The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in 2017, 3.5 stars, Agatha Christie, Book Review, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Body in the Library by Agatha ChristieThe Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery
Format: Trade Paperback and Ebook
Series: #3 in the Miss Marple series
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: 1942 Originally, 2011 This Edition
Pages: 207
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

It’s seven in the morning. The Bantrys wake to find the body of a young woman in their library. She is wearing an evening dress and heavy makeup, which is now smeared across her cheeks. But who is she? How did she get there? And what is the connection with another dead girl, whose charred remains are later discovered in an abandoned quarry?
The respectable Bantrys invite Miss Marple into their home to investigate. Amid rumors of scandal, she baits a clever trap to catch a ruthless killer.

My Thoughts:
It’s been a while since I read a Miss Marple book. I wanted something short after finishing a chunkster and this was on my ereader. I was just what I needed. A classic mystery with just enough touches of humor.

This time around Miss Marple is one of several people investigating the murder both professional and amateur. Mrs. Bantry wants to be part of the investigation after she invites her friend Jane Marple to find out what happened. She wants the murder solved to prove her husband didn’t have anything to do with it but she doesn’t mind having a little fun along the way. Multiple police departments are involved as well as a retired Scotland Yard commissioner. Of course, Miss Marple is the one who solves the case.

I enjoyed this one partly for the characters and partly for the mystery. I had some guesses along the way but wasn’t sure before Miss Marple explained it all.

Now that I’ve read a few Miss Marple books I’m planning to start the Hercule Poirot series.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

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Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

Posted by on Dec 13, 2012 in 2012, 3.5 stars, Agatha Christie, Book Review | 2 comments

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery
Series: #1 in the Miss Maple series
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: Originally published 1930. This edition 1992
Pages: 210
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
The first novel featuring Miss Marple has her solving a murder which has everyone including the local police baffled.

Why I Read It:
I read a collection of short stories featuring Miss Marple last year and enjoyed them. I’ve had this first novel featuring her for a while and the time finally felt right to dive in.

The Book:
From the publisher:

The first Miss Marple mystery, one which tests all her powers of observation and deduction.

“Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,” declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, “would be doing the world at large a favor!”

It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come back and haunt the clergyman just a few hours later—when the Colonel is found shot dead in the clergyman’s study. But as Miss Marple soon discovers, the whole village seems to have had a motive to kill Colonel Protheroe.

My Thoughts:
I like Miss Marple. She’s a busybody and she doesn’t miss a thing that happens in the village St. Mary Mead. Her gift for observation and her talent for listening both to what people say as well as what they don’t say.

As with many of the short stories I’ve read it seems that pretty much everyone in town had a reason and an opportunity to kill Colonel Protheroe, The lies build upon each other and it seems that Miss Marple is the only one who can keep them straight.

The shadow of suspicion weaves in and out among the characters and I changed my mind several times about who I thought had committed the murder. The comments dropped here and there by Miss Marple are both entertaining and provide clues but as usual she’s way ahead of me and had me surprised when she revealed her solution.

It was fun to read more than a short story by Agatha Christie and I will definitely be reading more of these. I think I’ll continue with the Miss Marple series for now. I haven’t read any of the Hercule Poirot stories yet but eventually I’ll get to those.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

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Short Story Monday – Death by Drowning by Agatha Christie

Posted by on Aug 29, 2011 in Agatha Christie, Short Stories | 0 comments

I’m finishing up the to the last of the related short story collection featuring the Tuesday Night Club.

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Death by Drowning by Agatha Christie
Part of a collection published as The Thirteen Problems originally published 1932
Published: originally published 1932 this edition published 2004 by Harper Collins

The first twelve stories in this collection were grouped in two sets of six. The first six were The Tuesday Night Club group gathering at their weekly meetings to share and ponder mystery stories. The second set of six in this collection took place at a dinner party that included Sir Henry Clithering and Miss Marple from the Tuesday Night Club group as well as a few new characters.

In Death by Drowning, Sir Henry Clithering makes a visit to St. Mary Mead and is encouraged by Miss Maple to get involved in a murder investigation.

