Miss Marple investigates the murder of one of her fellow trustees of a fund which rehabilitates young criminals. To investigate she goes aboard the ship used to train the juveniles, much to the distress of the Captain. She soon stumbles onto more murders, and a ring of thieves. Written by
Miss Marple's recently-deceased uncle was Rear Admiral Sir Hubert Marple; her grandfather Sir Bertram Marple (Admiral of the Fleet) founded The Cape of Good Hope Youth Reclamation Centre and its training ship the Battledore. See more »
This was the fourth and final offering in the Rutherford/Marple quartet of old English masterpieces. As good as it was though - and it did not let us down as yet another reminder of how quaint some parts of a middle class England of yesteryear were - this was, perhaps, the least riveting of the great Dame's portrayal of the delightful Miss Marple.
For those who are interested in locations, the centrepiece of the tale, H.M.S.Battledore, was anchored in the bay betwixt Falmouth and St.Mawes (in cushty Cornwall) with the latter named small town providing the backdrop for the thefts of the scallywags who were supposed to be being reformed as part of a trust initiative to aid young men who had been led astray. From the outset of the plot, a 'snuff' murder way ahead of its time, we were kept on our toes as Miss Marple (as ever, ably assisted by her elderly beau, Mr.Stringer) weaved her way through the suspects aboard that fabulous old ship which looks as if it has just been vacated by Drake or Nelson. Nevertheless, the contemporary Captain, played to perfection (by Lionel Jeffries) with a mixture of 'old sea salt' zest and a zany personality unmatched by the rest of the crew, almost upstages the film's star with his demeanour ranging from the seeming son of Blackbeard through to a sort of Peter Pan who has lived all his dreams and desires of great seamanship within a perpetual stone's throw of land.
The sword fight at the end may ahve been a bit naff - but it didn't matter, we knew who would win as Jane was bound to have been a fencing champion of some sort in her merry old past. But what was surprsing was that this proved to be the last of a proven fromula that ought to have been repeated many times over.
A thoroughly good yarn - best watched with a flaggon of cider to keep one's whistle wet!
32 of 37 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?