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review 2020-01-06 16:25
The Case of the Caretaker
The Case of the Caretaker - Agatha Christie

What a cute short story! I love revisiting Miss Marple. I think I read this in a collection before, but it seemed to be longer in this version which was weird. 

 

"The Case of the Caretaker" has Miss Marple getting over a nasty flu. She's down and out and being morose. Her friend and doctor, Doctor Haydock, invites her to read a story he is writing and wondering if she can figure out the whodunit. It's based on something real in the doctor's life. 

 

I always go back to Christie since she can set a scene. We get to get into the heads of several characters via Doctor Haydock's story. Harry Laxton has returned home married after a somewhat scandalous past to St. Mary's Mead. Harry has torn down his old ancestral home and built something new and shiny. He also turfed out the former's caretaker's wife who keeps popping up like the Babadook and harasses his new wife. The doctor comes into play since his niece feels very protective of the Harry and his wife. When Harry's wife is thrown from the horse after the caretaker ambushes her again, Doctor Haydock asks Miss Marple what does she think.

 

Image result for babadook gif

 

Honestly I was surprised at the ending since I didn't see it coming. I just thought what Christie wanted me to think and of course re-read this since the clues are all there. I thought it was a clever story and loved how Miss Marple puts things together. 

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review 2019-10-24 17:03
Short Stories Featuring Miss Marple Overall Delight
The Thirteen Problems - Agatha Christie

I bought this book in paperback a while ago and though I had started some of the stories, I never got around to finishing it in one good. Not because I didn't love it or anything, I just got busy with other books. I thought this was an overall great short story collection featuring Miss Marple and some familiar characters like her nephew Raymond West and her close friend Mrs. Dolly Bantry. 

 

The overall book is about how a group of people who get together every Tuesday night will tell a true story of a crime with people guessing who dun it and why. Initially Miss Marple is dismissed by her nephew and others, but of course us long time Miss Marple fans know that she's quite shrewd and is one of the best amateur sleuths out there! Then the collection shifts to another night where mysteries are told with the last story taking place in the "present" with Miss Marple figuring out who killed a young girl with Sir Henry assisting. 

 

The Tuesday Night Club (5 stars)-There is a gathering of people at Miss Marple's home in order to meet her nephew, Raymond West who is a writer. Raymond brings a long a lady friend, Joyce who is also an artist. The other characters are Sir Henry Clithering ( former Scotland Yard), Dr. Pender (who I think or recall is a clergyman), and Mr.  Petherick who is a solicitor. As I said above, the group starts discussion unsolved mysteries with all of the participants (except for Miss Marple) saying how well they would do at solving crimes. They all agree to meet every Tuesday to tell a real mystery to each  other while others will try to solve it. Raymond is quite dismissive of Miss Marple and saying how her mind is like a sink. 


The first story is told by Sir Henry who discusses how a married woman fell ill after eating and now there is a question of whether she was murdered or not. Sir. Henry lays out all of the facts and after everyone guesses (wrongly) Miss Marple is the only one to figure out who did it. 

 

The Idol House of Astarte (4.5 stars)-This one I thought was a bit confusing though I liked the solution. This story is told by Dr. Penders and involves going to a house party of a friend of his after he bought a home. It becomes apparent that Dr. Penders friend Richard is infatuated (I am going to use that word) with a young society woman named Diana. After they all dress up and go off to an old temple that is left on the grounds. A man somehow is struck down and killed though no one touched him. Dr. Penders leaves the solution to the problem to the group. Miss Marple knocks it out of the park again.

 

Ingots of Gold (4 stars)-This was my least favorite story. Probably because Raymond is the storyteller in this one and he honestly irked me. That and this story is a long time going before anything interesting happens. To cut to the case, a man is found tied up and there's a question of who tied him up and who was behind smuggling some supposed Spanish gold in the area. I do have to love how Miss Marple figured things out (a gardener plays a part) and Sir Henry backs her up since he knows something about the case. 

 

The Blood-Stained Pavement (5 stars)-Joyce is the storyteller in this one and I really enjoyed it. Joyce goes to Cornwall and happens to come across a couple and another woman. What I liked about this one is that this story involves a painting and Joyce not realizing what she is seeing at the time. When a body is washed up later there's a question of who it is and who did it. Miss Marple again figures out the solution and I loved how it was solved. 

 

Motive v. Opportunity (4.5 stars)-So I don't know about this one, especially since it involves some rich people gaining an inheritance through trickery. Either way it was a pretty solid story told by the character of Mr Petherick who goes into him dealing with the writing of a will of a client of his. Pretty much the client had three grandchildren who should inherit, but he started to become involved with a spiritualist. There's a question of a hidden will and what happened to it in this one. Miss Marple strikes it right again. 

 

The Thumb Mark of St. Peter (5 stars)-The last story is told by Miss Marple and rightfully no one figures it out. I liked how the story involved a niece of hers who is being accused of murder.

 

The Blue Geranium (5 stars)-This is the beginning of stories not told in the club. We have Sir Henry return in this one and is visiting with familiar characters most Christie fans should know, Colonel Arthur Bantry and his wife, Dolly. What made me laugh is that readers know how close these two and how often Dolly appears, but in this one Dolly doesn't want to invite Miss Marple to a dinner she is throwing, but does after Sir Henry insists. Other people are invited, an actress named Jane and a Dr. Lloyd. Colonel Bantry has a mystery he wants solved and once again Miss Marple figures it out while everyone else struggles.

