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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Miss Marple is staying at Bertram's Hotel. This is a quiet place very much in the Edwardian mould with good English food and guests who seem to have strayed from the same era. Miss Marple has fond memories of staying at the hotel as a child and is at first pleased to see that it hasn't changed. She meets old acquaintances and takes some gentle trips around the capital and does some shopping. Then she starts to wonder whether Bertram's is actually quite what it appears to be.

Meanwhile Scotland Yard is wondering whether there is a connection between the hotel and some major crimes which have happened recently. When Canon Pennyfeather disappears from the hotel apparently without trace Scotland Yard and Miss Marple join forces. I really enjoyed this intriguing story with its many sub plots which at first seem totally unconnected. Miss Marple is at her inquisitive best - eavesdropping on conversations because she is frequently overlooked when sitting quietly in a corner; and observing the details that other people ignore.

If you like your crime novels set in a gentler, less violent age then you cannot beat Agatha Christie. Her plots are excellent and her characters always interesting and her stories stand the test of time.
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on 8 June 2016
At Bertram's is my favourite of all Agatha Christie's books. I never took to the character of Poirot at all, although the plots of those stories were brilliant. Miss Marple however is superb, and is initially not expected to be anything other than your favourite old Auntie, who loves to witter on about knitting patterns, and how to get rid of weeds from your borders. But she has a first class and a very sharp mind that can weedle information out of a stone. The murder at Bertram's doesn't appear until quite late on in the book, but it makes it just one of the many pieces of the puzzle of dodgy dealings that revolve around the going's on in the hotel. The film made with Geraldine McEwan only very loosely picked up the plot of the book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it all the same.
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VINE VOICEon 10 March 2012
This is not your usual Christie "who dunnit" and that makes a nice change. After a slow start, the book evolves into an enjoyable tale about a mysterious and highly successful gang of thieves, and it features a hugely likeable central character in Chief Inspector Davey (Miss Marple is a fairly minor character for most of the book). The book relies on some outrageous coincidences which gets a little annoying, but the writing style is enjoyable and comforting. Sadly I found the end very disappointing: the band of criminals plot just fizzles out, and we finish with a bizarre and unnecessary confession from the "master criminal" when it seems there is no concrete evidence at all.

But it is entertainingly lightway and very readable in a relaxing Sunday afternoon sort of way.
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on 13 December 1998
This book is a page turner, but Miss Marple's contributions to the solution of the mystery seem to be incidental. As with Christie's later books (the 60s +) I wasn't all that surprised by its resolution. For Miss Marple at her best, try "The Body In The Library" or "Murder At The Vicarage".
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on 6 February 1999
I highly recommend this book to Agatha Christie fans of Miss Marple stories. It has a particular charm involving an elegant old-style hotel and its seem-to-be prominent guests. It has been a re-read for me for years.
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on 16 December 2014
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and I don't say that very often! I liked the plot, the characters, the setting and especially the end which was not what I expected. A great little book! I seem to enjoy most of Agatha Christie's books.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 September 2014
This is a later Christie novel, published in 1965. By this time, Christie was an old lady, her attitudes and tastes dated. An ideal time to write a Miss Marple novel!
Miss Marple is on holiday in London, at old-fashioned Bertram's Hotel, which she remembered from her youth. Still Victorian in atmosphere. it has well-disciplined staff and many elderly patrons. Miss Marple encounters a childhood friend there, Lady Selena Hazy, and is intrigued by her fellow guests - famous adventuress Bess Sedgwick, young Elvira Blake, an heiress, and her guardian Colonel Luscombe, and Canon Pennyfather, who is about to attend a conference in Lucerne. He has a misadventure when he goes to Lucerne on the wrong date and is knowcked unconscious in his room when he returns.
Bess Sedgwick turns out to be Elvira's mother., They are both in love with the same man, racing driver Ladislaus Malinovski. Also involved is the hotel commissionaire, Michael "Micky" Gorman, who has a a link with Bess Sedgewick's past.
The complex plot is managed well by the author, and with her usual ingenuity she unveils secret after secret until the true murderer is unveiled. She displays her usual strengths - her characters are interesting and she is psychologically shrewd, so that the action develops from the strengths and weaknesses of her characters. In her lifetime, she was notorious for making the most unlikely character the murderer; it became a joke. In fact, it is said that she wrote her books up to the last chapter, then decided which the most unlikely character was and then rewrote and adjusted sections of the book so that this person was finally revealed as the killer. I leave you to judge whether she did that in this book.
Miss Marple does not play a large part in this book. As so often happens in the Miss Marple books, she is an unobtrusive, sharp-eyed observer of the other characters, quietly putting two and two together.
This is an enjoyable story, perhaps pretty unlikely in places and maybe a bit contrived. The Bertram's Hotel atmosphere is well-created, dominating the book. Typical Agatha Christie entertainment!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 June 2014
This is a later Christie novel, published in 1965. By this time, Christie was an old lady, her attitudes and tastes dated. An ideal time to write a Miss Marple novel!
Miss Marple is on holiday in London, at old-fashioned Bertram's Hotel, which she remembered from her youth. Still Victorian in atmosphere. it has well-disciplined staff and many elderly patrons. Miss Marple encounters a childhood friend there, Lady Selena Hazy, and is intrigued by her fellow guests - famous adventuress Bess Sedgwick, young Elvira Blake, an heiress, and her guardian Colonel Luscombe, and Canon Pennyfather, who is about to attend a conference in Lucerne. He has a misadventure when he goes to Lucerne on the wrong date and is knowcked unconscious in his room when he returns.
Bess Sedgwick turns out to be Elvira's mother., They are both in love with the same man, racing driver Ladislaus Malinovski. Also involved is the hotel commissionaire, Michael "Micky" Gorman, who has a a link with Bess Sedgewick's past.
The complex plot is managed well by the author, and with her usual ingenuity she unveils secret after secret until the true murderer is unveiled. She displays her usual strengths - her characters are interesting and she is psychologically shrewd, so that the action develops from the strengths and weaknesses of her characters. In her lifetime, she was notorious for making the most unlikely character the murderer; it became a joke. In fact, it is said that she wrote her books up to the last chapter, then decided which the most unlikely character was and then rewrote and adjusted sections of the book so that this person was finally revealed as the killer. I leave you to judge whether she did that in this book.
Miss Marple does not play a large part in this book. As so often happens in the Miss Marple books, she is an unobtrusive, sharp-eyed observer of the other characters, quietly putting two and two together.
This is an enjoyable story, perhaps pretty unlikely in places and maybe a bit contrived. The Bertram's Hotel atmosphere is well-created, dominating the book. Typical Agatha Christie entertainment!
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on 16 July 2011
I was expecting At Bertram's Hotel to be a little tedious like Nemesis but I was completely wrong. Although the murder doesn't happen until 3/4 of the way into the book there are 4 different mysteries going on at the same time which seem to be unrelated but in a fantastic finale we realise they are all connected. As always the murderer was totally unexpected. The book is set in an old-fashioned, expensive hotel in London so the setting is a nice change from the usual countryside. The characters are well-developed and the plot is great. The structure of the story is different to the usual Agatha Christie mystery which makes it more interesting. Although this is one of her longer books I found it so exciting that I read it in two days! I would say this is my third favourite Miss Marple book after They Do It With Mirrors and A Murder is Announced. Highly recommended!
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on 9 June 1996
This book is an Agatha Christie's classic. You just get involved in the story and you cannot put it down. As usual, the end is unexpected. It is a great book for those who like mistery.
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