A passenger train becomes snowbound somewhere in England. It’s loaded with passengers on their way to Christmas or somewhere. This is an old classic mystery tale in the tradition of Agatha Christie et al. It was first published in 1937, toward the end of the Golden Age of detective novels, and true to form, it’s a puzzler more than a character study, more than a thriller, more than a theme-based piece of lit. And J. Jefferson Farjean was more popular than most of the authors in this genre – Agatha Christie being the best of course.
Mystery in White
by J. Jefferson Farjean
1937 – 256 pages
read by Patience Tominson – 6h 59 m
rating: A / classic English detective
Okay – so there’s a small group of passengers in one of the coaches. It becomes apparent the train is not leaving anytime since. After the “old man” sees a figure running by, he grabs his luggage and follows, then a few of the others decide to see if they can walk the rails to the next station.
On the blizzard walk are David and Lydia Carrington who are brother and sister, Robert Thomson, a clerk, and Jessie Noyes, a young starlet. Jessie falls down and has to be carried by David. RObert is anxious about everything and Lydia is a real sport.
Eventually the group gets to a house but it’s very odd because although no one is around, the kettle is boiling and fires are lit. Oh well – they settle in. Then the old man who left first, Edward Maltby, Joins them.
Hopkins arrives a bit later with the news there was a murder on the train. And Smith shows up denying he was even on the train although a ticket falls out of his pocket.
The action goes round and round with Maltby acting as amateur sleuth to find out who is in the house or where they have gone – then find out about murders and find out who Smith is.
It’s a pretty good yarn although it brushes a wee it with the occult.