June 4, 2012

Book: The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 10:09 am

We had reviewed Agatha Christie`s  And Then There Were None earlier here.

When the body of Ruby Keene, a dancer who has come to temporarily relieve Josie, the local dancer who sprained her ankle, is found, of all places in Colonel Bantry’s library, everyone is surprised. Mrs Bantry loses no time in summoning her friend and a fellow villager, Miss Marple, to puzzle out the mystery.

Ruby Keene was a cousin of Josie and was brought in by her. Suddenly, she catches the fancy of a rich old man Conway Jefferson, who adopts her as his daughter. His real daughter died and his son in law Mark Gaskell lives with him.

A movie groupie called Basil Blake was suspected as he was seen in Ruby’s company a short while before she died.

When Ruby, who bit her nails as a habit, had close cut nails when she was found dead, Miss Marple is disturbed. ‘The nails are all wrong’ she says. And her dress suggests that Ruby was killed elsewhere and dropped in Bantry’s study afterwards.

Suspicion falls on both Jefferson’s daughter in law (widow of his son) Aelaide Jefferson and Mark Gaskell his daughter in law. They both are forbidden to marry again or they won’t inherit the money of Conway.

Miss Marple slowly untangles the mystery in her inimitable style.

Well it is a classic Agatha story but it does not have the number of clues and turns that you normally find in the best of her books. Miss Marple’s other adventures have been more intricately woven.

It has an interesting denouement, as all of Christie’s books do, but thinking back, there are not many clues strewn around for you to go ‘Wow, how did I miss that?’ as normally happens in many other  Christie books.

It is a fairly good read, and deserves a 5/10

— Krishna


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