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review 2018-11-06 14:10
24 Festive Tasks: Door 1 - Día de los Muertos, Book
Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories - Agatha Christie,Joan Hickson,Isla Blair,Anna Massey
Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories - Agatha Christie

Audio revisit courtesy of Joan Hickson (who reads almost all of the stories), as well as Isla Blair and Anna Massey (who read one story each). Original review of the print edition HERE

 

The audio is excellent and contains an extra (and somewhat sinister) "non-Miss-Marple" story, The Dressmaker's Doll -- the story narrated by Anna Massey -- which was first published in book form in Double Sin and Other Stories (U.S., 1961) and in Miss Marple's Final Cases (UK, 1979); the story of a doll that mysteriously appears one day in a dressmaker's shop and slowly seems to want to take it over.

 

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text 2018-11-05 00:15
Reading progress update: I've read 25%.
Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories - Agatha Christie,Joan Hickson,Isla Blair,Anna Massey
Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories - Agatha Christie

Revisiting, this time courtesy of the audio version narrated in turns by Joan Hickson, Isla Blair and Anna Massey, as my 24 Festsive Tasks / Día de los Muertos book.

 

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text 2018-10-25 22:50
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Body in the Library - Agatha Christie

I love the reveal on this one! So well done!

 

We have Colonel and Dolly Bantry needing Miss Marple's help when a body is found in their library. Dolly knows her husband has nothing to do with it, but dealing with gossips in the village can kill their social standing and Dolly wants Jane Marple to go sleuthing. Miss Marple and Dolly end up traveling away from St. Mary's Mead to a hotel called the Majestic. The police have identified the body as a young dancer who worked at the hotel who had caught the eye of a dying millionaire (as one does) whose family was not enthused about the relationship. 

What I loved is that I guessed wrong and Christie throws a wrench into the works when another body is found. The police are now concerned a mad man is killing young women. I honestly didn't guess right the first time reading this one and loved the re-read. So good!

 

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review 2018-10-23 18:48
Nope, Still Annoyed by This Book
The Moving Finger - Agatha Christie

I read the original bundle for this book back in 2017, so I decided to do re-reads, with stand alone reviews. Can't lie, this book still irks my heart. I read this one second since I knew it was shorter than "The Body in the Library" and that one holds a special place in my heart.

 

"The Moving Finger" takes a while to get going, and we don't have Miss Marple entering into some ways into the story. Instead, we have "The Moving Finger" told in first person POV by Jerry Burton. Jerry was a pilot who was injured in an airplane accident. Now he is back in England and recovering. Jerry is told he needs to go to the country to recover, and he and his sister, Joanna, decide to find a home that is available for them to stay at in the village of Lymstock. The two siblings right away learn that there is some randomness going on with a poisoned pen writer that seems hell-bent on stirring up trouble among the village. Eventually someone is found dead (by their own hand it appears) but then someone turns up murdered, and many in the village fear that more deaths are imminent unless the writer of the letters is found. 

 

Jerry is adrift while in Lymstock until he comes across a local solicitor's stepdaughter, Megan. Megan is described throughout this book as indecisive and frumpy. Although she is 20, Jerry treats her like a kid sister and feels annoyed by her inability to stand up for herself. When Jerry and Joanna see how her own mother treats her (married for the second time to Megan's stepfather and having two more kids with him) they just pity her. I honestly did too since she is not wanted at home, but doesn't know what else she can really do. When Megan suffers a personal loss, things seem even more frantic with her.


I did hate how Christie had Megan go through what I call "She's All That" makeover. Jerry takes her to get herself together with clothes, hair, etc. in London and then he starts having "feelings."


Joanna is a bright young thing that is not too serious until she starts to think on the local doctor, Owen. There is not much character development with Joanna and Owen though. We get some scenes, but Christie is focused mostly on Jerry. I wish that she had built up Joanna more. I loved the tv adaptation of this book since we get to see more of Joanna in that one. 

 

Miss Marple shows up around the halfway mark I think. The local vicar's wife (no not that one) calls up Miss Marple since she knows her way around murders. And Miss Marple and Jerry constantly have conversations about smoke and fire. It was so repetitive and annoying after a while. I really didn't feel like anything was found out by deduction as much as Jerry is told about things after the fact. He starts to feel a bit superfluous after a while. 


We have other characters in this one too such as Megan's mother and stepfather, the governess the family has hired, the older woman who has rented her home to Jerry and Joanna, the maids, Owen's sister, etc. Lymstock feels pretty alive with characters a history there. 

 

The flow was just off to me. And I have to admit the writing was okay, but this one took me a while to even get into. I just found it boring until the first murder. And then the ending just comes quite quickly after that. 

 

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review 2018-10-10 17:49
Our First Stand Alone Miss Marple Novel
The Murder at the Vicarage - Agatha Christie

The first Miss Marple mystery that showcases a different Miss Marple than the one I am used to. This one seems nosy and at times to have ill meanings/feelings. However, in the end we get to see our first glimpse of Nemesis in action with her wanting the person or persons responsible for the murder of Colonel Protheroe brought to justice. 

 

The narrator in "Murder at the Vicarage" is the vicar of St. Mary's Mead, Leonard Clement. Leonard ends up admiring Miss Marple by the end of this book, but initially he thought that she and many other in his flock were gossiping and mean spirited. It doesn't help that he married someone who sounds decades younger than him who seems to have little interest in his work or with the village. 

St. Mary's Mead villagers are concerned after one of the most despised men that livest there, Colonel Lucius Protheroe is murdered. When the Colonel is found dead in the Vicar's study, everyone quickly starts to suspect the other. Things get even more confusing when two separate people confess to the murder.

When Leonard starts his own investigations he keeps running into one of the residents, Miss Jane Marple. Slowly but surely we work through the village and wonder which one of them killed the Colonel. Pretty much everyone is a suspect at one point and some even wonder if the vicar could have done it. 

What I loved about this book was that the only one who figured out what was going on was Miss Marple. A lot of people had ideas and there are a lot of red herrings to throw things off, but the final solution was quite clever. I also loved that we get introduced to characters we are going to see again in future Miss Marple books such as the vicar and his wife. And we will hear about them in some of the later books. I also got a kick out my book showing the layout of the vicar's study and home so you star working through how someone was able to enter and exit without being seen.  

You should probably read "Thirteen Problems" before this one if you want to read about Miss Marple since some of the events take place prior to the events in this one.  

 

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