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Publisher's Summary

Romance, adventure, and train travel can all be a little bit dangerous, especially in the hands of Agatha Christie.

The Man in the Brown Suit: Pretty young Anne came to London looking for adventure. In fact, adventure comes looking for her - and finds her immediately at Hyde Park Corner tube station. Anne is present on the platform when a thin man, reeking of mothballs, loses his balance and is electrocuted on the rails.

The Scotland Yard verdict is accidental death. But Anne is not satisfied. After all, who was the man in the brown suit who examined the body? And why did he race off, leaving a cryptic message behind: "17-122 Kilmorden Castle"?

4:50 From Paddington: For an instant the two trains ran together, side by side. In that frozen moment, Elspeth witnessed a murder. Helplessly, she stared out of her carriage window as a man remorselessly tightened his grip around a woman's throat. The body crumpled. Then the other train drew away.

But who, apart from Miss Marple, would take her story seriously? After all, there were no suspects, no other witnesses...and no corpse.

This title was previously published as What Mrs. McGrillicuddy Saw!

Keep the mystery alive with more stories from Agatha Christie.

©1957 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd.

What listeners say about Man in the Brown Suit & 4:50 From Paddington

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Two mysteries

Any additional comments?

The Man in the Brown Suit: 4/5
Emilia Fox did a good job, and the story is full of mystery, adventure and romance with charming characters.

4:40 from Paddington: 3/5
While Joan Hickson was well suited to voicing Miss Marple, that character doesn't appear in much of the book, and the other voices were indistinguishable, making it a bit hard to follow at times. The audio quality was also quite low.

14 people found this helpful

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Surprisingly Good

Both stories are good but I really like the Man in the Brown Suit. It is fun to listen to a book with so many changes of locale. Emilia Fox is a good narrator. I always think I will like Joan Hickson's narration as she is great in the old BBC Miss Marple's, but I don't think she's a good choice. Her speaking style seems so affected, and I can never get the volume loud enough to properly hear her. I don't have that issue with any other readers.

11 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyable

As others have said the sound quality of 4:50 from Paddington is poor. I found it difficult to understand the narrator, due to a combination of her thick British accent and the recording equipment. In fact, it sounded like she was in her living room reading into a tape recorder.

I found both stories delighful and well-written--both were full of the usual Agatha Christie wit, humor, and intrigue.

6 people found this helpful

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Totally opposite reviews for these two

The performance of Ms Fox in The Man in the Brown Suit is great. I wasn't a big fan of the story.
Opposite for 4:50, I know she playing Miss Marple years ago but I found her voice wasn't pleasant and I had to strain to understand often. But I loved the story line in this one.

6 people found this helpful

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Least favorite Agatha Christie listens so far

If you’ve listened to books by Agatha Christie before, how does this one compare?

I only listened to The Man in the Brown Suit, which I found to have particularly uninteresting characters. I did not listen to 4:50 from Paddington, although the story sounded very interesting, because I thought the audio was terrible. The narrator sounds recorded from very far away. Additionally, the narrator reads the story very slowly. I stopped listening after 10 minutes. I have listened to probably 20 Agatha Christie novels so far, all of which I enjoyed, so this set of books was a disappointment.

12 people found this helpful

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Audio is great!

In response to those complaining about the audio - especially regarding the second book - it’s excellent. It does NOT sound like it was done in someone’s living room on a tape recorder. This book must have been upgraded since that review.

5 people found this helpful

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My favorite Agatha Christie Story

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

The Man in the Brown Suit is my fave Christie story. I like all the characters and the narration by Emilia Fox is perfect for this story.

Any additional comments?

I was unable to listen to the 4:50 from Paddington story because I had a hard time understanding Joan Hickson's narration. I like Joan Hickson very much acting in the television Miss Marple series but I just could not hear her very well on this audio recording.

5 people found this helpful

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A very good set

Wonderful stories. I thought I had one figured out. I was wrong.
The narrator did a good job of creating feeling and inflection but once and a while it's hard to differentiate which character is speaking.

2 people found this helpful

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Fun

Would you consider the audio edition of Man in the Brown Suit & 4:50 From Paddington to be better than the print version?

I switched to audio books due to migraine issues with reading. Having never read these two, I can't say if the narration is better than the print version. However I enjoyed the narrations of both readers. The first by a young woman who accurately conveyed the enthusiasm of the young female protagonist and the second by an old woman who doesn't vary as much in voice character but still carries the emotions of the characters. Agatha Christie is often an easy read.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Brown Suit doesn't wear well, 4:50 narrator bad

The Man in the Brown Suit shows its age. Too much macho man/woman in peril for my taste. I prefer Agatha Christie's books with clever plots more than these 1920s adventure stories. I gave it 2 stars because "It's OK" sums it up.

On the other hand, 4:50 from Paddington is a good story, but I couldn't stand more than 10 minutes of Joan Hickson's narration. I love her in the BBC adaptations, but she is not a good reader and her voice is so soft and breathy that it's barely understandable.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Annick
  • Annick
  • 04-25-21

Joan Hickson is Ms. Marple

The Man in the Brown suit is really an indiana jones style adventure very well written naturally by Christie and very well read and performed by Emilia Fox however the quality of the tone of Emilia's voice lacks the depth or richness that which only a small percentage of people possess. It is no judgement of her as an actress , it just happens to be so. Joan Hickson on the other hand, also a very good actress but just so happens to be blessed with that rare richness of tone that compliments the novels of Agatha Christie.
The 4.50 from Paddington is one of Christie's best in my opinion. Interesting and intriguing every step of the way.

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  • Somy
  • 11-15-20

YES for first book n NO for second

I have been listening to many audiobooks on audible and NONE were so great in performance as Emilia Fox in Man in Brown Suite. I have been recommending listening to it left and right. On opposite side , the second book by Joan was AWEFUL in performance. Loud sniffs , deep unnatural breaths , the rush in reading where some of the downfalls. This was the worst voice that could be chosen for Jane Marple.