2nd December 2020.
There’s so much to enjoy and admire about Agatha Christie’s writing. It goes without saying that her plots are intricate, complex and beautifully constructed, so much so that techniques she used in the 1930s and 40s are still being used in today’s murder mysteries.
If you accept that attitudes and language were quite different in 1942, you can appreciate her direct style of writing that hasn’t lost any of its appeal over the decades. With minimal description and digression, she delivers the twists and turns of the plot with skill, deftness and confidence, leading the reader astray with red herrings and enough suspects to satisfy the stingiest critic. Add in sharp characterisation, lots of dialogue, and social comment that will raise a few smiles, and this is a superb whodunit that will keep you guessing until the reveal.
Miss Marple isn’t the fluffy character you see in some TV adaptations. She has a backbone of steel, an incisive mind and a sharp tongue. Where the police and the village see scandal when a young woman is found dead in the library of Colonel and Dolly Bantry, Miss Marple sees a puzzle with no obvious explanation.
While the police follow their own investigations, she seizes on the small clues, the little details they don’t fully appreciate, weaving it all together into an excellent and believable climax.
Agatha Christie’s books never fail to entertain me or inspire me as a mystery murder writer.
It’s seven in the morning. The Bantrys wake to find the body of a young woman in their library. She is wearing evening dress and heavy make-up, 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 to solve the mystery… before tongues start to wag.