• Rosemary Cook

The Agatha Christie connection

People have asked about the link between the Florence Nightingale Shore murder and the television programme 'Agatha and the Truth of Murder'. The answer is that there is absolutely no evidence that the then 30-year-old Christie was involved in trying to solve the murder: that is just creative licence by the programme writer! But it is quite possible that Christie was aware of the murder, and that she followed the developments about the crime reported in the newspapers at the time.

One reason for this belief is the title of Christie's book published in 1924: 'The Man in the Brown Suit'. This was the name given by the papers to the chief suspect in the murder - the man who joined Florence Shore in her compartment of the train at Victoria station. In the book, the man in the brown suit is a suspect in a murder that took place at Hyde Park Corner tube station.

And maybe the real-life murder on a train inspired the story in '4.50 from Paddington', which Christie published nearly 30 years later. In this book, the murder of a women in a train compartment is witnessed by another passenger in a train travelling in the opposite direction ... If only there had been such a witness to Florence Shore's murder, the case might have been solved at the time.

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