by Agatha Christie
Series: Miss Marple #
281 pages, Mystery
Reviewed by Luthien

Well written and captivating, but not the most enjoyable book I've read.


After reading the obituaries in the newspaper and reminiscing on her acquaintance with someone who has recently died, Miss Marple tells herself that she did not know the person very well and will probably rarely think of him again. Little does she know at the time that this same person has arranged for her to solve a mystery for him - after his death and with no clues as to what the mystery even is. All she knows is she must go on a certain trip, and that she might have need of a guardian angel.


As in many mysteries, not all the characters are what they seem to be. Most are good, but there are some who are not. One person who is guilty of other crimes is declared innocent of the murder itself by the end of the book and does not apparently feel any consequences specifically for other immoral choices made in the past.

Both of the victims of the past are implied as having not saved themselves for marriage and were, according to several villagers where they lived, pregnant as a result. In the case of one, her immorality is condemned by a number of other characters; but in the case of the other, most people seem not to consider her faults because of her other merits.

The true murderer tries to implicate another person. While this is pretty standard, the murderer shows just how far he/she has fallen by his/her choice of who to frame.

Spiritual Content

One character mentions believing in an afterlife and another mentions that he thinks it's easier to haunt people if you're buried rather than cremated. One of the characters spends some time reading a devotional and at another time visits a church in a town she is visiting. One character tells Miss Marple that he has heard that she has some sort of special way of "sensing" evil, which Miss Marple denies.


There are several murders that take place, one in the course of the story and two others in the past. One of the murders that took place was rather violent with the victim being strangled and then disfigured. It is not, however, graphically described. There is also an attempted murder as well as another death.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Some drinking, also some mentions of overdosing on sleeping drugs.

Sexual Content

While none of the main characters are involved with anyone, one of the victims is implied to have been promiscuous and two others are known to have been. There are mentions of a possible rape, and several characters seem to be of the opinion that it was only a claim to clear the girl's name.

Crude or Profane Language or Content



Overall I enjoyed the book. It had a well-developed and intriguing plot and was very well-written. I did not, however, approve of all the opinions expressed in the book by several characters. Even so, there was nothing that would cause me to declare it unworthy of reading.

Fun Score: 4
Values Score: 3.5
Written for Age: adult

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