4.5 stars While, yes, I knew who probably dunnit from almost the jump in this one, I don t care This gave me the CLASSIC first read feels of a really good Christie I m not sure this one is actually as good as something like A POCKET FULL OF RYE, but the sheer joy this gave me throughout the experience bumps this up to me A very fitting send off for good old Miss Jane Marple In the beginning, a personal anecdote As a child, I was troubled intermittently by a nightmare I am walking around the compound of my maternal grandfather s ancestral home, when I reach a dilapidated building in a secluded corner I open it and enter, even though my better sense counsels against it Inside, it is a prayer room dedicated to evil gods Their pictures are hung all over the walls, and their ugly idols leer up at me Also, the place is full of the images of the tortured victims of these deities, their silent screams, mutilated bodies and blood.I wake up in a cold sweat.The mystery of this dream was solved later It was only a poster of Narakathe Indian hell which I saw as a child, in that house, which left a lasting impression on me I will not dwell on the Freudian aspects of this incident just point out the fact that childhood traumas, however trivial, have lasting impacts I speak from personal experience.Onward with the review. What if one has witnessed a murder as a toddler What if one s childhood psyche had repressed that incident, until it came back to haunt one as a distorted vision in one s beautiful new home which one suddenly realises is none other than the venue of that Sleeping Murder One would go madthat is what nearly happened to Gwen Fortunately, she had Miss Marple to help.Gwenda and Giles Reed return to England from New Zealand She has no memories as far as she knows, she has never been in England However, buying the dream home she had set her eyes on, Gwen begins to be troubled by memories, which she thinks are from another life She runs away to London to escape However, watching a performance of the Duchess of Malfi, and hearing the words cover her face mine eyes dazzle she died young brings a terrifying image into her mind the blue strangled face of a beautiful young girl, and she herself watching it through the bannisters and the monkey s paws Gwen is convinced that she is mad But thankfully, she had chosen to stay with Raymond West, who most fortuitously had his Aunt Jane Marple on the premises The old lady is not ready to go for a supernatural explanation She has a muchprosaic one Gwen has actually seen somebody murdered in the same house, where she has stayed as a child a memory which has been suppressed.The young lady and her husband soon find out that Miss Marple had hit the nail on the head Gwen had stayed in the house as a little child, along with her father and her flighty stepmother Helen, who had disappeared, presumably run away with one of her many young men However, Gwen s father was convinced that he murdered her, and ultimately was committed and died in an asylum But it is now possible that he may not have been mad that Helen was actually murdered though not by him However, the tantalising question arises if she was murdered, who is the killer Thus begins a murder investigation into the past by the young couple, against the counsel of Miss Marple to leave sleeping murder lie Once she is convinced that they will not let go, Miss Marple agrees to join them, if only to keep them safe.And thus begins a rollercoaster ride, one of Christie s most suspenseful novels As a mystery, Sleeping Murder is rather predictable There was no aha moment at the end, because I already had a good idea who the murderer was But I give the novel four stars for its structure and breakneck pace, rather like a Hitchcock movie and also for the personal experience I quoted at the beginning I could sympathise with Gwenda. Miss Marple S Last Case, Sleeping Murder, Was Written OverYears Before It Was Published And Sees Miss Marple Solve Her Final MysterySoon After Gwenda Moved Into Her New Home, Odd Things Started To Happen Despite Her Best Efforts To Modernise The House, She Only Succeeded In Dredging Up The Past Worse, She Felt An Irrational Sense Of Terror Every Time She Climbed The Stairs In Fear, Gwenda Turns To Miss Marple To Exorcise Her Ghosts Between Them, Can They Solve A Crime Committed Many Years Before You Chose Your Own Adventure You have reached the end of your story, and it is like so many stories that have come before a story of a murder long buried, now reaching out to haunt those who live today As always, you read this story with care, and you read it with a warning to the young do not believe what you are told and do not open old graves Alas, they never listen You shall guide them on their journey, and in the end, you will come to their rescue That was ever to be your fate and your role you are a rescuer But now it is time for you to sleep, old dear All your missions have been accomplished.If you wish to awake in a new shape, choosehttps www.goodreads.com review show I thought I had read this Miss Marple before, but maybe I hadn t I would have thought the heroine Gwenda being both a New Zealander and having the same name as one of my childhood friends would have stuck in my mind if so.Although this book stretches coincidence just about to breaking point and did lose momentum near the middle, I still enjoyed it Some of Christie s earlier novels have a sly wit in this book the scene with Miss Marple and her physician and she evokes a long gone world of a quiet English seaside town I felt like I really knew the victim by the end of the book I guessed the murderer early on as for me one line made it obvious But as nearly always, Christie plants her clues and red herrings with considerable skill.Overall entertaining and well worth a read. I love Miss Marple she is wise and knows human nature and knows that people can not be taken at face value, they lie This is her last murder mystery in the series, which don t have to be read in order to enjoy them, but I prefer to see herin the picture than in this story She hovers in the background, helping the nice young couple afflicted by a ghostly vision from the past, but she s not really present in the story literally and figuratively. Although this is listed as the thirteenth Miss Marple novel, and was published in 1976, it was actually written during WWII and shows her as a fairly sprightly lady, compared to some books According to the Agatha Christie website, it should sit between The Moving Finger, and A Murder is Announced, and that is where I have positioned it in my re reading of these books.Gwenda Reed has arrived from New Zealand, charged with buying a house for her, and her new husband, Giles who is due to join her soon She falls in love with a house in Dillmouth, called Hillside, and buys it However, aside from a disconcerting feeling of fear when she stands at the top of the stairs, soon there are other familiar things that she should not know about She senses a door should be leading from a room, and finds it has been closed up, she imagines a wallpaper and finds it in an old cupboard Unnerved, she goes to stay with cousins of Giles, who just happen to be Raymond West, Miss Marple s nephew, and his wife, Joan Then an event brings back the memory of a dead body, lying at the bottom of the stairs in her house Fearing she is going mad, she confides in Miss Marple, who not only believes her, but decides go and stay in Dillmouth to keep an eye on things.Some years before, Gwenda discovered she had lived in the house, as a small child Her step mother was rumoured to had run off with another man, but what if she hadn t Giles and Gwenda set out to investigate, but will raking up the past prove dangerous and can they really discover what happened so long ago This is an enjoyable murder mystery, with Miss Marple heavily involved in events There are a number of possible suspects and, although I actually guessed the correct one, it was still an interesting read, with good characters and Miss Marple really investigating the crime. .. Sleeping Murder Miss Marple 13 , Agatha Christie Sleeping Murder Miss Marple s Last Case is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in October 1976 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year 2002 1372 311 1381 250 1384 1393 1373 316 1393 259 1374 280 1373 285 . .
Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name
- 242 pages
- Sleeping Murder
- Agatha Christie
- 13 October 2017 Agatha Christie