I think this is one of the best of Mrs. Christie’s books. As all of her books, very well written, but the twists and turns of the story are amazing. (The movie made of, “4:50 from Paddington,” with the excellent Joan Hickson as Miss Marple, doesn’t start to do it justice!) Miss Marple is now 90 years old and, although she doesn’t appear much, as always, enchants readers with her subtle yet quite ironic sense of humor. For instance, her statement about Gaugain (*) is absolutely hilarious; it would certainly be frowned upon by the PC crowd had it been written nowadays. (Might contain spoiler.) There is a funny scene where a comment is made about “old maids” (i.e., old, unmarried women), which by today’s PC standards wouldn’t work: Miss Marple would now be Ms. Marple, therefore concealing her marital status! Also, in the last chapter Miss Marple works up with her friend (the Mrs. McGillicuddy of the title) that she should ask to “go upstairs”; I am pretty sure younger audiences would be unaware that that was a polite, Edwardian way of asking to go to the restroom… (*) “I myself never really care for paintings of native women, and although I know he is very much admired, I have never cared for that lurid mustard color. One really feels quite bilious looking at his pictures.”
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