10 thoughts on “A Caribbean Mystery

  1. says:

    Since I was a kid reading Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, I have read mysteries in between other books as a palette cleanser. Rather than go into a reading slump, I read a fast paced crime or detective story to clear my head. There is no detective writer I enjoy more than the Queen of Crime herself, Dame Agatha Christie. I joined the Goodreads group reading the detectives when I found out that they would be reading one Miss Marple case a month for a year. Although I had been a fan of Hercule Poirot first, I jumped at the opportunity to read more books by Christie. A Caribbean Mystery, Miss Marple's tenth case, is the upcoming group selection.

    An older Miss Marple has been gifted a Caribbean vacation to the island of St Honore by her wealthy nephew Raymond West. With her getting on in years, he desires that she spend at least part of the winter away from the dreary climate of St Mary Mead. One who is more than willing to try new things even as she ages, Miss Marple agrees to spend time at a beach front hotel. Appearing as a feeble old lady with a knack for knitting, Miss Marple is the delight of the hotel guests. Yet, her mind is anything but flighty, and, just as it seems to do in St Mary Mead, murder cases fall into Miss Marple's lap.

    Colonel Palgrave is also vacationing on St Honore. Regaling the other guests with his tales of safari and the spoils of war, he is the life of the island, even if his stories are on the boring side. While telling Miss Marple the story about meeting a murderer in the eye, Colonel Palgrave literally believes he has seen a criminal from a previous experience. Sure enough, the next day he turns up murdered, followed closely by a local hotel worker named Victoria. Guests start to panic and some flee, leaving Miss Marple to sharpen her detecting skills.

    As in the cases in St Mary Mead, the police appear less than competent. It is up to Miss Marple to unravel the clues to this case, along with the help of fellow guest Mr Rafiel. Together, the two octogenarians come up with motives and alibis for all the hotel guests and workers before another murder occurs on hotel grounds. All this takes place while Miss Marple is supposed to be on vacation, yet, as she has confided in at least one person in each case that I have read, murder seems to find her. As in the case at St Mary Mead, Miss Marple lets the case take place in front of her only to come up with a simple solution at the end.

    While Hercule Poirot is still my favorite of Agatha Christie's detectives, Miss Marple is starting to grow on me. Whereas Poirot entreaties people to employ their little grey cells and usually knows whodunit it at the beginning, Miss Marple uses deductive reasoning to systematically come up with the criminal and motive by the case's close. Miss Marple's cases take less brain power and are perfect for my palette cleansers. I always enjoy reading Agatha Christie's mysteries, and A Caribbean Mystery was no exception. I look forward to the next time that I sit down with one of her cases, and rate this easy reading mystery 3.5 stars.

  2. says:

    A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple, #10), original publication year 1964

    Characters: Miss Jane Marple, Mr. Rafiel

    Abstract: Miss Jane Marple, at the insistence of her nephew, relaxes at a resort in the Caribbean. The sea is sublime and the weather is fine in this quiet paradise so far away from quiet St. Mary Mead, until the apparently natural death of fellow guest Major Palgrave. Miss Marple is disturbed because the previous evening he was in good health, and almost showed her "a snapshot of a murderer". Convinced that the major's death was not at all natural, she begins to ask difficult questions, and another victim dies.

    عنوانها: معمای کارائیب، قتل در کارائیب؛ نویسنده: آگاتا کریستی؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش فارسی: روز دوازدهم ماه دسامبر سال 1997 میلادی

    عنوان: معمای کارائیب، نویسنده: آگاتا کریستی؛ مترجم: نگین ازدجینی، نشر: تهران، نشر روایت؛ سال: 1373، تعداد صفحات: 298، شابک 9789643637071؛ عنوان دیگر: قتل در کارائیب؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، ثالث، 1393؛ شابک: 9789643809201؛

    عنوان: معمای کارائیب، ترجمه: مجتبی عبدالله‌ نژاد، نشر: تهران، هرمس، سال: 1389، تعداد صفحات: 252، شابک: 9789643637071 ؛ چاپ دیگر: 1393، در 238 ص؛ شابک: 9789643637071؛

    از مجموعه داستان‌های بانو آگاتا کریستی، و از سری خانم مارپل، کتاب دهم است؛ که نخستین بار در روز شانزدهم نوامبر سال 1964 میلادی در بریتانیای کبیر توسط انتشارات کولینز کرایم کلوب و در سال 1965 میلادی توسط انتشارات داد، مید اند کمپانی، در آمریکا به چاپ رسیده است. داستان «معمای کارائیب» هنگامی رخ می‌دهد که خانم مارپل پس از پشت سر گذاشتن یک بیماری، در حال گذراندن تعطیلات خود، در هتلی در کنار دریای «کارائیب» است. در این بین یکی از مهمانان همان هتل، مدرکی را فاش می‌کند، و ادعا می‌کند که یک قاتل سریالی در همان هتل ساکن است و ...؛ ا. شربیانی