 

The Companion (5 stars)-I liked this story told by Dr. Lloyd but really hated the ending. I like the bad guys to get some comeuppance though the murderer did in the end, I just hate why the victim was killed and that Dr. Lloyd kept his own counsel. Anyway the story involves a time when Dr. Lloyd was staying on an island and came across two women. One of them ends up dead. And then months later the only surviving woman dies as well. At this point you should realize Miss Marple figures out the solution to the mystery. 

 

The Four Suspects (5 stars)-This one was really good and another story told by Sir Henry. He has four suspects in a murder case with him realizing that three of them have to be innocent and it's causing all of them to be under suspicion and to not trust one another. He wants to figure out who killed a man in order for at least three of his suspects to move on. 

 

A Christmas Tragedy (5 stars)-Miss Marple tells this one about her coming across a married couple that felt wrong to her in some way. It ends in tragedy, but no one else is able to guess how the wife of the married couple ended up murdered and by who.

 

The Herb of Death (5 stars)-This is another good one and Dolly Bantry tells this one. A story of an older man whose ward is poisoned after she ingests foxglove. There's a question of whether it was an accident or not. The young woman's fiancee marries another woman who was known to both of them so there's a question of did he do it, or did his now wife. I loved the solution to this one a lot!

 

The Affair at the Bungalow (5 stars)-This one had me howling. Jane (the actress) tells this one and had everyone ready to throttle her in the end. I did love though how neatly Miss Marple realizes what is going on and clues Jane into things. 

 

Death by Drowning (5 stars)-The last tale in this collection and it's not a story. Instead Sir Henry comes back to St. Mary Mead and finds out that a young girl was found drowned. There's a question of suicide or did the young man who had "gotten her into trouble" have something to do with it. Though Sir Henry is retired, Miss Marple reaches out to him to investigate based on who she thinks did it and why. 

 

 

Image result for miss marple gif

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2019-09-26 22:26
The Tuesday Night Club: A Short Story (Miss Marple) by Agatha Christie
The Tuesday Night Club: A Miss Marple Short Story - Agatha Christie

Date Published: May 8, 2012

Format: Ebook

Source: Own Copy

Date Read: September 24, 2019

 

Blurb

After a supper of canned lobster and a dessert of canned trifle, three people become ill and Mrs Jones is found dead. Although a bout of botulism is suspected, the Tuesday Night Club is keen to investigate further…

_________________________________________________________________________

Review

 

I read this for International Woman of Mystery square. This story was just cozy - the after dinner get together around the fireplace, enjoying a port and making entertaining small talk. The storytelling done by the retired Scotland Yard chief was a great way to keep interest without feeling like an info-dump. It was perfect for bedtime reading.

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review 2019-09-07 18:15
Another Great Marple!
They Do It With Mirrors - Agatha Christie

I just loved this from beginning to end. As someone else said, I love it when Christie provides a diagram to show where a murder is. It's like you have your own game of Clue to play. Miss Marple is still the sharpest knife in the drawer. I can't say that I saw the ending at all. I was leaning towards one way and then found out I was wrong. The ending leaves things on a nice note for several of the characters. 

 

Miss Marple is asked to go visit an old school friend, Carrie Louise Serrocold. Carrie's sister thinks something is wrong at her home and can't figure out what is going on. Carrie's second husband, Lewis Serrocold has turned their home into a school for wayward (or as someone people say straight criminals) boys. Since Miss Marple has something of a reputation for solving crimes, Carrie's sister thinks she can figure out what is going on there or if she's just wrong about something going on.

 

Miss Marple heads to visit Carrie and quickly figures out there is a lot going on. A young man named Edgar Lawson is running around accusing others of spying on him and that his father is really Winston Churchill. Two of Carrie's step-sons, Steven Restarick, Alexis Restarick seem to be in love with Carrie's granddaughter, Gina. Too bad Gina is newly married to American Walter. And then Carrie's only living daughter believes that Gina's married beneath her and that Walter is up to something. When one of the trustees of Carrie's first husband's foundation is found shot to death during an argument everyone wonders who could have done it. 

 

Christie I thought did a great job of setting the stage so to speak. I definitely didn't know who did what or could have done it. Miss Marple I thought was great about realizing in the end that she was looking at things wrong. As a reader, I realized I was too.


The writing was okay though the flow was a bit much in some places. I think that things moved faster when Miss Marple was involved in any of the goings on.


The setting of Stonygates felt like a very worn house. You have Miss Marple and even Walter seeing how badly run down things are even though there is enough money to fix the place up. It feels like a place out of time when you read about how little Carrie and her husband seem to care about the grounds and the rooms. 


The ending was a bit rushed though. We read about what happens via a letter that someone sends to someone else which I thought was a bit of a cop-out. I would have liked to read it via Miss Marple's POV I think. 

 

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text 2019-09-05 22:01
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
They Do It With Mirrors - Agatha Christie

So satisfying. I definitely had no clue about who done it and thought this was great. It was a locked room mystery in a way in the end with the resolution.

 

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