At Bertram's Hotel: a hotel that basically exists as a convincing reproduction of an Edwardian watering hole.
The Blue Train: the line between Calais and the South of France.
At Bertram's Hotel: London
The Blue Train: primarily France, although the book begins in London
At Bertram's Hotel: blackmail.
The Blue Train: avarice
At Bertram's Hotel: Jane Marple
The Blue Train: Hercule Poirot
At Bertram's Hotel: 1965
The Blue Train: 1928
I spent the weekend immersed in murder. It was gorgeous here, and I had been planning on going camping, but that didn't work out because, as it turns out, our camp trailer needed new tires. My fabulous daughter took the train home from college to hang out with us before dead week. Something about picking up a family member at the train station demands that I read Agatha Christie. Especially an Agatha Christie that takes place at least partially on the train.
So, I read these two, Crooked House, and started The Moving Finger. Crooked House was by far the best of the three, although they each had their charms. I prefer Poirot to Marple, usually, although I really think I liked At Bertram's Hotel a bit better than The Mystery of the Blue Train. Perhaps this is because the victim in Blue Train is more sympathetic than the victim in At Bertram's Hotel - Ruth Kettering is a wealthy American girl who, for all of her faults, was relatively blameless. The victim in At Bertram's Hotel is really just a petty criminal.
At Bertram's Hotel is tea and crumpets, a full English breakfast with kippers, tomatoes, perfectly poached eggs and toast fingers wearing sturdy tweeds and reading the Times. The Mystery of the Blue Train is champagne at midnight on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean wrapped in a silk robe and dripping with jewels. Take your pick.