Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Caribbean Mystery - Agatha Christie

The Tiny Carribean island of St. Honore is a tropical paradise. But for Miss Marple, enjoying a well-earned rest from her busy life in the village of St. Mary Mead, it is a place where nothing ever seems to happen. Until old Major Palgrave tells her the strange story of a suspected double murderer.

As rumors begin to circulate, the elderly sleuth is not alone in suspecting that things are not as they seem. And when a death that is indisputably murder occurs, Miss Marple finds an unlikely ally in the cantakerous crippled millionaire Mr. Rafiel.

A Caribbean Mystery brings a change of scenery for Miss Marple. She is spending a holiday abroad but surrounded by British comfort. The hotel owners are British, as are most of the other guests, and so the habits remain the same.

Miss Marple is, as usual, observing the people around her. Some are nicer than others and some are easier to read than others. Among them are Major Palgrave, Mr. Rafiel, the Prescotts and the Dysons... One evening Major Palgrave is telling Miss Marple about a murderer he knows when he suddenly falls silent and changes the subject. The very next day he is discovered dead in his room. Miss Marple suspicious mind is not at all happy with an accidental death verdict and she starts asking around and trying to discover if the major's death is in any way connected to the murderer he was telling her about.

A lot more seems to be going on at the resort. Molly Kendall, the owner, feels a bit anxious and between the other couples there seems to be something going on. Miss Marple uses her best gossiping powers to try to discover what's happening but eventually she has to ask Mr. Rafiel for help. Rafiel is a bitter millionaire, who subjects his employees to his bad humour, but who has an intelligent mind and recognises in Miss Marple a very sharp mind. He calls her Nemesis!

And Mr. Rafiel is quite right, although two more murders occur; Miss Marple does solve the mystery and prevents the intended victim of being murdered just in the nick of time. A very nice and cosy mystery!

Grade: 4.5/5

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