Posts tagged ‘#agathachristie #mystery #mysteries #missmarple #murder #novel’

June 8, 2020

Truly Miss Marple


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Last night I was switching between Amazon Prime and Netflix trying to decide what to watch when I came across a documentary entitled Truly Miss Marple: The Curious Case of Margaret Rutherford.

As I’ve said before, though I love the Marple books, there’s not been a film version that I’ve liked.  However, I’ve never seen Margaret Rutherford portray the character. I don’t know that I’d ever heard of her before last night.

The documentary was interesting for many reasons. It made me feel as if a member of a family just started interviewing people and recording it. At one point a person being interviewed stops to take a telephone call and the cameras keep rolling. If you have Amazon Prime and any interest in Miss Marple, this show is definitely worth your time.

Margaret Rutherford was a fascinating character. Her  young life was full of scandal and tragedy. Agatha Christie could have written it! When Margaret was very young her father suffered a breakdown. After being released from the hospital, he went and murdered his own father who was a clergyman. Not long after, while living in India, her mother committed suicide. Margaret was sent back to England to live with her aunt.

In 1961 Margaret starred in Murder She Said, her debut as Miss Marple. It was rumored that Agatha Christie had chosen her for the role, but that was untrue. Christie was not very pleased with the way MGM handled the adaptations of her books. She held no ill-will against Margaret, though, and dedicated The Mirror Crack’d Side to Side to the actress.

The next two films were based on Poirot novels, but the studio rewrote them to suit the Marple character.Murder at the Gallop was released in 1963 followed a year later by Murder Most Foul. The last film, Murder Ahoy was not taken from a Christie novel, but instead written by two screenwriters.

I’m now anxious to see these films. I understand in them Miss Marple receives not just one, but two marriage proposals and she can be seen doing the twist. I think to watch them, though, I’ll need to pretend she’s not the actual Miss Marple.

This week I’m still reading A Caribbean Mystery and enjoying it a great deal. What are you reading? I’m always looking for more good books to read!

March 30, 2020

A Murder is Announced


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Well, it’s official. The Governor here in Maryland has proclaimed an executive order for the next three weeks. I don’t think the libraries will be opening anytime soon and I’m pretty sure book stores haven’t been deemed essential businesses. However, we can all still continue reading our Agatha Christie novels. A little murder will take our mind off the world outside.

This week for Marple Monday we are reading A Murder is Announced. Imagine opening up your newspaper, or even reading on Facebook, that a murder was to take place at your house later that very day! Just as the residents of  Chipping Cleghorn assumed, we also would believe it to be a game or, at the very least, a joke. It was no joke when the townspeople gather at Little Paddocks that evening expecting a mystery game only to find themselves witnesses to a real murder.

Christie, in this novel, shows again her fascination with names. Pay close attention. Her characters seem often to share similar sounding names which is sometimes part of her plot, but I think mostly she is trying to mislead her reader. It leaves us thinking, “Is this important? Is this a clue?”

I am relieved to see Miss Marple makes a much earlier appearance in this book than last week’s selection. I’m still interested in seeing if The Moving Finger is part of the Miss Marple series on television. I wonder if it will play out better on screen than it did on the page. I have a feeling the racist remarks would be removed. At least I’d hope so.

I am enjoying this book much more than I did the last one. The further I read, the more sure I am that I’ve read this book before, though I don’t recall what happens. It seems I’ll have plenty of time over the next few weeks to catch up on all my reading!

Please let me know what you’re reading, even if it isn’t an Agatha Christie book. Let’s get some conversations going and keep each other company. Next week we will read They Do It with Mirrors.

Wishing you all a happy day and good health!

March 23, 2020

The Moving Finger

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Today marks Day 9 of my social distancing. I’ve only been as far as my mailbox since last Saturday. How is everyone handling things out there? I haven’t been bored, that’s for sure! I have plenty to read and numerous shows I would like to catch up on. Since last week I’ve been watching Unforgotten on Amazon Prime. It originally was on PBS, but I missed it. If you are looking for a fabulous show with brilliant writing and an engaging cast,  and I can only assume you all enjoy mysteries, then you must give this show a look.

This past week I’ve been reading The Moving Finger and, I’ll admit, I’m not finished yet. I had a hard time getting into the story and had a really, really hard time with the racist comments. And where’s Miss Marple? I’m on page 92 and her name hasn’t even been mentioned yet.  It’s disappointing. I like Miss Marple and want her to be a part of this story. The Burton siblings aren’t that interesting. And I find it curious that the house they are renting is owned by a Miss Barton. Why are their names so similar? Will that play a part later in the story?

I’m very interested in other opinions about this book. Are you all offended by the way she refers to the Chinese? If you were unfamiliar with Christie’s work, would this cause you to not read further? I don’t think this particular book is going to rank among my favorites.

I don’t have many more pages to go before I’m finished with this one, and I hope it is more engaging for me as it goes on Next up is A Murder is Announced. Until next week, stay well and stay home(if you are able)!

