Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆
It was close on midnight when a man crossed the Place de la Concorde.
When the luxurious Blue Train arrives at Nice, a guard attempts to wake 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 Poirot is not convinced, so he stages an eerie re-enactment of the journey, complete with the murderer on board…
Ruth is the daughter of an American millionaire married to an English aristocrat. It is far from a happy marriage, with both having affairs. Him with a dancer who loves the expensive things in life and her with a guy who calls himself a Marquise.
When Ruth’s father gifts her a precious ruby necklace said to be cursed and recommends divorce, Ruth agrees. She never gets the divorce though, because she is murdered in the famous Blue Train on her way to Nice.
Which is where Hercule Poirot, also travelling on the Blue Train, comes into it. A beautiful heiress, a cursed necklace, a husband with moneytroubles also travelling on that train – it has all the ingredients of the perfect mystery.
“Amongst these rubies are the three largest in the world. Catherine of Russia wore them, Knighton. That centre one there is known as “Heart of Fire”. It’s perfect – not a flaw in it.”
I liked this one for the most part. The beginning reads more like a thriller and Poirot has a very small role in it. It is all about the necklace and the different people looking to get their hands on it.
The rest, however, is classic Christie. It is all about the characters. It has a lot of red herrings and I, again, guessed wrongly who the perpetrator was. It was a fun read.
“You tell your lies and you think nobody knows. But there are two people who know. Yes – two people. One is le bon Dieu -”
He raised a hand to heaven, and then settling himself back in his chair and shutting his eyelids, he murmured comfortably:
“And the other is Hercule Poirot.”
A famous necklace, a rich woman, the Riviera and a murder – another fun Christie mystery.