Nemesis & sleeping murder- Agatha Christie
Miss Marple is going about her usual daily routine- read the paper, cup of tea, gardening, talking to neighbours… she receives a mysterious letter after the death of an old acquaintance who she once enlisted the help from to stop a murder. He wished to hire her to solve a crime- presumably- but he didn’t tell her any details at all- not even that it is a crime he wants her to solve! A prebooked countryside tour, another letter, an invitation to stay in a dark, sad mansion with three sisters- all arranged before he died- lead her onwards into the mystery- of who really killed the girl his son was accused of killing.
A young woman has gone on ahead of her new husband to England, to find a suitable house for them to move into. She finds the perfect place, that feels like home, but there are a couple odd things- she knows things about the house that she shouldn’t, and then a line in a play sparks a hidden memory- of seeing a woman murdered in the house. She realises that she lived there as a young child as saw her step mother murdered- but couldn’t see the murderer- just saw his ‘monkey paws’ and heard the chilling quote. Unable to leave sleeping murder lie, she starts investigating. Miss Marple, concerned for her safety, does some investigating of her own.
I really like Miss Marple. She is an elderly woman, physically limited, and has issues with her memory. She forgets names and details from the past, but is insightful and understands human nature. I find this makes for an interesting narrator. She plays up the way other people see her, as a harmless, doddery, nosey old woman, and uses this to her advantage- she can ask personal questions directly under the guise of the small town busy body, or other times she finds things out less directly, by talking and talking about all kinds of different little everyday things. I think what I like most is how it is overall a very positive, loving depiction of an older person who is starting to show signs of age in he physical and mental health- usually they are relegated to being a burden, or forgotten about, but not Miss Marple- she is centre stage, taking charge without anyone realising most of the time.