When Jane Marple comes up from the country for a holiday in London, she finds what she's looking for at Bertram's: a restored London hotel with traditional decor, impeccable service - and an unmistakable atmosphere of danger behind the highly polished veneer. Yet not even Miss Marple can foresee the violent chain of events set in motion when an eccentric guest makes his way to the airport on the wrong day....
©1965 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2002 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
I enjoyed the twists and turns, and the intricate plot lines. I like the stories where Christie developes her characters to this extent. One of the 'kinder, gentler' mysteries.
Entertaining as always, although not one of her best. Although it's classified as a Miss Marple story, Miss M is hardly a player in the narrative. Good narration by Stephanie Cole.
I didn't read the print version, but I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story.
The plot had a number of twists and turns, and at one poimt I was sure I knew who was doing the killing, but Ms. Christie fooled me again.
Early in the book, Miss Marple was exploring the people in the tea room with a commontary about all of the guests, their backgrounds, and the gains and begottens. Now you were ready to find the culprit.
I just thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book, and did it in one day because it was so terribly intriging.
I love listening to Agatha Christie stories while knitting. This one was no disappointment! Enjoy.
Intriguing. Complicated. Entertaining.
Yes it did. There were many twists and turns that went in all directions before the end.
Her voices are good and clear.
Wanted to, yes! If only.
Most Christie books are a good listen but this is definately one of my favorites.
Agatha Christie seems to me to have two classes of mystery novels - those in which the mysteries take center stage, and those in which the characters take center stage -- this is the latter type. The details of the mystery are a little convoluted (though I loved the final reveal), but the characters are wonderful and greatly described. That makes for a fun and entertaining novel more than an intriguing and thoughtful novel, and that's all right by me. I enjoy both. This is really only a "Miss Marple Mystery" by a sliver - the "fluffy old pussy" (as she is described by DCI Davy) is a guest in the hotel, but really has very little to do with what's going on or how the mystery is solved.
Stephanie Cole did an excellent job narrating here - I often find female narrators to be too soft, whiny, or juvenile sounding, and Ms Cole is none of those and hit just the right spot in her performance.
Mrs. Christie pulls the rug out from under the reader once again but with plenty of warning as to what's up in the story. The reader is lead to believe the story is about a specific set of characters, but finds out that there's more to it than that.
I've read At Bertram's Hotel many times but I still like listening to it to see not only whodunnit, but how She dunnit.
ABSOLUTELY! I love reading/llistening to Agatha Christie's books multiple times. I always pick up a previously missed clue or sniglet of information.
I love them all
No one holds a candle to Agatha Christie.
I've read At Bertram's Hotel a number of times over the years and always enjoy it. I've also seen the television production, which I didn't think did the book justice. This audio book was a treat because of the excellent narration.
I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone who enjoys Agatha Christie, even if you've read the book.
It’s funny about great or wildly popular authors. Their reputations are so firmly established that, when you’re less than enchanted by their output, rather than suspect the writer is not up to his or her usual high standards you doubt your own ability to keep up with them.
It doesn’t happen that often, but in such circumstances I turn to the critics. The last time this happened was when Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot had me wondering what it was all about. To my relief, the critical consensus was that Mr. Dostoyevsky had “lost control of his material” in that outing.
Now Agatha Christie has me wondering.
In the case of Bertram’s, I get that the place is the epicenter of a crime ring. But why all the elaborate fancy dress? Why does the ring feel compelled to play-act the presence of prominent individuals—individuals who all stay at Bertram’s—at the scenes of the crimes they commit? Wouldn’t that necessarily bring suspicion on the hotel that is their GHQ?
And the ending; when I saw the TV version of this story I thought the outlandish finish was the by-product of overexcited imaginations at the BBC (but then I also thought the novel would make plain what all the fancy dress was about, too).
Turns out that, at the time the book came out (1961) the critics had the same problems:
"A.C. is seldom at her best when she goes thrillerish on you. This one is a bit wild and far-fetched, but it's got plenty of that phenomenal zest and makes a reasonably snug read." (Maurice Richardson, The Observer)
"At Bertram's Hotel is vintage Agatha Christie: an ingenious mystery that triumphantly gets away with what in lesser hands would be the most outrageous coincidences." (Robert Weaver, Toronto Daily Star)
"The plot is rather creaky…but the hotel atmosphere is very well conveyed and used… the sharp eye had not dimmed, even if the narrative grasp was becoming shaky." (Robert Barnard)
Not that I wasn’t enchanted with the story—it is, as stated above, a reasonably snug listen. And the performance by Stephanie Cole was so good that I’ll be on the lookout for her name next time I’m in the market for murder. Also, as noted above, Christie is a wonderful writer. Her descriptions and character studies are always worth a pause so they might be fully relished. But, ultimately, in spite of Christie’s undisputed powers and Cole’s flawless performance, this one fails to give the solid satisfaction one usually feels at the end of a well-wrought who-dunnit.
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