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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2008
I have read every single Agatha Christie book published and must say that, though I tend to prefer Poirot over Miss Marple as a whole, 'Nemesis' is tied with 'Endless Night' as one of my two favourite books of hers.

Don't just take the word of those who say Ms Christie declined irredeemably in her final years - read the books and discover for yourself. Yes, her style changed toward greater characterisation and less fast-paced cryptic plotting, and quality-control wise she may have faltered once or twice, but times change and the world of the 20's and 30's moved on - so did her writing.

Expect a greater lead in to this story, as Ms Christie first reveals the crime itself, the characters relating to it then its positively chilling (and devastating) denouement. I challenge you, like Miss Marple herself, not to feel as much sorry for the murderer as you do for the victim.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2009
In some ways, not the greatest of Christie's Marple novels, but in other ways it is. The plot idea is novel, unlike the early Marples which are quite formally structured. In Nemesis Miss Marple is lead through a series of clues before she even finds out what murder she is investigating.

This certainly has the feel of a final novel, and it was the last Marple book Christie wrote (although Sleeping Murder was deliberately published later). It is set out as Marple's greatest ever challenge, and mentions things from a number of the previous books in the series. It also leaves Miss Marple to a happy retirement at the end.

Bonus points to me, because this was the first time that I've managed to solve the mystery before Miss Marple, even though I was put off at one point when the character made a mistake. I would hope that's down to an improvement in my skills rather than a loss in Christie's writing.

Overall, I enjoyed it, and that's what mattered. I'm glad I'm nearly finished with the series though.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 1998
This story is probably the most original and complex of all the Miss Marple stories. The notion of going back in time to try and solve an old crime and right past wrongs is something that Christie was fascinated by - you see it in many of her other novels such as "Five Little Pigs", "Sleeping Murder", "Elephants Can Remember", etc. When you start reopening old cases however, that can rouse strong feelings, and even cause a murderer who had escaped detection to kill again. This is what happens in this story when Miss Marple is trying to solve an old crime with nothing to go on except the vague instructions of a dead man and her own instincts. My only criticism was that she appeared to hit on all the right clues with a consistency and swiftness that was a little implausible, considering how much in the dark she was. However, the resolution of the story was truly amazing and yet completely believeable. I also really liked the idea of nemesis - that you are unable to escape the consequences of your own actions, both good and bad. "Nemesis is long delayed sometimes, but it comes in the end" is a line I have never forgotten. It's a reminder to you that your actions may sometimes result in unforeseen consequences - a pretty sobering thought.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Miss Marple is notified that Mr Rafiel - with whom she came into contact in A Caribbean Mystery - has left her a task to complete and a legacy. She does not know exactly what the task is but knows it must be something to do with a crime as he leaves her a cryptic letter which talks about justice. A few months later she receives notification that she has been booked on a coach tour of houses and gardens with all expenses paid. Gradually Miss Marple's quest is revealed through letters and meetings making this a fascinating mystery not just for Miss Marple but for the reader as well.

I really enjoyed this well crafted mystery with its fascinating and ambiguous characters - who is friend and who is foe? Miss Marple could find herself in danger and needs all her wits about her to succeed. I thought the characters were very well drawn and the motivations - when finally revealed - believable.

I liked the deeper undercurrents in this story and the emphasis on justice. An enjoyable and fascinating read in my opinion and if you have not tried Agatha Christie and think she only wrote shallow crime stories with no psychology behind them then this would be a good book to read to dispel that opinion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This Miss Marple novel is not a sequel to "A Caribbean Mystery", but it does concern some characters from that novel - most notably Mr Jason Rafiel, a very wealthy man who Miss Marple reads in The Times has recently died. When she is contacted by a solicitor she has no idea what the reason could be, but it turns out that Mr Rafiel has left a puzzle for her to solve. Miss Marple is required to solve a crime - for which no details are given - and has a year in which to manage this. If she is successful, she is to be given £20,000.