March 17, 2020

The Body in the Library


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What to do when a  platinum blond is found dead in your library?  It would be unbelievable, especially if you knew no one who might fit that description. The Colonel and Mrs. Bantry felt quite the same way upon hearing the news.

In this second Miss Marple mystery, Agatha Christie takes us away from St. Mary Mead and off to a hotel by the seaside. When murder lands on your doorstep, or in your library as the case may be, there is no better friend to have than Jane Marple.

Mrs. Bantry is more excited than she probably should be and wants her dear friend Jane to play detective with her. Once checked in at the Majestic Hotel they find more than one person that are not shedding any tears over poor Ruby Keene’s death.

In addition to the murder, there is another mystery to solve with the disappearance of Girl Guide Pamela Reeves. Are they somehow connected?

Miss Marple bases her theories on parallels of everyday life in St. Mary Mead, and though they seem to not have much to do with the case, in the end it is through them she is able to piece together what happened and find the culprit.

Did you find this story as interesting as Murder at the Vicarage? I must say I was at first disappointed to leave St. Mary Mead, but was soon enough engrossed in this mystery. I also thought it interesting that the two victims had such similar last names, Keene and Reeves. I’m not sure it had anything to do with the story, it just caught my eye.

I’m still trying to get my hands on a copy of The Tuesday Club Murders [also known as The Thirteen Problems] but even the library couldn’t find me one. Next week we will read The Moving Finger. I think for now I will stick with novels and leave the short stories for another time.

Please remember to comment below. Have a wonderful week and remember you can read while practicing social distancing. Oh, and wash your hands!

March 9, 2020

The Murder at the Vicarage


Be careful what you wish for. We’ve all heard that time and again. The Reverend Clement should have thought it through more carefully before he wished Colonel Prothero would meet his maker sooner rather than later. Things for the reverend become worse when the body of  Prothero, the church warden, is found in the vicarage.  Words are a  dangerous thing.

The suspect list is long. Who wanted to see Colonel Prothero dead? Who didn’t? Was it really Lawrence Redding, or did he confess to a crime his lover actually committed? Anne Prothero, the colonel’s wife, is in love with Redding as is her step-daughter Lettice. Each has much to gain from Prothero’s death. But what about the mysterious Estelle Lestrange? Who is she and why has she been visiting the colonel? Then there’s Archer  and Miss Cram and Doctor Stone and even Reverend Clement’s own nephew Dennis is under suspicion.

In this first story featuring Miss Jane Marple, we are introduced not only to the elderly spinster whose hobby is human nature, but to the town of St. Mary Mead. Christie brings us, the reader, into a gentle countryside filled with quaint shops and fragrant gardens then exposes us to the dark thoughts to those who live there. Agatha House 6

“Murder at the Vicarage was published in 1930, but I cannot remember where, when or how I wrote it, or even what suggested to me that I should select a new character – Miss Marple – to act as the sleuth in the story.” -An Autobiography.

My purpose in writing these posts each week is to get some discussion started on the works of Agatha Christie. It’s my hope that we can talk about the stories and characters, whether you are reading the books, or watching the programs. I’m interested in all points of view. I am particularly interested in discussing the similar conclusion to this book and that of The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Did anyone else notice it?

Join me here next Monday where we will look at The Tuesday Club Murders.



March 2, 2020

Mondays with Miss Marple

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Village life is so quiet and dull, or is it? Bodies seem to drop quickly in St. Mary Mead, and Miss Marple catches clues that slip by the local police. Bitten fingernails and lovelorn looks are almost always ignored by those in charge of the crime scene, but are never dismissed by Jane Marple.

I’ve just finished, once again, The Murder at the Vicarage. I believe I enjoyed it more this time than the first time I read it. Though I’d read a few Poirot mysteries, it was years later before I ventured onto the Miss Marple books. I had plenty of busy-body older ladies in my own neighborhood and had no desire to read about one.

How wrong I was! I can’t imagine not ever reading these wonderful stories, and now I love Jane Marple to bits. Like the Poirot books, I am rereading these in the order they were published. Afterwards I’m rewarding myself by watching the televised versions.

A few nights ago I watched The Murder at the Vicarage with Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple. It’s from 2004 and I could watch it on the Acorn station. However, last night I realized they’ve removed the shows with McEwan as the main character and only a few episodes with Joan Hickson as the lead were available. I’ll need to check out Britbox.

Christie’s cast of characters are always intriguing. They are relate-able in their struggles and many times remind me of people I know, which, of course, is how Miss Marple almost always solves the cases. She relates the current circumstances back to other incidents that have occurred in her village.

Like Rev. Clement, who feels insecure over the age difference between him and his wife, we’ve all dealt with feeling of insecurity so are immediately drawn to him and the predicament he is in once the body is discovered. Agatha Christie has a way of making us feel sympathetic to nearly all her characters. None of them are wholly good or bad and that’s what makes them interesting.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Miss Marple, books or programs, and each Monday I will be here ready to discuss another book. This week I’m reading The Body in the Library. Hope we will all meet here again next week!