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4.0 out of 5 starsGood read but riddled with typos
Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2020
This is one of Christie’s later Marple novels, providing an interesting view into Miss Marple’s degree of adaptation to a rapidly changing world. This particular Wm Morrow edition, however, is filled with glaring typos (quotation mark rather than apostrophe to indicate the possessive, lack of spacing between words, double periods, etc.) that detract from the work. For such a widely-read author it is a bit puzzling these errors fell through. If it weren’t for the high quality paper, cover, and binding I would wonder if it were a genuine copy. It clearly is, which makes the lack of copy editing even more frustrating.
5.0 out of 5 starsMiss Marple revisits London -- and finds that while things have changed, murder remains the same
Reviewed in the United States on November 5, 2016
Miss Marple is revisiting her girlhood by staying at Bertram's (based on one of Christie's favorite places to stay, Brown's, which still offers tea). She meets old acquaintances like Selina Hazy, who had stayed at St.Mary Mead during the war to be near the base where her son had been stationed. But she also meets people who look like old acquaintances, but on second glance aren't. Bertram's hasn't changed -- the scrumptious teas, the breakfasts (in bed, British, and, of course American, with juice and cereal), even the chambermaids. But somehow, it seems too good to be true. Then Bess Sedgewick, an adventuress who doesn't SEEM the Bertram's type, checks in, at the same time as a young Elvira Blake and her guardian, who turn out to have a connection with her. What's that about? And a series of mysterious robberies where the suspects all seem to resemble prominent, respectable people -- Justice Ludgrove, for example, who had a very solid alibi, being in court on the day the crime was committed. And then, the murder of Bertram's doorman, Mickey Gorman (off-stage, of course, with Elvira Blake screaming beside the body).
5.0 out of 5 starsThe muffins are almost too good to be true…
Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2021
At tea time at Bertram’s Hotel, the muffins are so good, the butter runs down your chin. The eggs are poached so correctly, they carry Miss Marple back to 1909. Bertram’s is as comfortable and comforting as it was in the Edwardian era. It’s almost too good to be true…
Miss Jane Marple is there for a short London holiday financed by her kind relatives. She has tea in the lounge, observing the comings and goings. Concealed in a high back chair (not on purpose!) she overhears shocking conversations. She runs into people in unexpected corners of London having secret assignations. She sees so much — while no one ever notices her, she looks so old and ineffectual.
But once again, Miss Marple is able to help the police in their inquiries. A wise old inspector discovers her and appreciates her powers of observation. Incredible things follow, including a a fatal shooting.
There are some wonderful characters in this mystery. One of my favorites is the elderly, scholarly, incredibly absentminded Canon Pennyfather.
2.0 out of 5 starsRead product descriptions very carefully before purchasing!
Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2020
This book arrived timely and well packaged. However, I do not remember the product description given detailing that multiple page in this book would have the names of major characters on a particular page, hand written across the top of the page. Once or twice was novel, the third and up to about number thirty-five, was absolutely irritating. If i'd known about this before ordering, I would have purchased it elsewhere WITHOUT the writting.
5.0 out of 5 starshaving enjoyed Poirot's adventures and the various (and sometimes superior) stand-alones
Reviewed in the United States on April 4, 2018
I came to Miss Marple late, having enjoyed Poirot's adventures and the various (and sometimes superior) stand-alones. My favorite, after all these years, remains 'The Mysterious Mr. Quin". That said, I find the 'Marple' books to be a step above Poirot. I was always put off by her film representations, but the novels are terrific. I've yet to see a Marple book given the treatment that 'Murder on the Orient Express' has received. Sure, that was a great story. But many 'Marples' are even better. She's not a doddering fool, and Hollywood could benefit from her presence.
Agatha Christie surprises once again as she pens an interesting mystery story of international intrigue involving complex family relationships, mistaken identities, and a missing clergyman. The murder, when it finally occurs, signals the beginning of the end of the case with all ends neatly tied off. The charming Miss Marple once again uses her unique skills of observation, life lessons, and common sense to assist Scotland Yard in solving a puzzling series of crimes. Any fan of Agatha Christie's will enjoy this book.
Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2015
A bit disappointing for an Agatha Christie Miss Marple mystery. While the elements of a good mystery are there, Miss Marple is on a small handful of pages until the VERY end, and even at that, she is basically included to tie up a clue to finish the story. Miss Marple is written as being up in years and its a little disappointing in that Christie goes into detail describing what Miss Marple thinks about her modern world vs. "the old days". There are no anecdotes Miss Marple spins about how a pivotal character or situation reminds her of something or someone in her village (which usually leads somewhere as, for her, human nature doesn't change).
Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2017
I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie's work and upon seeing this title wanted to read it right away. Not terribly impressed with the small role played by inveterate sleuth Ms Marple. Kudos though to the wonderful description of this jewel of a hotel in the heart of London. Who knew it was the base for a crime syndicate.
Frankly I was kept guessing right until the end as to who the perpetrator of the murder was. Enjoyable reading.
Miss Marple has the best nephew in the world – Raymond West – who is constantly thinking up little treats for his Aunt Jane. In this novel though, it is his wife, Joan, who suggests that she needs a little trip and Miss Marple says she would like to go to Bertram’s Hotel. She stayed there as a girl and is somewhat surprised at how little it has changed.
Bertram’s is a haven for the well to do in London; visited by retired army officers, clergymen, the aristocracy and wealthy Americans. Muffins are served for tea, the fires are always raging and elderly ladies find the chairs easy to rise from. It seems too good to be true and soon Miss Marple is re-visiting old haunts and hunting down her favourite linen and china. Not for her the delights of the theatre, galleries or museums, we learn that she loves shopping – a weakness that makes me somehow like her even more…
Of course, no visit for Miss Marple can ever be uneventful. This novel includes a missing clergyman, a notorious racing driver, a wealthy, somewhat notorious beauty, her daughter and a spate of audacious robberies in London. I enjoyed the investigation by Chief-Inspector Davy (known to all as ‘Father’) and the wonderfully vague, and forgetful, Canon Pennyfather. I also enjoyed the setting of Bertram’s itself, so evocative of a certain type of hotel in London, where tourists can make believe they are comfortably ensconced in the past. A very enjoyable mystery indeed.
Another beautifully written Agatha Christie novel. Miss Marple travels to London for a fun stay at Bertram's hotel, she's having a lovely time with her friend when strange things start to happen that are really quite baffling. The murder of one of the hotel maids is what starts it all, there are far more immoral people at Bertram's hotel than we ever realised though. A wonderful mystery not to be missed, highly recommend.
Amateur sleuth Miss Marple is on the trial of yet another mystery involving organised crime, kidnapping and a few suspicious characters with dubious pasts, all of which come together in a rather complex denouement. A generally more recent Christie novel written in the mid 1960s with references to beatniks, the Beatles and even television. It keeps the readers interest with the by now familiar twists and turns so common to her novels. There is more than one 'surprise' revelation at the end - one of which tends to stretch credibility a little. But this is an 'Agatha Christie' and the 'unlikely' is an essential component. Fans will not be disappointed.
This is probably the worst of Christie's extensive range of novels. Miss Marple is a pointless appendage to a ludicrous sub-Moriarty crime syndicate story and the attempt to meld contemporary events (such as the Great Train Robbery) with Christie's 1930s milieu of the hotel fail miserably. Chrisite also introduces an outstandingly irritating figure in Canon Pennyfather, surely a distant cousin of Sayers's creation of the tedious rector in 'The Nine Tailors'.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 26, 2020
As a. Christie fan I hate to write this: 'At Bertram's Hotel ' is one of the worst of her books I have ever read. Much of the action takes place ' off stage', as it were. The characters are cardboard and the plot has more mistakes in it than a government fighting Covid 19. It started well, with a cosy hotel and Miss Marple, but then it lost its way. It was written when Christie was in her dotage. The dialogue is horribly dated and is used to replace action and description. Not recommended.