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Night Train to Paris

An unputdownable historical murder mystery

Fliss Chester

Books by Fliss Chester

The Fen Churche Mysteries

A Dangerous Goodbye

Night Train to Paris

Moonlit Murders

The French Escapes Romance Series

Love in the Snow

Summer at the Vineyard

Meet Me on the Riviera

Available in Audio

A Dangerous Goodbye (Available in the UK and the US)

Night Train to Paris (Available in the UK and the US)


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45


A Dangerous Goodbye

Hear More from Fliss Chester

A Letter from Fliss

Books by Fliss Chester

Moonlit Murders


‘Creativity takes courage.’

Henri Matisse


Almost in Paris, October 1945

Dear Mrs B, Kitty and Dilly,

I’m writing this on the train, so please excuse my appalling handwriting. Our carriage rattles so much, I’m wielding this pen with all the elegance of a sledgehammer! But – good news – I’m almost in Paris, although it has taken rather a long time to get here, due to the timetables being up the spout still and, of course, more importantly, trains of returning troops and prisoners of war taking priority on the lines. We’ve had so many delays, what should have taken us a few hours has stretched out throughout the whole night now. When some bright spark tells me there’s no such thing as a night train from Dijon to Paris, I shall beg to differ, though, sadly, this one has none of the comforts of the couchette, more’s the pity.

Still, I mustn’t grumble, and I have just seen the most glorious sunrise over the fields and I hope a week or so in Paris might help me put the adventures of the last few weeks behind me. Although I miss Arthur and will love him for as long as I live, I hope to find a small part of me again here, in the City of Lights. (Remember that crossword clue I sent you a while ago, Kitty? Well, that’s the answer – Paris! Let’s hope it’s the answer to my problems, too.)

I’m travelling with Arthur’s friend, James Lancaster. I feel like he’s a bit ‘all at sea’ now he’s in this limbo that is demobilisation, so I can see why Arthur wanted me to look out for him. I hope he can stay with my friend Rose with me in Paris, but we’ll see. And perhaps, if we travel to England together after this, you’ll get to meet him, too.

I can picture you all, either sitting round the kitchen table, the kettle whistling on the stove, or, Kitty, you cross-legged in front of the open fire while Mrs B and Dilly are on the armchairs, but all listening to the wireless together.

I do miss you and hope my spare suitcase of summer clothes isn’t too much in the way. I’ll be back for it soon.

Anyway, I hope you’re all well and the rationing isn’t still biting too hard (bad pun, sorry!).

Here’s another clue for you, Kitty: This Pullman took tea before his shower (5)… Here’s a hint… I’m sitting on it right now!

Thinking of you all,

Fen xxx

Fen stepped off the train at Paris’s Gare de Lyon station and walked forward a few steps to allow others off the train behind her. She took a deep breath and swiftly regretted it, as the mingled aromas of engine grease and coal smoke struck her lungs. She coughed into her hand and moved further onto the platform, away from the engine and its belches of steam and smoke.

The fresh air she had taken for granted in the countryside of Burgundy was sorely missing from this hub of movement and chatter, but the polluted air brought with it some compensation – this was Paris; dynamic, exciting Paris.

Fen tentatively breathed in again, this time accustomed to the tang of metal in the air, and a flood of memories washed over her. She may not yet be home, but Paris and its particular aromas was almost as good as.

The letter she’d written to her former landlady – the indomitable Mrs B – and good friends was clasped in her hand. It was marked for West Sussex in southern England, which had been her base when she had worked for the Woman’s Land Army in the war. Lots of young women from all walks of life had become land girls, as they’d been called, and meeting young Kitty, who was local to that part of England, and clever, kind Dilys, who had been posted there from Wales, had been light relief to the hard graft of field work. They’d been through so much together and, now, just holding their names in her hand, helped her feel close to them again.

Fen stifled a yawn and wiped the sleep from her eyes. It was early morning and the light from the sun, which was stubbornly showing itself time and again from behind equally as persistent clouds, was diffused through vast panes of glass, hundreds of feet above her.

Externally, the Gare de Lyon was one of Paris’s most expressive stations, with its monumental arches, mansard roof windows and traditional continental clock tower, but here on the platform there was less ornamentation, and function trumped form, with only wooden benches and newspaper kiosks as decoration.

Fen looked at the other disembarking passengers around her, shielding themselves from the belches of steam and scurrying along with suitcases or unruly children grasped by their wrists. They seemed more solemn than Fen remembered the citizens of Paris to be. Had the gaiety she remembered from her childhood packed up and left as the first wave of enemy soldiers had arrived?

Fenella Churche, known to most as Fen, had had a rather unusual upbringing for a middle-class Englishwoman, in that she had grown up here in Paris, due to her

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