Train Thrillers in Novels: Dr Sharon Priestley

"On this discussion-based course, we come aboard the literary express to read three fascinating treatments of crime on trains. In our analyses, we will consider plot, setting, characterisation and message of each work. Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train (1950) demonstrates the author's ability to grip the reader in a taut psychological drama. Murder on the Orient Express (1933) is one of Agatha Christie's most famous crime novels and features her equally famous detective, Hercule Poirot. A less well-known but extremely fast-paced and exciting novel involving a New York City subway hijacking is The Taking of Pelham 123 (1982) by John Godey. Readers on this course may never travel by rail again!"

Tutor: Dr Sharon Priestley

"Dr Sharon Priestley has presented literature courses for the University of Cambridge's Institute of Continuing Education, The Letchworth Settlement, the REC and elsewhere. The topics of her courses range from the novels of Jane Austen to novels that have won the Man Booker Prize, classic and contemporary short stories, poetry, women's writings and children's literature. She also lectures on James Boswell and Samuel Johnson and has given papers focused on those fascinating individuals at the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conferences and Literary London conferences."