I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I prefer Poirot books to Marple ones, but this one started off really well! One of the reasons I usually like Poirot better is that he’s usually more involved in the narrative. Miss Marple usually sidles in at the last moment and mostly does her work off page. But here, she was present from page one. Unfortunately, I just lost my motivation about halfway through as the mystery itself didn’t really hold my attention.
Miss Marple’s childhood friend Ruth Van Rydock has recently visited her sister Carrie Louise at her Victorian estate, which is now home to a home for delinquent boys, run by Carrie Louise’s third husband, a well known philanthropist. While there, she sensed something was off, and asks Miss Marple to visit and see what she can find, as she’s worried for her sister. She knows Miss Marple has a head for clues, and more important, grew up with Carrie Louise and will be able to read her better than most.
Miss Marple isn’t there long when something does go off, and that is a gun. And then a body is found. Carrie Louise’s stepson from a previous marriage is found dead, while everyone else was witnessing a violent altercation between her husband and one of the delinquent boys.
Police are called in to investigate, but of course it’s Miss Marple that really wins the day, as usual. I had fun listening to this (Emilia Fox as narrator is always so soothing), but it’s not my favorite Marple, and definitely not one of the best I’ve read from Christie.