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on 7 February 2009
Another excellent production of one of Miss Marple's best loved mysteries. Not to be missed! Timeless and ever-entertaining. Great listening for long journeys or sleepless nights. Recommended!
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Although Miss Marple had a long literary career, with her first novel published in 1930 and her last, Sleeping Murder, in 1976, in total, excluding short stories, this only ran to 12 books. There seems to be several reasons for this, partly because her publishers seemed to prefer Hercule Poirot and also because Christie sometimes found difficultly in creating a plausible scenario where Miss Marple could be integrated into the action.

After her debut appearance in 1930, Miss Marple didn't appear in another novel until 1942, with only one more appearance that decade. The 1950's and 1960's were her most prolific period however, with four novels in the 1950's and three in the 1960's.

One reason why she may have started to appear more regularly during this time is that Christie herself was now Miss Marple's age, and possibly Christie could indulge herself a little by voicing some of her own thoughts and opinions through her character.

This certainly seems to be the case in At Bertram's Hotel, where we find Miss Marple staying at the luxurious London Hotel. Although it's the 1960's, visitors could be forgiven for thinking that they've stepped back in time sixty years. This allows Miss Marple to muse about some of the drawbacks of modern life and compare how things were when she was a girl. Everything at Bertram's seems a little too good to be true, and so it probably is. And what connects the hotel to a major train robbery?

Published in 1965, At Bertram's Hotel is very much towards the end of Agatha Christie's career. Generally a good rule of thumb is to be cautious about any of her books published after the late 1950's. They are not all bad, by any means, but there's no doubt that she lost her fine edge of plotting and the whodunnits are generally less convincing.

This BBC4 full cast dramatisation starring June Whitfield is able tweak the source material slightly to produce a story that flows well, but there's no denying that the train robbery subplot never really integrates into the Bertram's story, and the eventual explanation for the disappearance of Canon Pennyfather seems unlikely to say the least.

But a talented cast of actors help to cover some of cracks in the material, and it makes for a diverting couple of hours entertainment.
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on 7 April 2011
I have recently discovered this series of BBC Radio shows and am enjoying all of the Agatha Christie stories. A full cast of stellar actors read from Christie's original works. If you are an Agatha Christie fan, you should give these audio books a listen.
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on 26 June 2013
This was bought for my husband who loves these audio cd's. He enjoyed it very much, superb cast and good production. Packaged well and delivered very quickly, all in all a good buy!
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on 26 March 2013
Good version, for whiling away a couple of hours. Good quick service.Nothing else to say. This new method for reviewing is IRRITATING!!!!!!!!!
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on 22 March 2015
Read the book decades ago, and this was a brilliant and accessible dramatisation- made many routine drives an utter delight
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on 13 April 2013
Not my top favourite Miss Marple, but certainly a well contrived plot and a good listen while doing the chores.
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on 2 December 2009
This is great for a short trip as it is not too long and though on 2 cd it is well done
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on 24 February 2010
This is a very entertaining story. Another of her best and very well produced by the BBC.
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on 5 July 2015
very good story
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