Author: Agatha Christie
Page Count/Review Word Count: 368
I should preface this review by saying that my mum went to great lengths to tell me how bad this book is, and so perhaps I was a little biased going into it. But actually, it wasn’t too bad, although it was also far from her best. I also think that it helps that I read A Caribbean Mystery not too long ago and this one basically follows on from it.
What I didn’t like here was that Christie forced a bunch of her own beliefs into the narrative and the dialogue, and I’m not too sure I agreed with her. For example, she basically said that young women at the time (the 1970s ish) kept accusing men of rape after their mothers found out that they’d had sex. Come to think of it, she spent a lot of time also complaining about how times had changed and she came across as a bitter old woman. It was kind of sad.
Still, I did enjoy the actual mystery, despite the fact that I also predicted both who the killer was and where the body was buried. I also found that, at the beginning at least, the plot was happening to Miss Marple rather than because of her. She’s basically just getting letters from a dead dude and following his instructions.
I read the entire second half of this in one sitting on the train back from my mum’s house, and that probably helped me to get a little more enjoyment from it. I managed to get all the characters straight in my head, which can sometimes be a problem, and I also had a pretty good idea in my head of what the environment looked like.
All in all then, this is far from Christie’s best but I’ve always loved Miss Marple and so it was fun to investigate a case with her here, towards the end of her career. Ultimately, it’s worth reading this because it’s worth reading all of Christie’s work. But I wouldn’t go out of your way for it, and you should read A Caribbean Mystery first.