This is the third novel to feature Miss Marple (the 2nd, The Body in the Library, I reviewed in a previous Cannonball). She doesn’t show up for a bit, though.
The story starts with Jerry and Joanna Burton, cosmopolitan London siblings, taking a house in the country so Jerry can recover from a plane crash. They’re settling in, meeting the neighbors, and then they get an anonymous letter accusing them of not being brother and sister (if you know what I mean). Turns out a bunch of their other neighbors have gotten similar letters, accusing people of all kinds of nasty things.
Which would normally be annoying and silly, until the local lawyer’s wife kills herself. Or did she? And then there’s a for-real murder. Jerry tries to get to the bottom of things, while still recuperating from his injuries. An investigator comes from Scotland Yard, and profiles the killer/letter writer as a middle aged lady. He and Jerry start working together on the crimes.
The vicar’s wife calls in Miss Marple, since the cops aren’t getting anywhere fast enough. Jerry tells her everything he knows, and of course she figures it out. She also devises a trap to catch the real killer, as she often does.
This is less of a Marple story than others, but its still a fun read, and Jane Marple is a great little addition to a mystery that may not have needed her to solve it.