Narrator: Hugh Fraser
Series: Hercule Poirot #6
Published by HarperAudio on July 3, 2012
Genres: Vintage Mystery
Length: 7 hrs 5 mins
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A mysterious woman, a legendary cursed jewel, and a night train to the French Riviera— ingredients for the perfect romance or the perfect crime? When the train stops, the jewel is missing, and the woman is found dead in her compartment. It's the perfect mystery, filled with passion, greed, deceit. And Hercule Poirot is the perfect detective to solve it...
Yes, Poirot again. I’ve been on a bit of a kick lately, I know. I’m almost reading/re-reading the series in order. I #4 earlier this year and obviously still remember it well. I skipped #5 because I don’t like it. So now we’re at #6, The Mystery of the Blue Train.
There’s a lot of lead up before the murder. We meet an heiress whose millionaire father gives her a fabulous ruby to cheer her up a little. She and her husband are having problems and, as the father sees it, her only real option is to divorce him. We meet the husband and his mistress, a dancer who is only interested in rich men, which he won’t be if his wife divorces him. We meet a not necessarily above-board jewelry merchant and his daughter. Finally, I think, we meet a lovely young woman, Katherine Grey, who has recently become rich herself, after the elderly woman she was a companion to died and she inherited all the money. Oh, wait, there’s also the well-to-do family – they don’t really come in until after the murder, but still.
So, most of them, including Poirot, end up on the Blue Train, heading to the French Riviera. And one of them ends up dead and the ruby ends up missing. Happily, Poirot is there to help solve the crime.
It does take a while to get to the solution. There are several clues, but I didn’t guess who the killer was. It was rather complicated though, and so many people to keep track of. Instead of the usual denouement, where you sit everyone down and go over the clues until you get to the solution, at the end, Poirot and two of the characters take another ride on the Blue Train, reenacting the events of the fatal journey.
Not my favorite Poirot story, but not terrible.
As a side note, Ms. Grey comes from St. Mary Meade, which later is Miss Marple’s hometown.