Tuesday, April 27, 2010
By Agatha Christie
Miss Marple is feeling her age and has been ordered by her doctor to stop working in her garden. But despite her advancing age, she is still up to the challenge of tracking down a killer and freeing a man wrongfully imprisoned.
An acquaintance of hers has recently died, a man of wealth and business acumen. As he was dying he arranged for Miss Marple to take a bus trip visiting the grand homes and gardens of England. All this came as a surprise to Miss Marple when she was informed of it by his lawyers after the man's death. She was told he arranged the trip because he wanted her to ferret out the truth of something but the details were not made clear to her. He wanted her mind clear and open to all the impressions without being influenced by prior knowledge.
It didn't take Miss Marple long, once she was on the bus trip, to realize that the man's son had been locked up for the murder a girl he was dating and that this was what the dead man was pointing her toward. The son was a young man with criminal tendencies and the obvious suspect in the girl's death. But when one of the passengers gets killed by a falling boulder, it is clear to Miss Marple that there was more to that old murder case than the investigators knew. So putting on her fluttery, confused old woman act, Miss Marple manages to smoke out a killer and get a dead man's son released from prison.
Miss Marple stories are always interesting and this one is no exception. Miss Marple tracks down killers like a blood hound does an escaped convict. This was a pretty entertaining book and the only quibble I had with it was rehash of the murder plot at the end of the story which I found rather unnecessary and boring. But otherwise it was a good read.