The normally friendly village of Lymston is plagued by vile anonymous letters. When a mother of three takes her own life, following such a letter, Ms. Marple is not at all convinced things are as they seem.
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.
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 murder is announced in the Chipping Cleghorne Gazette to take place on October 5th, 7 PM at Little Paddocks cottage. The people living there, retired secretary Miss Blacklock, her companion Miss Bunner, Miss Blacklock's two distant cousins, Patrick and Julia and Mrs.Haymes, a gardener, have no idea what the ad is about. Several villagers arrive at the house under the false pretenses of "just walking by" or "Was in the neighborhood". At exactly 7 PM, the lights go out, and a man enters the room, and shines a flashlight in everyone's face. Then shots are heard. As the lights come back on, they find the man who entered the room has been shot. Miss Marple must unmask the killer but soon more murders turn up.Written by
Kevin Whatley plays a Detective Sergeant, assistant to a Detective Inspector, a precursor to his role as Inspector Morse's assistant. His manner and style is so similar to Robbie Lewis, it would be easy to assume this show served as a direct segue. See more »
As the lights go out for the 'murder' Miss Murgatroyd is seen in the corner of the room between Mrs Easterbrook and Edmund Swettenham - nowhere near the door she is later said to be behind when it opens, thus she could not have been 'behind the light' as the only witness to 'who was not there'. See more »
[Murgatroyd is describing the murder]
I remember that girl screaming and a voice saying, 'Put them up, please.'
Ha ha! 'Stick 'em up,' and he certainly didn't say 'please!'
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The song Hinch sings while Murgatroyd is murdered varies from version to version. For example, the late-90s US Warner VHS uses "Shall We Dance?" and the 2014 US Blu-ray and DVD use "Got the Sun in the Mornin' (and the Moon at Night)". IMDb's and other soundtrack listings mention "Sing for Your Supper" and that may be a third alternative. It is unclear so far if this is a localization or copyright issue, or which if any is the "correct" song. See more »
This is, in my opinion, Christie's best Miss Marple book. The plot is ingenious, carefully woven and highly intricate. The ending is pure brilliance, and you will kick yourself because you didn't guess the identity earlier.
This BBC adaptation is also superb. It has a suitable running length, enough time for the viewer to absorb the information given to them, and Joan Hickson excels as Miss Marple. Her apparent scattiness hides her true genius to the rest of the cast, and Joan Hickson is perfect at playing Miss Marple in this way; far better than Margaret Rutherford and Geraldine McEwan's dreadful attempts . The supporting cast are also very good, featuring Ursulla Howles, Paola Dionisotti, Joan Sims, Sylvia Syms, Kevin Whately and Simon Shepard (of 'Peak Practice' Fame).
Having read the book very recently, and then watched this adaptation over Christmas on UKTV Gold, I can say that the plot is faithful to the original tome. I can highly recommend it.
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