Posts tagged ‘#vicarage #garden #sleuth’

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 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.