/2016
Series: Hercule Poirot Series
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 323,836
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976, after a prolific career spanning six decades.

Date of Birth:

September 15, 1890

Date of Death:

January 12, 1976

Place of Birth:

Torquay, Devon, England


Home schooling

What People are Saying About This

Peter Lovesey

“No one is better at misdirection than Agatha Christie. She dangles the key to the mystery in front of you and you still don’t see it.”

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The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot Series) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
actorsaudio More than 1 year ago
Somehow, I never came accross a copy of "The Mystery of the Blue Train". I'm glad my local Barnes & Noble had it in stock. This mystery is every bit as exciting as "Murder on the Orient Express". In some ways, I thought this train ride was more exotic because it went to the French Riviera, Cannes, and Lyons. It gave a fascinating account of the lives of the ultra wealthy in the late 1920's. It is about an American Heiress who marries English Royalty for all the wrong reasons. Her husband has a French Mistress who is also a reknowned dancer. The Heiress' father is an American Tycoon who wants to end her marraige. There is a lot of international intrigue in this murder, and, in a way, it is a little like a James Bond in that the men wear tuxedoes and the women are all glamourous, wealthy, and not to be trusted. Poirot is at home with these people, and while he is not James Bond, he has a flirtation with a woman that seems to be sincere! Agatha Christie was a very wealthy woman and frequently took trips like this to the most stylish of resorts, so her descriptions of the characters have details that capture an era long gone. The reader gets the sense that she saw these people, their habits, and behaviors and then put them on The Blue Train herself and created a plot that amused her. This is a good book. If you like Agatha Christie, this is among her best!
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
A good solid Agatha Christie mystery. Great character and plot development. Keeps you on your toes. An enjoyable book that I didn't want to put down. As with all of the Hercule Poirot books, there are plenty of French phrases so keep you French to English translater handy. I would have given it 5 stars except that there were some editing issues in the nook edition. Not merely a typo or two but in a few places, the word or words intended by the author were gibberish. It was as if the typist had placed their hands incorrectly on the keyboard.
davidabrams on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As I began reading Agatha Christie's The Mystery of the Blue Train, I thought this was going to be an indigo-tinted version of Murder on the Orient Express. The two novels bear some similarities: the confinement of a train chugging across Europe, a rich American murdered in her sleeping compartment, a cast of suspects with equal portions of motive and alibi, contradictory statements from witnesses, and a funny little Belgian detective with a luxurious moustache who's there to ferret out the truth. But it's not long before The Mystery of the Blue Train goes off on a different track than Murder on the Orient Express. While Blue Train is not quite as cleverly-plotted as "Orient Express, it's still a fun ride on par with Agatha's other "cozy mysteries." Published in 1928 (six years before Murder on the Orient Express), The Mystery of the Blue Train centers around Ruth Van Aldin, the daughter of an American millionaire, who is found strangled in her sleeping compartment on the train. This comes shortly after she's been given a priceless ruby as a gift from her father. Of course, the jewel is nowhere to be found on the train. As always, it's up to Hercule Poirot¿-traveling on the same train¿-to get to the bottom of the case. He's hired by Rufus Van Aldin who wants the scoundrel responsible for his daughter's murder caught and convicted of the crime. The list of suspects facing Poirot is daunting. There's Derek Kettering, Ruth's estranged husband of ten years who was just about to be served with divorce papers, thus ending his claim to the Van Aldin fortune. There's exotic dancer Mirelle, Derek's mistress, who would like nothing better than to see her lover's wife six feet under ground. There's Katherine Grey, a fellow passenger on the Blue Train who happened to strike up a conversation with Ruth shortly before her death and was quickly taken into the doomed woman's confidence. There's Major Knighton, Rufus Van Aldin's secretary who knows more about the ruby than he should. There's Ruth's maid, Ada Mason, who abruptly leaves the train before it reaches its destination. And the list goes on and on in true Christie fashion. She was the Queen of Bafflement, throwing so many would-be murderers at us that we're constantly shifting our suspicion as the novel goes along. Agatha's powers of description have never been keener than they are here in The Mystery of the Blue Train. Whether it's painting a succinct word-picture of a character¿-"a little man with a face like a rat"-¿or of the rubies themselves-¿"the stones glowed like blood"¿-her prose is unmistakably memorable. In this novel which comes early in Poirot's literary career, he seems more sprightly, more energetic and comedically pompous. Agatha rarely misses an opportunity to expound on the detective's methodology. Here's a sampling of comments from Poirot, I found scattered throughout the novel: "What is important? What is not? One cannot say at this stage. But we must note each little fact carefully." "This is great," said Van Aldin. "Great! You are the goods, M. Poirot. Once and for all, you are the goods." "It is nothing," said Poirot modestly. "Order, method, being prepared for eventualities beforehand¿-that is all there is to it." "Unless you are good at guessing, it is not much use being a detective." "But I am a good detective. I suspect. There is nobody and nothing that I do not suspect. I believe nothing that I am told." The Poirot of this novel is one with a comically inflated ego. There is not nearly enough room for his personality on the page¿-he explodes past the boundaries of the book with his sense of self-importance. Tiresome? Perhaps. But also very funny. Witness this exchange when he shows up to interview a pair of unsuspecting servants: "Voila," said the stranger, and sank into a wooden arm-chair. "I am Hercule Poirot." "Yes, Monsieur?" "You do not know the name?" "I have never heard it," said Hippolyte. "Permit me to say that you have been badly educated. It is t
