The Body in the Library Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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“The best opening I ever wrote”
“Genuine old-crusted Christie”
Miss Marple's detective skills are called upon in the CD edition of this classic mysterySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
First published in 1942, The Body in the Library is the second Miss Marple Mystery (after Murder at the Vicarage, 1930). It's very good - easy read, wry, witty, twisting plot, only takes a few hours to read - perfect for a holiday mystery, or a quick read when you want a good book, but not one that's too in-depth. I was guessing right up until the end in this Miss Marple and didn't manage to guess the right murderer at all, so hats off again to Agatha Christie.
A note on the edition: I love these HarperCollins facsimile reprint editions of the First Editions (the original Collins Crime Club editions). The dust jacket covers are so much more appealing and iconic than most of the paperback versions that came afterwards (1960s and 70s covers would often have a pool of blood, murder weapon, bottle of poison, or whatever else was relevant to the plot adorning the front cover). These covers are more suitable to the story - gentle Golden Age crime and mystery writing at its best - not gory, not graphic, just good old-fashioned honest detecting.
The police having met Miss Marple and her amateur sleuthing naturally want her gone as soon as possible. She doesn't leave until she overhears that the victim was a dancer at the Hotel Majestic in Danemouth and before long Mrs Bantry and Miss Marple just so happen to take a small holiday there. So who was this girl, how did she end up in a strangers library in St Mary's Mead and who took her there and killed her? Well you will have to read this joyous romp to find out and revel in the village gossip and brilliant characters as you go. I didn't know Christie was so rye and witty.
This is of course means there are plenty of people who might have wanted Ruby dead including her fellow workers at the Majestic and Colonel Bantry's neighbours who are starting to mutter about there being `no smoke without fire'. Can Miss Marple discover the murderer even though the police are baffled before the Colonel is completely ostracized by his friends?
This is an intriguing mystery which will definitely keep the reader guessing right up until the end. Of course the solution is obvious when you look back on it but at the time it seems far from clear. This well written mystery shows Miss Marple at her best as she displays her inimitable knowledge of human nature.
The double murder plot is fiendishly clever, no doubt about it, and the handful of red herrings suitably distracting and confounding. I do not for a moment dispute Agatha Christie's sublime ability to concoct a murder mystery. However, as with 'Peril At End House', I found the investigation rather unrelenting. There is plentiful dialogue as suspects and key characters reveal facts and clues and the sleuthing intensifies, but little in the way of descriptive colour or atmosphere. And the characters, including Miss Marple, lack personality and humanity, in my opinion - there's simply no time for it. They're like chess pieces manoeuvred with masterly authority, rapid-fire, toward a decisive end game.
As with ITV's splendid Poirot series, I believe the Miss Marple mysteries are also greatly enhanced by the small screen adaptations, particularly Joan Hickson's performances. The subtlety of human interaction and reaction, the fully-formed backdrop and setting, missing quite often from the novels, manifests, necessarily, on the screen, creating a more rounded, satisfying experience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic and enthralling storyline, the first Agatha Christie book i've read and i've since gone on to read many more. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lilcherry
Christie in cracking form, good characters, convoluted but plausible plot and if you've only seen the TV version the ending will surprise you!Published 5 months ago by shesings
Wonderfully plotted ,as one would expect from Agatha Christie. As usual when the guilty are revealed you start mentally kicking yourself for following so many false leads and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by A. King