First published in 1962
Category: Classic Crime, Murder, Mystery, Book Review
One minute, silly Heather Badcock had been gabbling on at her movie idol, the glamorous Marina Gregg. The next, Heather suffered a massive seizure. But for whom was the deadly poison really intended?
Marina’s frozen expression suggested she had witnessed something horrific. But, while others searched for material evidence, Jane Marple conducted a very different investigation – into human nature.
Having veered more towards the books featuring Hercule Poirot, I don’t think I read this one. Although I did see and enjoy the film adaptation with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson the outcome escaped me, and I enjoyed the book more even more.
St Mary Mead, the once quiet village home of Miss Jane Marple, is changing and moving with the times. A new housing development has been built, the local shops have changed hands and appearance, and a supermarket has appeared where once the basket shop stood, to the horror of the older generation of ladies. One was expected to take a basket and go round themselves, looking for things! The ladies preferred to be served and enjoy as gossip at the same time. Even Miss Marple’s old friend, Mrs Bantry, has sold off Gossington Hall to movie star Marina Gregg and her husband, producer Jason Rudd, and moved into the lodge in the grounds.
Miss Marple is feeling the effects of age as, after a bout of bronchitis, her nephew has arranged for her to have a live-in help, in the form of the over attentive Miss Knight, which Miss Marple finds a tad intrusive and annoying.
She helped Miss Marple off with her wraps.
‘And now, I expect, we’re tired out,’ she said, accusingly.
‘You may be,’ said Miss Marple. ‘I am not.’
‘You come and sit cosy by the fire,’ said Miss Knight, as usual paying no attention. (‘you don’t need to take much notice of what the old dears say. I just humour them.’) ‘And how would we fancy a nice cup of Ovaltine? Or Horlicks for a change?’
Miss Marple thanked her and said said she would like a small glass of dry sherry. Miss Knight looked disapproving.