Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Thirteen Problems - Agatha Christie

“What class of brain succeeds best in unravelling a mystery?”
Raymond West - The Thirteen Problems

Such is the challenge Miss Jane Marple’s dinner guests set themselves: who can solve the latest problem presented each Tuesday Night? Why have they never been solved before? Perhaps because this is the first time Miss Marple has heard them.


After having read this book I rather think I would love to have such a group of friends that could meet every week and solve mysteries. Unfortunately I don't think I would be as good as Miss Marple at it. Some of the characters I already knew from other Marple novels decide to create the Tuesday Night Club. Every Tuesday they meet, one of them related a crime they heard of or had a direct participation in and the others have to guess who the murderer was and its motivation.

It is great fun to see how Miss Marple is considered a sort of honorary member of the club, someone they invite but from which they don't expect much, and in the end she is the one who solves all the mysteries but without making them wait for her conclusion while she checks if her knitting is going along correctly. I think she really is at her best in these stories, always making some obscure comparisons between the stories being related and people she knows from the village. The others never get the real meaning of those comparisons and are left absolutely surprised when she reveals the correct solution.

A very enjoyable read!

Grade: 4.5/5

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