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Agatha Christie's Marple 

The Body in the Library (original title)
Dolly Bantry calls upon her old friend Miss Marple when the strangled corpse of an unknown blonde girl is found in the library of her home, Gossington Hall.



(screenplay), (novel)

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jamie Theakston ...
Giles Oldershaw ...
Florence Hoath ...
Robin Soans ...
Scamper (as Bruce MacKinnon)


A young woman's corpse is dumped in the library of Gossington Hall, home of Jane Marple's friend Dolly Bantry and her husband Arthur. Pompous Chief Constable Melchett suspects a connection with Basil Blake, an arty young man who lives locally but Blake is dismissive when Melchett visits him. Then Superintendent Harper rings from the coastal town of Danemouth. Ruby Keane, a young girl employed as a dancer at the Majestic Hotel there, has gone missing, and her cousin Josie Turner identifies the corpse as Ruby's. Ruby is in favour with millionaire Conway Jefferson, whose own son and daughter were killed in a wartime air raid, and he wants to adopt her. His son-in-law Mark Gaskell, and daughter-in-law Adelaide react variously to the news. Miss Marple is convinced that the solution to Ruby's murder may be found at the hotel and she and Dolly book into a suite to investigate. There is no shortage of suspects, not only family members but the handsome Raymond Starr, another of the hotel's ... Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

17 April 2005 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The producers of this series of Miss Marple TV dramas have set her home village of St Mary Mead in Oxfordshire. From clues given in the Agatha Christie books, if a real county was guessed at, Hampshire would be the likely location for St Mary Mead. See more »


In the scene showing the Pier at "Danemouth", a modern double decker bus is visible driving past. See more »


Miss Jane Marple: [a body has been found in the library of Arthur and Dolly Bantry] Oh, Dolly, what a terrible thing!
Dolly Bantry: I know. Rather thrilling, isn't it?
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References A Place in the Sun (1951) See more »


All of Me
Music by Gerald Marks
(dance music)
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User Reviews

"All in all a major disappointment."
15 December 2004 | by (Poole, Dorset) – See all my reviews

In 1951; Miss Marple investigates the murder of a pretty young dancer whom was discovered in the library of Colonel Bantry's house in the village of St Mary Mead.

Riding high on the success of their long-running Poirot series (it's now in it's fifteenth year), ITV have now turned their attention to Christie's second most famous sleuth, the inquisitive English spinster Miss Marple. The quality of their Poirot franchise has decreased in the last couple of years and this latest attempt at Miss Marple is patchy to say the least. We were given a somewhat amateurish remake of DEATH ON THE NILE earlier this year and this adaptation fails to show any feeling for period detail and seems content to let the cast play it as if it's a feeble English pantomime in aid of the church roof fund and Helen McEwan's Miss Marple isn't up to the standard of Joan Hickson's or even Margaret Rutherford's. Matters are not helped by the colour photography, which is so thick that one would like to walk up to the screen and scrape some of it off with a palette knife. As demonstrated in DEATH ON THE NILE, in this work you have to wait for odd piercing moments like at the climax when there is some genuine emotion shown by the guilty party and a poorly acted film is suddenly redeemed for a few brief moments. Another minor point of merit is the use of flashbacks and that livens things up a little bit, but all in all THE BODY IN THE LIBRARY is a major disappointment with very little to commend it what so ever when one thinks what more talented directors like Andrew Grieve or Brian Farnham from Poirot's golden era might of done with it. The film's faithfulness to Christie is also questionable since the motives for murder are entirely different than in the original novel.

A Murder At The Vicarage and 4:50 From Paddington promptly followed, both were even worse than this one. However, the final entry in this series, A Murder Is Announced, is a lot better with more controlled direction by John Strickland (not Stephen Whitaker - sorry!). In this episode the actors took their roles more seriously and there was also some suggestions of directorial style. Astonishingly, this series has proved successful enough to warrant four more episodes being made.

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