Fri 9 Apr 2010
In the comments that followed Bill Pronzini’s review of Warren Adler’s Trans-Siberian Express (1977), the discussion in the comments turned first to other favorite mysteries set on trains.
Here’s David Vineyard’s list, repeated here for ease and convenience:
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS Agatha Christie
DREAD JOURNEY Dorothy B. Hughes
MURDER ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIN the Gordons
STAMBOUL TRAIN Graham Greene
COMPARTMENT EAST Pierre Jean Remy
THE EDGE Dick Francis
LADY ON A TRAIN Leslie Charteris
THE WHEEL SPINS Ethel Lina White (THE LADY VANISHES)
MURDER ON THE LINE John Creasey
RUNNING SPECIAL Frank L. Packard
THE MAN IN LOWER 10 Mary Rinehart
THE ST. PETERSBURG-CANNES EXPRESS Hans Koning
GHOST TRAIN and the THE WRECKERS both by Arthur Ripley based on his plays
BOMBAY MAIL Lawrence G. Blochman
What reminded me of David’s list was that I came across another Top 10 Train Thrillers list. It’s not clear who came up with this one, entitled “Murder on the Literary Express,” but it was sponsored by abebooks.com:
1. Strangers on a Train – Patricia Highsmith.
2. The Wheel Spins – Ethel Lina White.
3. Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie.
4. Stamboul Train – Graham Greene.
5. The Necropolis Railway – Andrew Martin.
6. The Edge – Dick Francis.
7. La Bιte Humaine – Ιmile Zola.
8. 4.50 From Paddington – Agatha Christie.
9. Mr. Norris Changes Trains – Christopher Isherwood.
10. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three – John Godey.
Most of the others I’ve come up with that are not on either list involve timetables, not actual train travel, and while I’ve not read all of the above, I can’t think of any that would replace the ones in either list.