Hercule Poirot is en route from Calais to Nice on the Blue Train when he finds himself at the center of a vexing crime. A young American woman, Ruth Van Aldin Kettering, is found brutally murdered on board the train. The killer is still at large, and it is up to Poirot to pick him or her out among a cast of suspicious characters. Among them are Ruth's husband, Derek Kettering, to whom she is unhappily married, and an exotic dancer with a taste for a man like Derek. As he pursues the killer, Poirot encounters several passengers with a keen interest in a large, legendary ruby that Ruth possessed, a gift from her wealthy father.
To my great relief, The Murder on the Blue Train features a third-person omnipresent style. Captain Hastings is only mentioned in this novel once. Instead, Poirot has a part-time sidekick in the very practical Katherine Grey. The have such an easy relationship from the get-go that I was hoping she'd become Hercule Poirot's love interest, even though she is several years his junior. Am I the only one who'd like to see Poirot in a relationship?
One of the things I like about this novel is the romance aspect. Reading this novel, I can almost see Agatha Christie's interest in the romance genre blossoming. The romance centres around Katherine's two perspective beaus. Who will she choose, the charming but suspicious widow, Derek or the equally charming yet shy Knighton?
Another interesting thing about this novel is the hint of the supernatural. Katherine has the feeling that the dead woman's ghost is trying to speak to her and those feeling actually aid Poirot in solving the mystery.
I have a little theory that am I going to test with the next Hercule Poirot mystery I read, I'm going to bet on the most unlikely person (s). You know, that person you don't even realize is a suspect. That's all I'm going to say because I don't want to spoil the mystery for those who haven't read this charming novel.