Wednesday, June 26, 2013

#BookReview--> Miss Marple #13- Sleeping Murder By Agatha Christie


There are some Authors whose books you read and think "How did they think of that?"  
Their stories are so unique!! :)

Agatha Christie is one such author and Sleeping Murder is one such book that keeps you in a constant state of excitement with all its twists and turns, all the while wowing you with its amazing story and its awesome conclusion.  :)

Sleeping Murder is Miss Marple’s last case, published posthumously in 1976, although Agatha Christie had written it during the Second World War. Miss Marple investigates a murder that has happened 18 years ago.

I am a great lover of detective mysteries and when it comes to books written by Agatha Christie I just can’t stop myself. Her books are unique, expertly written with plots so novel and intriguing that if such crimes were to happen in the present day they will leave the police as baffled as in the books.

This book is no different and here we meet Gwenda, who is newly married and has recently bought a house in Devon. She has recently returned to England from New Zealand where she was raised by her Aunt after her parent’s death.

One glance at the old victorian house and Gwenda knows that she has found a home for herself. It seems like she has a connection to the place. But these happy thoughts are interrupted when she begins to believe that she must be psychic, as she seems to know things about the house which she could not possibly know like the location of a connecting door that has been walled over, the pattern of a previous wallpaper, a set of steps in the garden that are not where they should be, and so on. Becoming increasingly uneasy, she accepts an invitation to stay for a few days in London with Miss Marple's somewhat pretentious nephew Raymond West and his wife Joan.

During a performance of the Duchess of Malfi, she has a vision of a murder at the house she has bought and flees screaming. She believes that she has seen someone utter the same lines, as uttered by the Actor, in the past while standing near a dead woman with a blue face whom he called "Helen" but tells Miss Marple that she doesn't know anyone by that name!

"Cover her face. Mine eyes dazzle, she died young …’"

She is convinced that she is going mad, but she is helped by Miss Marple, whose nephew, Raymond West is a distant cousin of Gwenda’s husband, Giles. It’s a most baffling ‘cold case’, because first of all they have to discover who, if anyone, has been killed, and then determine the where, when and the why

The fact that Gwenda has come for the first time to England as she was born in India and taken directly to New Zealand complicates matters as she couldn't possibly have witnessed any murder in the house to which she has come to for the first time !

The story is thrilling with a sense of the supernatural which keeps us constantly in a state of suspense. You cannot afford to slip as each and every occurrence plays a part in completing the puzzle and solving the mystery. 

Sleeping Murder is a satisfying puzzle and I liked this last view of Miss Marple, compassionate and shrewd and this description of her appearance,


"Miss Marple was an attractive old lady, tall and thin, with pink cheeks and blue eyes, and a gentle, rather fussy manner. Her blue eyes often had a little twinkle in them. "

Agatha Christie yet again proves that she is the Queen of crime for a reason. The crimes that she writes are exemplary in their planning and execution as well as evergreen. In spite of being written decades before they are still as valid as they were then. 

All in all a deserving read and a very well written last novel featuring Miss Marple.

It’s a keeper and deserves a 5 on 5 for its cohesive plot, well developed characters, success in giving the reader the chills and the thrills, excellent planning and execution of the crime, skilled writing and a story that binds us till the very end and then leaves us astounded and impressed with the Author.



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