mrtall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This early Poirot is a treat. Written and set in the late 1920s, it's both a highly satisfactory murder mystery, and a glimpse into a world long passed away.Ruth Kettering, an American heiress, has been at odds with her extremely well-bred but dissolute English husband. She decides to take the famous de luxe Blue Train to escape to the Riveria. But look -- isn't that her husband just a few berths down . . . ?Needless to say, another prominent passenger on this trip is Hercule Poirot, who appears here in his brash and self-aggrandizing early incarnation. Of course he is called in to consult when the unthinkable becomes the reality. The only thing I love more than a charming English setting and detail in an Agatha Christie novel is a charming foreign setting, and this is an excellent example.Highly recommended.
smik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ruth Kettering's journey to Nice on the luxurious Blue Train was her last. By the time the train arrived in Nice she was dead. But what was the motive? The presence of her husband on the train makes him an immediate suspect especially as he becomes heir to her considerable personal fortune. But what about the fact that her jewellery, in particular a necklace containing the fabulous ruby the size of a pigeon's egg known as The Heart of Fire, is missing, along with her maid?The other element to the story is Katherine Grey, recently the beneficiary of an elderly woman's will, and on her way to Nice to stay with her relative Lady Tamplin. She meets Ruth Kettering on the train, and then Hercule Poirot in Paris.Hercule Poirot is eventually engaged by Ruth Kettering's father to discover who murdered his daughter, and what became of the ruby necklace. He sees Katherine Grey as a key witness, an excellent judge of character, and involves her in his investigation.THE MYSTERY OF THE BLUE TRAIN is set about ten years after World War 1, and Hercule Poirot has been "retired from his profession for many years." His former companion Captain Hastings does not appear in this story, although to a small extent he has been replaced by a valet George, whom Poirot uses at times as a sounding board.One of the characters says of Poirot He is a very remarkable person....and has done some very remarkable things. He has a kind of genius for going to the root of the matter, and right up to the end no one has any idea of what he is really thinking.Speaking of his own methods Poirot says I am now a lion - a giant. Ah, Mademoiselle Katherine, you have not seen me as I can be. You have seen the gentle, the calm Hercule Poirot; but there is another Hercule Poirot. I go now to bully, to threaten, to strike terror into the hearts of those listen to me. ...And I shall do it...Oh yes, I shall succeedAnd he does. He browbeats the truth out of some, but there are still intuitive leaps he has to make. The interesting thing about THE MYSTERY OF THE BLUE TRAIN is that Hercule Poirot gets some of the answer wrong, and initially the wrong man goes to gaol. The novel goes further than most of the Agatha Christie novels I have read so far. We see Poirot still worrying at the result, realising things don't hang together so well, and persisting until he has got it right.Christie claimed that this was one of the books she liked least, however the critics did not agree with her. The Times Literary Supplement said, ¿The reader will not be disappointed when the distinguished Belgian on psychological grounds builds up inferences almost out of the air, supports them by a masterly array of negative evidence and lands his fish to the surprise of everyone¿.Other things of interest * I pointed out in reviews of earlier novels that I thought Christie was commenting on changing social conditions. This novel is set in the late 1920s and there are comments about the social structure, with a sense of a declining aristocracy, but still no understanding, by those who consider themselves aristocracy, of the lower classes. For example Lady Tamplin says of Ruth Kettering She has been a companion I tell you. Companions don't play tennis or golf. They might possibly play croquet-golf, but I have always understood that they wind wool and wash dogs most of the day. * Katherine Grey lives in St. Mary Mead, the small isolated village that Miss Marple will emerge from. * I posted last week about Christie's use of the word apache in this novel. I had noticed it in an earlier one, but it gets 3 outings in THE MYSTERY OF THE BLUE TRAIN.So yes, I enjoyed THE MYSTERY OF THE BLUE TRAIN. It has stood the test of time very well. There are plenty of red herrings, a further fleshing out of the character of Poirot as a person that young women find attractive, and puzzles to keep the brain engaged.
druidgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As always Hercule Poirot always gets his man or woman. He does at times act a little stumped or confused but this is a very shrewd move on his part. He tries to put the people at ease so they feel as though they are safe. It has a new twist at every turn, if you think you know who the culprit is, do not make any bets on it. Not as good as others I have read but none the less it was well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great surprise ending.
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This is an excellent example of why Dame Christie's books are so good. It is amost 100 years since this story was written, but the story seems both timeless and relevant. Yes, technology has changed, but human nature remains the same. Greed, love, lonlieness, lust; these, remain factors that guide human actions and reactions. Her story is well-paced, superbly plotted, and filled with intriguing and believable characters. Christie really was a genius.
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Bretton More than 1 year ago
This is a Christie mystery for someone who is already a fan. While it is not at the top of my list, it is one I have reread and found it more enjoyable with each reading. Several of Christie's favorite devices are there and move the mystery along. The characters are well drawn. Of course our beloved Poirot uses his little grey cells and voila, mystery solved.
druidgirl More than 1 year ago
As always Hercule Poirot always gets his man or woman. He does at times act a little stumped or confused but this is a very shrewd move on his part. He tries to put the people at ease so they feel as though they are safe. It has a new twist at every turn, if you think you know who the culprit is, do not make any bets on it. Not as good as others I have read but none the less it was well written.
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I have read almost every Poirot mystery that Dame Agatha Christie has written (or watched the PBS special...), and I must say that this Poirot stands out as one of the best I have read! Up there with Murder on the Orient Express and Mysterious Affair at Styles, the Mystery of the Blue Train is definitely a lesser known Christie mystery (although I do not understand this). Taking place in the French Riviera, the Blue Train offers a great escape in addition to a complicated mystery. NO CAPTAIN HASTINGS (which I found very sad), but the characters Poirot meets on his little adventure certainly make up for this fact. For me, this book was a perfect balance of romance, affairs, travel, murder, and of course, everyone's favorite little Belgian.
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