|Image: My own|
From the book cover: Miss Marple takes a vacation.
The blonde, in a white evening dress, lying on the hearth rug in the library, had been strangled with her own sash.
Reports of missing persons filtered into the police station. Under the eagle eye of the Chief Constable, the police follow these leads. The suspects multiplied.
The owners of Gossington Hall call in their friend from the village for advice. And it is Miss Marple who finds the thread linking all the clues.
My thoughts: This is the first Miss Marple mystery that I read. Yes, I know I'm late to the party. But better late than never. Anyway, the title alone was enough for me to pick this book up. Isn't it interesting? There were a lot of good reviews on this and I went into it with high expectations.
I sat down on a warm afternoon expecting a good old murder with Miss Marple. However, a little bit into the book and I was disappointed. No, the story line was excellent. The only problem was that Miss. Marple doesn't make much of an appearance until the second half of the book.
There were far too many detectives and police officers handling the case and it was difficult for me to keep track of all their names and roles in the story. Like all classic Agatha Christie novels, you get absolutely no clue as to who might have actually committed the murder until the very last chapter. Almost all the characters that we are introduced right from the beginning can be a considered a suspect in ways more than one.
As the case unravels, we meet a lot more characters, be it the dead girl's cousin- Josie, the wheel chair bound Conway Jefferson and his in-laws- Adelaide Jefferson and Mark Gaskell, the Bantrys to name a few. All of whom has a motive for murder. But the real twist in tale is when a second body is discovered not long after the first one.
Now, I don't want to give away too much of the plot as it will take all the fun out of a crime mystery. I was totally satisfied upon completion of the book as we are given a proper explanation as to the motive for the murder and all loose ends are tied up nicely. Now, only if there was some more of Miss Marple and her brilliance, I would have declared the book perfect and given it an additional star.
Should you read it? Yes, if you are a fan of Christie and Miss Marple (no matter how small a role she plays, it is crucial to the book), then this one is not to be missed.