While on vacation at a resort hotel in the West Indies, Miss Marple correctly suspects that the apparently natural death of a retired British major is actually the work of a murderer planning yet another killing.
A friend of Miss Marple's sees a woman being strangled in a passing train. When police cannot find a body and doubt the story, Miss Marple enlists professional housekeeper, Lucy Eyelesbarrow, to go undercover.
A town busybody is poisoned at a busy reception in the home of famous film star Marina Gregg. The poisoned drink seemed intended for Marina, but Miss Marple is not so sure. She sets out to discover the true identity of the killer before he or she can strike again... Written by
So, here we are with the redoubtable Miss Marple, a lovely Claire Bloom and a fine cast. Some of the neighborhood regulars are back, like Ms. Bantry, the maids, Inspectors Slack and Craddock. It is fun to be at Gossington Hall again, albeit under new owners. Of course, that's key to the storyline and adds to the interest. I liked Ms. Bantry before and again in this. The relationship between her and Ms. Marple is interesting. Somehow, their talks offer up a spark that leads to a rewarding line of inquiry. Inspector Slack is always an entertaining character, in attitude expressing looks, droll remarks and the die hard approach he always takes, many times in error.
One review here mentions a part of the book that greatly impressed me as well. It was a description of Heather Badcock. In the allusion to her village parallel, Alison Wilde, she says, " She didn't know what people were like. She'd never thought about them. And so, you see, she couldn't guard against things happening to her. It comes really from being self-centered and I don't mean selfish by that. You can be kind and unselfish and even thoughtful. But you never really know what you may be doing most people have a sense of protection. They realize when it's unwise to say or do something because of the person or persons who are taking in what you say, and because of the kind of character that those people have. But as I say, AW never thought of anybody else but herself. She was the sort of person who tells you what they've done and what they've seen and what they've felt and what they've heard. They never mention what any other people said, or did. Life is a kind of one-way track, just their own progress through it. Other people seem to them just like like wallpaper in a room. I think HB was that kind of person."
And of Ms. Badcock particularly, " she wasn't a considerate woman. Kind, yes. Considerate no. She would be fond of him (her husband) and look after him when he was ill and see to his meals and be a good housekeeper, but I don't think she would ever well, that she would ever even know what he might be feeling or thinking. That makes a lonely life for a man."
However, Ms. Marple did speak most of this in this adaptation, which was revealing of the woman's vulnerability to danger.
Some say this is a weaker entry in the BBC Marple lineup, but I don't see it like that. The 1980 version with Taylor/Hudson et al. and Lansbury as Ms. Marple strayed more from the book - well, it's the Hollywood treatment. Some compare this BBC version to that since it came along later, but shouldn't. The BBC series is entirely truer. They did it right. The village and settings are always wonderful. I enjoy it thoroughly, one for the collection to see regularly. This gets a "well done" from me.
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