This has been one of my favorite Agatha Christie novels since the first time I read it. The premise of the novel fascinates me and Lucy absolutely fascinates me.
The premise is that Mrs. McGillicuddy see a murder happen on a train that her train happens to be passing but when she reports it, there is no dead body and no one is missing. I think that glimpse into another world, as we all get when we pass another car or pass a house at night that has left the curtains open, is something that is very intriguing. Usually you just see people eating or conversing or singing with the radio but Mrs. McGillicuddy is a rational woman who is not prone to flights of fancy and when she says she saw a murder, she saw a murder. Unfortunately, only her friend Miss Marple believes her.
Lucy is a university-educated woman who decides that providing a service that people really need is a way to make more money than a job in Mathematics which is her major. The efficient running of a household is in high demand and she can pick and choose her jobs and her price. I just loved her drive, determination, efficiency, organizational skills and competence. Even though she is a "domestic," she is clearly in charge of any situation she is in. When one of her favorite clients, Miss Marple, asks her to do her a favor, namely helping an old friend solve a mystery, she obliges.
I love the description of how Lucy manages the family and the household as she tries to solve the murder. I wish I could run my house as well as she runs theirs!
This book isn't often mentioned as one of Christie's best but for me it is. It all just connected for me and makes me remember why Agatha Christie is my favorite mystery author and why Golden Age mysteries are so wonderful.