  3. says:

    Jane Marple is very grateful to her loving nephew Raymond West, a popular novelist and rich man, who paid for his aunt's vacation (she recently recovered from an illness ) . The tropics on an island in the Caribbean Sea, doesn't sound like a place Miss Marple would feel comfortable in, she is from rainy, cold, with just a little bit of snow, the quiet St. Mary Mead England. An out of the way village , where nothing ever happens, that is what everyone believes ... Warm weather a beautiful golden beach , blue skies and still even more prettier sea, clear, as if nobody ever swam in it. Just the perfect locale to regain one's health. Nevertheless how can an elderly spinster , enjoy the atmosphere? Young, happy , wealthy couples running around the Golden Palm Hotel that name alone says it all , but after a week in the sun the old woman , begins to start thinking not a bad place the West Indies, glad she came if only something exciting would occur. Miss Marple gets her wish maybe too much so. The cast of characters: Two well to do couples amateur botanists, scurry about the islands to find exotic flowers and plants, taking pictures writing articles for the National Geographic magazine , they need something to do! Col. Edward Hillingdon retired, a rather reserved gentleman, wife the charming Evelyn and Gregory Dyson, fun loving guy , his gorgeous naughty mate Lucky a strange name for a woman, rumors of shenanigans between the foursome, but gossip can't be believed. Now Major Palgrave another old retired British army officer likes to tell stories, ancient boring tales to the hotel guests, such as hunting tigers in India or was it elephants in Africa? That nobody wants to hear, one in particular involving a murder. The polite Miss Marple pretends to listen, almost falling asleep, it will be his last one for the major. Next day he is found dead in bed, by Victoria the native maid, poor Miss Marple, everywhere she goes someone dies, not a surprise to Dr. Graham an island physician, he had high blood pressure medicine, in his room but the ever suspicious Jane is not so sure. The doctor then receives information that troubles him. The worried young newlyweds who bought the hotel , Tim and Molly Kendal know deaths in paradise is bad for business. After a quick funeral everything is back to normal, nobody can resist the deep blue sea besides, the deceased wasn't too liked ... Mr Rafiel pushing eternity, but richer than anyone Miss Marple has met helps her when another murder happens. Mrs.Kendal starts to act weirdly, mental illness? The police request gently of the hotel guests, not to leave the island of St.Honore they insist. The question this novel asks is , can paradise exist ever on Earth while people are still walking on its surface?

  4. says:

    One's time period can be such a bother, don't you think? Or, in some cases, very inspiring.

    I, for instance, never thought I'd see the time when a Cheeto could become president. I mean, president of the Frito-Lay Corporation, sure. But an elected position? A victory for processed foods! Out with the vegetable gardens, in with the snack machines!

    Wait, not that kind of orange finger food?


    Oh, well... nevermind. Back to what I was saying about inspiration. I mean, hey--I'm in my forties. I actually had a grandmother who referred to black Americans as 'coloreds.' Think about the sea of societal change iin this time period, from the court case upholding desegregating schools in 1954 (way to go, independent Justice Branch!) to an actual African-American President of the U.S. in 2008. That's pretty amazing. Sometimes I think I'm in the right epoch, and other times I don't. I mean, processed snack foods--gross.

    Take Agatha Christie's A Caribbean Mystery, for instance. If only we could have left a bunch of her era's prejudices and populist ideas out of the book, it'd be much more tolerable. Did we need to have the social commentary on the marriage and procreative habits of the islanders? Not necessary to the plot in the least, and yet it gets mentioned a number of times, at least four or five, I should think. Along with the weird psychoanalysis of women in general. Thank goodness we're modern enough at this point to have a discussion about sex versus love, as well as treat adultery as not that shocking. Skip those retro bits and you have a delightful mystery in a beautiful setting, although one can't help wish--just a little bit, says Miss Marple--for some actual English weather (not me, though. I can totally not wish for English weather).

    Dear Raymond has sent Miss Marble on an island vacation, to rest her rheumatism and test her skills. Not long after Major is telling her a story about a murderer, he himself it found dead. Mon dieu! Wait, wrong character. But Miss Marple is too genteel to use exclamatory phrases. It's a gentle kind of narrative at first, where Miss Marple looks back on life, human nature, the challenges of aging, and picks apart the relationships of the other guests at the resort. Surprising to me were the short bits that included a third-person perspective of another couple of characters. It was obvious Christie was using it to build suspense and as a red herring, but I was a bit surprised to note such a cheap trick. Ah well.

    It really was a fun little story, with some interesting twists and a multiple body count to keep the reader in a state of fear. The resort proved to be a typical Christie setting of the isolated manor house/guests, leading to a limited pool of suspects. This one, I remembered reading before, so I can't say whether it surprised. But I enjoyed it and polished it off quickly.