The morning calm at the Bantry;s house where Sir Henry is visiting is broken by disturbing news from town, A young woman from town is found drowned in the river. It was fairly well known that she was pregnant and unmarried and that the father of the child was a young man visiting from London. The initial speculation was that the girl had killed herself rather than face her family. Later that morning Miss Marple comes to visit and tells Sir Henry that she is sure the girl was murdered and that the wrong person will end up being hanged for the crime. The problem is that Miss Marple has no proof that the person she suspects actually committed the crime. She gives Sir Henry a slip of paper with the name of the person she suspects and asks him to find a way to participate in the investigation

Although the local investigators are sure they know who the perpetrator is, Sir Henry keeps asking questions and nudging their investigation further. Sure enough by the time the slip of paper from Miss Marple is revealed, the real killer has confessed.

I have enjoyed the introduction to Miss Marple that this collection of stories provided. I will definitely be adding some of the other Miss Marple books by Agatha Christie to my reading list.

Short Story Mondays is hosted by John at The Book Mine Set.

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Short Story Monday – The Herb of Death and The Affair at the Bungalow by Agatha Christie

Posted by on Aug 22, 2011 in Agatha Christie, Short Stories | 0 comments

I’m winding down the to the last of the related short story collection featuring the Tuesday Night Club.

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The Herb of Death and The Affair at the Bungalow by Agatha Christie
Part of a collection published as The Thirteen Problems originally published 1932
Published: originally published 1932 this edition published 2004 by Harper Collins

I read two more stories from this collection this week and will finish up the last one next week. I’ve fallen in love with Miss Marple and will definitely be reading some of the books that feature her.

The dinner party and sharing of mystery stories finishes up with these two stories. The most reluctant storytellers of the group are the last to participate.

In The Herb of Death, Mrs. Bantry is reluctant but is finally persuaded to share a mystery

Her reluctance manifests itself in the way she tells her story. In a few short sentences she tells of a dinner party in which foxglove leaves were mixed with sage and result in the death of the party host’s niece. When the rest of the group realizes that Mrs. Bantry is done with telling her story they decide to turn it into a twenty questions type of game in which they take turns asking Mrs. Bantry questions to round out her story. This results in a bit more information and enough for the expected Miss Marple solution. Along the way however is also some very humorous pokes at the actress Jane Heiler who seems to always be few minutes behind the rest of the group in keeping up with what is going on. I liked the extra giggles I got with this story.

In The Affair at the Bungalow, it’s Jane Heiler’s turn to share a story.

As expected from the earlier stories and in particular The Herb of Death which immediately precedes this one, Jane Heiler’s turn at telling a mystery story is quite disconnected and a little hard to follow. It starts out with her attempting to hide the identities of the people involved but she quickly gives away that her story is not about a friend, but herself. While rehearsing a play she is unexpectedly called to the police station to confront a young man accused of theft from a nearby bungalow. She doesn’t know the man and his story seems to indicate that he was misled into thinking a message he received was from Jane when in fact it was from someone pretending to be Jane. Soon it turns out that nearly everyone was called away from the bungalow under false pretenses and the identity of the person who stole the jewelry is more and more difficult to figure out. In fact after everyone makes their attempts at the answer, Jane admits that eve she does not know the true outcome. The group gives her a hard time for not exactly playing by the ‘rules’ of their game but admit it was still fun to guess. As she is saying goodbye, Miss Marple whispers something to Jane that indicates our intrepid little lady has once again been the only person to figure out the real truthl

What fun – particularly reading these two together. There is one story left in this collection and it’s on my agenda for next Monday.

Short Story Mondays is hosted by John at The Book Mine Set.

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Short Story Monday – The Four Suspects and A Christmas Tragedy by Agatha Christie

Posted by on Aug 15, 2011 in Agatha Christie, Short Stories | 0 comments

I’m continuing with the related short story collection featuring the Tuesday Night Club.

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The Four Suspects and A Christmas Tragedy by Agatha Christie
Part of a collection published as The Thirteen Problems originally published 1932
Published: originally published 1932 this edition published 2004 by Harper Collins

I’m continuing with this collection and I read two more stories this week. This has been such a great introduction to Miss Marple and is making me eager to read some of the books featuring her. The second set of stories in the collection takes place about a year after the meetings of the Tuesday Night Club when a new group of friends who enjoy puzzling out mysteries gather. Miss Marple and Sir Henry Clithering a former Scotland Yard Detective are the holdovers from the first group.

