The Marplethon’s End

It’s so sad that I didn’t have much time to devote to the end of the Marplethon, and even sadder that I don’t have time for more than a few words about each of the last books.

Double Sin and Other Stories by Agatha Christie
Grade: A

I borrowed this collection of short stories from the library because I thought I needed it to finish the Marplethon, but as it turned out, I didn’t. Still, there were some stories in it that I hadn’t read yet, including “Double Sin,” “Wasp’s Next,” “The Theft of the Royal Ruby,” and “The Double Clue” (all of which feature Hercule Poirot) and also “The Last Seance,” a supernatural tale. There are also a couple of Marple stories (“Greenshaw’s Follly” and “Sanctuary”) as well as another supernatural tale, “The Dressmaker’s Doll.” These three also appear in Miss Marple’s Final Cases.

Miss Marple’s Final Cases by Agatha Christie
Grade: A

Miss Marple’s Final Cases contained all three of the stories that I needed to finish the Marplethon: “Sanctuary,” “Miss Marple Tells a Story,” and “Greenshaw’s Folly.” Also included are the four Marple stories from Three Blind Mice and Other Stories.

A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie
Grade: B+

I wasn’t really looking forward to this one, having seen a BBC version of it on television at some point. It won me over a little bit, though. In this story, someone poisons a businessman. When his body is examined by the police, they find that one of his pockets is full of rye. No one can figure out the significance of this. But then there are more murders, and one of the victims is someone known to Miss Marple, so off she goes to investigate.

Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie
Grade: A+

Sleeping Murder is, I think, one of Christie’s best mysteries. A newly married couple buy a house, a house chosen by the bride because there is something familiar and welcoming about it. But soon that familiarity starts to scare her, as it draws old and frightening images from her memory. Now, to find out the truth about what happened to her as a child, she must dig deep into the past, a past that someone else doesn’t want disturbed. Miss Marple is just the person to help the couple, but she wonders if it might not be best to let sleeping murder lie…

A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie
Grade: B+

In A Murder is Announced, and ad from the local newspaper declares, “A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks, at 6:30 P.M. Friends please accept this, the only intimation.” Though most of the neighbors think it sounds absurd, they’re too curious to stay away, and they are all gathered at the appointed time and place. It’s all supposed to be a game, they assume, but then the lights go out, and when they come back on, there is a body on the floor. Such a strange case can only be solved by someone with a keen understanding of human nature, someone like Miss Jane Marple.

Happy Birthday (again), Agatha Christie. My thanks to you for a great year of reading.

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