  5. says:

    3.5 stars

    The magical Miss Marple does it again!
    Only this time she does it on a tropical vacation.


    Unlike quite a few of the Marple mysteries, this one features everyone's favorite little old spinster. I personally just love the way her inner mind works. So proper and sweet...but not really.


    The cast of characters was great, too.
    You have a whole slew of people on the island who range from (supposedly) lovely to (supposedly) despicable and you can't wait to see who's going to end up getting killed off next!
    Or maybe that's just me?


    This one was another solid story, and even though it won't go down as one of my tippy-top Christie favorites, I quite enjoyed it.

    Joan Hickson was the narrator of the audiobook version that I listened to and she did a very good job. I will say that I thought she was quite good with all the different accents except the ones that were supposed to be Hispanic. For whatever reason, the two characters I remember sounded less Spanish-y and more like they had a lisp. Although, that could just be the way I was hearing it.

  6. says:

    Firstly let's say it's a shame that this does not have a separate entry as it is not the audiobook of the novel, it is an abridged dramatisation starring June Whitfield as Miss Marple. Whilst I cannot imagine her as Miss Marple in a TV version, she is too, well I don't know but she's too something. That said her voice is excellent and so are these BBC dramatisations.
    Well adapted, but obviously quite abridged, this is an enjoyable listen especially when decorating ha ha.

    Another excellent Miss Marple book, and although I have seen the Joan Hickson TV adaptation, I cannot remember ever having read the book. I really enjoyed it and liked the introduction of Mr Rafiel, who I know we will see later.
    I'm really enjoying this whole challenge and we still have a good few to go.

  7. says:

    This mystery sees Miss Marple relocated from her usual setting, of villages and vicarages, and deposited on a Caribbean holiday by nephew Raymond. The preceding winter had seen Miss Marple suffering from pneumonia and, with sunshine advised to aid her recovery, she is treated to a stay at the Golden Palm Hotel in St Honore, Trinidad. The hotel has been taking over by a young couple, Molly and Tim Kendal, who are keen to keep returning guests happy and ‘make a go’ of it.

    Among the guests are the wealthy Mr Rafiel, attended by assistant Esther Waters and valet/masseur Arthur Jackson, Canon Prescott and his sister, Dr Graham, Major Palgrave and two married couples – Colonel Edward Hillingdon and wife, Evelyn, and Greg and Lucky Dyson. Major Palgrave is the type of elderly man who loves to tell stories about his past and Miss Marple is listening to him one day when he tells her about a murderer and, shortly afterwards, he is found dead…

    Truth be told, Miss Marple has been finding her Caribbean holiday slightly monotonous, even without Major Palgrave’s interminable tales. When there are more odd happenings on the island, Miss Marple teams up with Mr Rafiel to investigate. This is an enjoyable mystery, although it is not one of Christie’s best plots and Miss Marple suffers from a lack of her usual sounding boards and cast of village characters. If you enjoy this, Mr Rafiel is mentioned in a further mystery, “Nemesis.”

  8. says:

    Agatha Christie's sleuth,Miss Marple suffers from rheumatism and her nephew arranges a trip to the Caribbean islands for her.

    As Miss Marple basks in the Caribbean sunshine,she feels mildly discontended that nothing ever happens in paradise.

    But soon,her complaint is rectified.An old major wants to show her the photograph of a murderer,and soon,he is himself dead.

    Later,there is another murder.If that were not enough,Miss Marple,that loveable old hen,finds herself in danger.

    Christie's humour,which makes an appearance every now and then,is an added bonus.Very entertaining.

  9. says:

    “She had one weapon and one weapon only, and that was conversation.”

    It fell rather flat in comparison to other Christie's works, but 1) you can't really blame Miss Marple for not being Hercule Poirot and 2) you can't really blame anyone for not being Hercule Poirot. They try, they do, but it's not their fault if they fail. The same goes for the characters/suspects. I don't know, it's as if Miss Marple makes everything duller, and Poirot everything shinier. I can't help feeling this difference and it's not my fault either.

    But Mr. Rafiel was everything. A couple of decades younger, and I'd have wanted him to propose to Miss Marple. Scratch that, I wanted him to propose and that's it. Their banter was cute and fun, and definitely unexpected.

    “If you knew what you looked like that night with that fluffy pink wool all round your head, standing there and saying you were Nemesis! I'll never forget it!”

  10. says:

    I read this one for the "overseas travel" square because it gets Miss Marple out of St. Mary's Mead on a long vacation to the sunny climes of the West Indies. As is often the case with Christie, the reader must, rather uncomfortably, wade through some casual racism/colonialism/sexism to enjoy the mystery.

    I don't think that this is one of Christie's best, though. Her mysteries often rely strongly on coincidence, but this one takes the use of coincidence to a whole new level of ridiculously unbelievable. I did enjoy the introduction to Mr. Rafiel, and would've liked to hear more about him. He made a nice counterpoint to Miss Marple.

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