- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; (Reissue) edition (9 May 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0006167497
- ISBN-13: 978-0006167495
- Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 1.5 x 10.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,164,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Body in the Library (The Christie Collection) Paperback – Special Edition, 9 May 1995
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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 mystery --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See 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.
Accordingly, readers can expect to be entertained by mystery and mayhem, fortified by tea and sympathy, culminating in a well-explained denouement. Many of this writer's former conjuring tricks as well as one or two new one are provided, framed in a setting that has similarities to that of Dorothy L Sayers' "Have His Carcase", and re-working a formula used previously in her own "Death On the Nile". You might, like me, consider that the writer withholds too much information that might facilitate identifying the guilty, but a check will show that she provides clues (although well hidden) during the entertainment.
As cozy as they come, and with less thrills and action than most, this is one of Agatha Christie's better middle order crime novels.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 7 months ago by shesings
I like Agatha Christie and this was a good 1st book to read and get to know her work in book form instead of on TV and Miss Marple was written differently to modern interpretations... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Michelle Astill