Miss Marple, Agatha Christie’s deceptively mild spinster sleuth, is being treated to a few days’ holiday by her niece, staying at Bertram’s Hotel, a dignified, unostentatious establishment tucked away in a back street of busy Mayfair.
Here is a place where sedate upper class ladies, retired military gentlemen and the higher echelons of the clergy can indulge in the comforts of a bygone age. But Miss Marple begins to feel uneasy. Something sinister lurks beneath the polished veneer. Why are so many major crimes associated in some way with the hotel or somehow implicate eminently respectable people staying there?
June Whitfield stars as Miss Marple in this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of a classic brain-teaser from the Queen of Crime.
©1965 Agatha Christie Ltd (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
I'm an avid mystery fan - I love mysteries and suspense of most types, but especially love British mystery series, such as Ann Cleeves, Simon Brett and M.C. Beaton's books.
I accidentally stumbled upon "dramatised" audio books, and have fallen in love with them. They are short (often less than two hours); and fully acted out. And if it is a BBC production, then you get a full cast of excellent (known!) actors.
I love Miss Marple, and frequently buy a dramatised production for a quiet, soothing listen. This one was purchased for a similar reason - restless with insomnia, needing a good relaxing listen, I bought At Bertram's Hotel.
The performance, of course, was superb. June Whitfield, who played Miss Marple in the BBC TV Series, is irreproachable as Miss Marple. The other characters are excellent as well.
I did have an issue with the plausibility of the story, and the later Miss Marple's are not my favourites - but I did thoroughly enjoy the book (except when the young female (?) began screaming hysterically and disturbed my peace!).
I will be buying more BBC dramatised books, for certain, as I've barely scratched the surface of the Agatha Christie collection!!
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