AbeBooks.com had a listing of the top ten train thrillers Auntie M decided to share with you.
Strangers on a Train, by Patricia Highsmith in 1950, was made by Alfred Hitchcock into a wonderful movie. One of my faves.
The Wheel Spins is an earlier thriller about meeting a stranger on a train. Done in 1936 by Ethel Lina White, Hitchcock turned this one into The Lady Vanishes. Check out the original cover:
Agatha Christie’s 1933 Murder on the Orient Express has suave Hercule Poirot solving who stabbed a gentleman traveling on that famous train twelve times. I didn’t know that in 1932, Graham Greene published a thriller also set on the Orient Express titled Stamboul Train. I’ll have to look for that one.
The Necropolis Railway is set in the golden age of steam, although Andrew Martin published it in 2002. Dick Francis, that master of the racing mystery, set his thriller The Edge on a transcontinental train journey across Canada. And the earliest of the recommendations is from 1890, Emile Zola’s La Bete Humaine, which takes place on the railway between Paris and Le Havre.
Agatha Christie makes the list a second time in 4.50 From Paddington, when Miss Marple investigates after a young woman on the same train sees a woman being strangled in a passing train. This is one of Christie’s best, in my humble opinion.
Christopher Isherwood set his novel Mr. Norris Changes Trains in pre-war 1935 Europe, with a chance meeting on a train. His novel Goodbye to Berlin is also mentioned.
The list concludes with John Godey’s The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. I confess to seeing both versions of this movie, but have never read the book.
And you thought train rides were boring…