Gradually, information comes Miss Marple's way. She is to go on a coach tour of historic homes and gardens. On the trip she meets people who slowly make clear the crime she is meant to solve. Finding the trip tiring, she is offered a rest at the home of three sisters, who also knew Mr Rafiel, and begins to piece together the mystery. This is a wonderful story - Miss Marple is quite elderly in the book, but her mind is as sharp as ever as she deceptively, and gently, teases information out. Interrogation hidden under clouds of fluffy knitting and benign questions. The ending is wonderful - you will cheer Miss Marple as she, of course, succeeds in her mission.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2003
In Nemesis, Miss Jane Marple is quietly sitting in her house in St Mary Mead, reading the obituaries in her favourite newspaper, when one of the names printed there strikes her as familiar. Mr. Rafiel, whom she'd met briefly during a sojourn in the West Indies a year earlier, and with whom she'd help solve a mystery, has died.
About a week later, she recieves a letter from London, asking her to go to the late Mr. Rafiel's solicitors' office. There she learns that Mr. Rafiel is leaving her a rather large amount of money, at the condition that she manages to solve a certain mystery, for the sake of Justice he says. P>What I enjoy the most in Nemesis is the way Agatha Christie makes you look at the world through the eyes of an old lady, the way you can follow her thoughts and deductions. How Miss Marple takes advantage of seeming a harmless old lady to bully people into revealing things is very funny too. Of course it's cleverly written and very suspenseful, but you wouldn't except less from "The Acknowledged Queen of Detective Fiction", now would you?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Miss Marple, now very elderly, receives a post card from Jason Rafiel, a millionaire acquaintance who has recently died. He wants her to act as 'nemesis' again, bringing justice to a murderer, as she did during the Caribbean holiday on which they met. Since he respects her intelligence, he askes her posthumously to look into an unspecified crime. If she can solve the mystery, he leaves her £20,000. Rafiel has arranged for her to join a tour of famous houses and gardens, with 14 other people, and she takes this as her first clue. During the trip Elizabeth Temple, a retired headmistress, tells her about a girl called Verity, who was once engaged to Rafiel's son, Michael. Miss Marple has met another group member, Miss Cooke, before.
Rafiel has arranged for Miss Marple to stay with Lavinia Glynne and her two sisters for a few days during the tour. Miss Marple learns that Verity had joined their family after being orphaned and was fond of one of the sisters, Clotilde. As events progress and violence escalates, it becomes apparent that others on the tour also have some connection with Verity...
Published in 1971, 'Nemesis' is the final Miss Marple book to have been written, although 'Sleeping Murder' was published after it. Christie does not write as sharply and concisely as she once did, in this novel, and tends to wander too much into psychologising, so that the plot is a little slow to get going. The story, however, is as good as ever, with the usual ingenious and puzzling twists and turns. Her characterisation is very good too, and she does understand human nature pretty well, especially that of people of her own generation. She takes quite a modern theme - obsessive love and sex - but does not deal with it in a very modern way; I don't want to give the plot away - let us just say that her attitude to a rapist is pretty tolerant. However, this is a very well-devised and intriguing story, though not one of her 'greats'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2009
I loved this book, I loved all the Characters which have wonderful names, I loved the idea of Miss Marple being sent on a quest from beyond the grave and I thought not having a Detective added an extra Something to the book, it was one of the Best Miss Marple Books I have read and proves that if Miss Marple isn't better thamn Poirot she is a definite Equal, whuch is how I would rate her.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 1997
This is a very well written Christie novel, possibly one of her best novels. The suspense keeps you reading until the very end, which is quite horrifying, though there are several clues throughout the book, which may help you figure out who the murderer is. I really enjoyed it very much, as would any Christie fan. Mrs. Marple is quite charming.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2015
I am totally amazed at the rave reviews. This is the work of a writer on the wane. Christie wrote this when she was 81 and I'm afraid it shows. Obvious plot, red herrings that appear to be laid but are not then followed up on, cheap 'shaping' tricks to make a badly planned book seem better (eg, the interchanges between the solicitors), characters telling each other things twice; an editor should have dealt with all these, but I'm afraid Christie was probably way beyond editors by this stage.

I want my 10 hours audio time back!
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