Soon after Gwenda moved into her new home, odd things started to happen. Despite her best efforts to modernize the house, she only succeeded in dredging up its past. Worse, she felt an irrational sense of terror every time she climbed the stairs.
In fear, Gwenda turned to Miss Marple to exorcise her ghosts. Between them, they were to solve a "perfect" crime committed many years before.
©1976 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2002 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Gwenda and her new husband, Giles, were moving to England from New Zealand. Gwenda came first to find a house. She found one that seemed perfect to her. The only trouble was that she kept having irrational feelings about the house-a feeling of terror one day as she was on the stairs, a feeling that the dining room should lead right into the drawing room but there was no longer a door between the two rooms, etc. As time goes on, she starts to think she’s going crazy, particularly when one of her visions on the staircase is of looking through the railing and seeing a woman dead on the floor, and knowing, despite her young age, that the woman was strangled and that her name was Helen. Then she meets Miss Marple. She tells Miss Marple about her feelings, and Miss Marple believes that the feelings are not irrational or supernatural, but that Gwenda has lived in the house earlier in her life. She finds out that this is true, and that her step-mother, whose name was Helen, disappeared from that house, seemingly leaving her father for another man. But what happened to her step-mother? If she is still alive, why hasn’t she contacted anyone? If she’s not alive, did she ever leave her husband’s house? And if she didn’t, where is her body buried? Gwenda, her husband,Giles, and Miss Marple work together to solve the crime. The danger increases substantially as they get closer to the truth. I had not read this mystery although I have read many of Agatha Christie’s mysteries. I love the kind of mystery where you have to analyze particular things to come up with the truth, so different than the thrillers and espionage and serial killer mysteries that flood so much of the market today. Stephanie Cole was a great narrator for Miss Marple. In reclaiming some of those old mysteries I have to be careful because, unfortunately, several of the Miss Marples are narrated by Joan Hickson, who played Miss Marple on PBS, and I hate her interpretation of the character. But this one was excellent.
I loved how just when you think the mystery was solved, there was a new direction.
Though I guessed from the begining who-done-it, the story still kept me engaged enough to listen to the whole thing. I really enjoyed the characters journey to the truth.
I really like how well she switched between the accents of the characters
I did listen to this in one sitting.
I've read or listened or watched the TV version of this story many times, and yet it is always fascinating. Stephanie Cole does a decent job of narrating, though she doesn't quite get the New Zealand accent she's trying for. Regardless, it's not annoying, and you are just carried along in the story of how this young woman's past has come back into her life, and how she, her husband, and the very wise and resourceful Miss Marple find the killer who has remained in hiding for so many years.
Say something about yourself!
This is the last Miss Marple book and it's a great finale. The story holds your interest and the narrator does a great accent for the main character. An easy listen.
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