|I went into the book looking forward to a set of whodunnits, vintage Christie style, but was left disappointed. The book is an undeniably below-par collection of Miss Marple cases. It's not really asking for too much, since people always expect a lot from Agatha Christie's books, after having read masterpieces like And Then There Were None, Why Didn't They Ask Evans, Murder on the Orient Express etc. And though many people believe and I agree too, that Hercule Poirot is a far more fascinating detective, I have a soft corner for Miss Marple, which was the reason I picked this book. The book is average at best and pathetic at worst.|
It's very unfair how Hercule Poirot gets a spell-binding, fascinating send-off with his final case Curtain, while Miss Marple gets this raw deal.
The stories in the book were:
Sanctuary: Not bad. Simple but neat plot. A typical, calm Marple mystery.
Strange Jest : Again, a very simple plot. There are no layers, nothing to ponder about, no clues out for the reader to make guesses ( which is by far my most favourite thing about mysteries ). In short, the story is like fast food. It's a fast read, but is there anything rich and wonderful about it? No.
Tape-Measure Murder: I cannot believe that they made the fatal mistake about this tale. The title is such a give-away in an otherwise tight tale! Cardinal Rule of Mysteries: Let not the title say more than it should.
The Case of the Caretaker: Irritatingly predictable story.
Miss Marple Tells a Story: Very typical Christie, but I enjoyed it. It kept me on my toes till the last paragraph.
Greenshaw's Folly: Again, a typical Christie story which has become my problem. I've read so much of Christie that my mind immediately wanders to all possibilities and in the end when the twist is revealed, I'm not surprised at all.
2 additional and pointless supernatural stories, The Dressmaker's Doll, In a Glass Darkly, were included in my book. They start off sufficiently scarily with a spooky narrative, but are damp squids in the end.