While Miss Marple is on vacation in a luxurious Caribbean resort, a fellow guest confides he has evidence that another resident of the hotel is an unscrupulous serial murderer but is poisoned before he can reveal his identity to her.
Robert Michael Lewis
An American movie actress, best known for playing dumb blondes, is Scotland Yard's prime suspect when her husband, Lord Edgware, is murdered. The great detective, Hercule Poirot, digs deeper into the case.
Hercule Poirot attends a dinner party in which one of the guests clutches his throat and suddenly dies. The cause seems to be natural until another party with most of the same guests produces another corpse.
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.
Rosemary Barton, the beautiful wife of a top attorney, dies during their anniversary party at an exclusive restaurant. Later a suicide note is found along with traces of cyanide in her drink, but murder cannot be ruled out.
Robert Michael Lewis
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 mathematician and author, Luke Williams, is travelling up to London on a train when he meets a old lady, Lavinia Fullerton, who is also going to London, to Scotland Yard. Lavinia tells Luke that in her small village several people have died. The local police are certain that it was all accidental and are taking no action but Lavinia isn't convinced. In London Luke watches, horrified, as Lavinia is run over in a hit and run and he becomes convinced that she was telling the truth. He travels down to the village and with the aid of a local girl, who is also convinced that the deaths were murder, sets out to solve the mystery...Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
American adaptations of Agatha Christie (especially for television) tend to be on the low end of the scale. It's principally the writing, secondarily the directing – i.e. the writers and directors mold the Christie work into something they *think* American audiences want instead of giving us what we actually *do* want – which, when it comes to English murder mysteries, is the same thing the English want.
So, I was greatly taken by surprise so see that *this* adaptation of *Murder is Easy* was NOT bad. It is not grade 'A' quality by a long shot; but it is definitely a high 'B' grade. And it is certainly more faithful to the original than the 2008 adaptation (which has a lot of *very* bizarre flights of fancy that do NOT make for a better story; just a bizarre one).
In this version, Luke is not a retired policeman from India but a computer expert from America; but the age difference is the same (or at least Bixby was 20 years older than Down, which is the age difference in the novel). Lavinia Pinkerton has become Lavinia Fullerton for some reason, but she's killed the same way under either surname. Gordon Ragg, Lord Whitfield (no known relation to June) has become Lord Easterfield (in full credit, Lord Gordon Easterfield; but Easterfield would be his lordship, not his surname - so he might still be a Ragg, at least by birth). Honoria Waynflete, Rose Humbleby, and the rest (so far as I can tell) are all the same.
The plot develops steadily and cleanly, as the suspense slowly builds. As in the novel, Luke believes the killer is a certain individual – which, of course, is a classic signal to reader and viewer that it must be someone else; but who? Ah, therein lies the mystery – and when the identity of the killer is finally revealed, it *is* a surprise (unless, of course, you have already read the book) because it is somebody whom nobody would suspect.
And as long as nobody suspects you ... Murder is Easy.
Side Note for Radio Fans: The best adaptation of this novel to date (November 2016) is one that was done a few years ago for BBC Radio 4 by Joy Wilkinson. It stars Patrick Baladi (New Tricks, Poirot), Lydia Leonard (The 39 Steps - 2008 version), Michael Cochrane (Downton Abbey), Marcia Warren (Agatha Raisin, Dangerfield), and a lot of other very good British actors that most Americans will not have heard of.
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