A wealthy woman holds a party at her Devon estate for family and friends, including old schoolmate Miss Marple. When a solicitor and the hostess herself are both murdered, Miss Marple tries to find a clever killer with a devious plan.
No one seems surprised when Colonel Lucius Protheroe, the most disliked person in St. Mary Mead, is found murdered in the local vicarage. Red herrings abound, especially when his widow and her lover both confess to the murder.
Miss Marple is visiting an old school friend, Lady Camilla Tressilian, along with an eclectic group: Neville Strange and his wife Kay, his former wife Audrey and her childhood friend and cousin Thomas Royde, Ted Latimer (who is something of a gigolo and very attracted to Kay Strange) and finally Freddie Treves, a retired solicitor. When Treves is found dead the day after a dinner party at Lady Tressilian's home and Lady Tressilian herself is found bludgeoned to death a short time later, Miss Marple must sort through the complex set of relationships among all the players, and determine what role the tale of a child's crime may have had to play in the deaths. Written by
Geraldine MacEwan shines again in this latest installment of the updated Marple series from Britain: Marple is holidaying in Devon to visit a bedridden school chum whose family is descending upon her coastal manor. Among them are a tennis star, his first wife and his second, new wife who seem to be at odds; a meek and quiet family friend; and an apparent gigolo friend of the second wife. Add into the mix Tom Baker as an aged veteran who may or may not recognize a murderer from years past and you have a classic recipe for mystery.
The locales are picturesque and the characters as eccentric and distinct as in past episodes, however something feels very dull and pedestrian about this particular Marple outing. Perhaps because there are fewer likable characters this time round or because Miss Marple seems unusually subdued this time out.
It's worth a watch but certainly not the finest in the series.
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