In The Four Suspects, Sir Henry Clithering is the one who tells the story.

It’s an unsolved case in which a man was found dead at the bottom of the stairs and while it may have been an accident, there were only four people at his house with him and all four are suspects in the mind of Sir Henry. Dr. Rosen had earned the enmity of a German Secret society and when he moved to England he fully expected that he would be killed someday. None of Sir Henry’s four suspects have an alibi or were seen by anyone else at the time of Dr. Rosen’s death. A key clue is the mail delivery the day of Dr. Rosen’s death and this time Miss Marple and Mrs Bantry (one of the other members of the group) together manage to solve the case.

In A Christmas Tragedy, it’s Miss Marple’s turn to share a story.

She tells about her visit to a spa around Christmas time. One of the couples she met had her worried from the very beginning that the man was out to murder his wife. They were living off her income but not able to touch the capital. She was able to will her money to her husband and had done so. Miss Marple gave some examples of why her instincts were so strong about Mr. Sanders and his motives. One afternoon when Miss Marple and another woman are in the lounge, Mr. Sanders arrives from an outing with friends. He asks the ladies for their opinion on a gift he’d purchased for his wife, but when they go up to the room they see her body on the floor. Miss Marple then tells how the investigation into Mrs. Sanders death proceeded and asks the other members of the group if they’ve figured it out. Of course they haven’t so Miss Marple explains what really happened,

I’m enjoying the second group of stories in this collection even more than the first. I’m hoping to wrap up the final three next week.

Short Story Mondays is hosted by John at The Book Mine Set.

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Short Story Monday – The Blue Geranium and The Companion by Agatha Christie

Posted by on Aug 8, 2011 in Agatha Christie, Short Stories | 0 comments

I’m continuing with the related short story collection featuring the Tuesday Night Club.

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The Blue Geranium and The Companion by Agatha Christie
Part of a collection published as The Thirteen Problems originally published 1932
Published: originally published 1932 this edition published 2004 by Harper Collins

I read two more stories from this collection this week. I’m enjoying all of these stories and getting to know the utterly delightful Miss Marple. The second set of stories takes place about a year after the meetings of the Tuesday Night Club when a dinner party that includes Miss Marple and Sir Henry Clithering becomes an evening of sharing mysteries.

In The Blue Gernaium, it is about a year after the initial meetings of The Tuesday Night Club, Sir Henry Clithering is staying with friends in the area again.

He suggests Miss Marple as a dinner guest because she might be able to solve a ghostly mystery his host has mentioned. In this story a cranky and demanding semi-invalid wife of a friend of his has died under mysterious circumstances. She was a cranky and demanding patient who had a succession of nurses. Her interest in fortune tellers was a source of both amusement and frustration for her husband. When a fortune teller warns her of a succession of blue flowers it’s initially laughed off by everyone else, but when the ‘fortune’ begins to appear to be coming true they begin to take her fears more seriously. When she is found dead in her locked room and a blue geranium is found nearby, everyone wonders if someone can truly be frightened to death. Miss Marple, of course figures out the truth.

In The Companion, one of the other dinner guests, a Doctor Lloyd tells his story.

Continuing the sharing of mysteries with this new group of dinner guests, Dr. Lloyd tells of events that occurred when he was living in the Canary Islands. He had seen a pair of middle aged women who were tourists from England. His initial thought was that nothing interesting would ever happen to either of them. Of course he was wrong. The next day he came upon a disturbance at the beach. It seems that Miss Durrant was out swimming and Miss Barton said she’d called for help. When MIss Barton swam out to help her she also began to struggle and needed to be rescued by a man with a boat. MIss Durrant who was the paid companion to Miss Barton drowned. What was distressing was that one of the witnesses swore that she had seen Miss Barton holding Miss Durrant under water rather than helping her. Several months later Miss Barton herself drowned after leaving a suicide note confessing to a crime. Her inheritance went to some distant cousins in Australia. Miss Marple is naturally the only one of the dinner guests to pick up on the deceptions behind the story.

I’m glad that the second set of 6 stories in this collection continues the concept of a group of guests sharing mystery tales but with a new group at a dinner party. I didn’t figure out either of these before Miss Marple solved them.

I’ve got 5 stories left in this collection and I’m having a great time reading them.

Short Story Mondays is hosted by John at The Book Mine Set.

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