February 25, 2022: So I am all about the comfort reads right now. Reading Miss Marple getting the bad guy in the end was just what I needed right now. I also for some weird reason just need to have a physical book in my hands right now. I don’t know if it’s turning the pages that is soothing to me or the smell of the book, but I read this collection and my other short story collection written by Christie that I have in physical book form right after this. My prior re-read of this book I gave this collection 4 stars, but at this point it is a 5 star read for me. If anyone is not really in the mood to shell out money for this collection since it contains the 13 short stories featuring Miss Marple, you can buy the other stories as Kindle singles for 99 cents.
Original review: This collection was pretty much a hit with me. There are only a few stories that I felt okay to meh about and so I gave the entire book 4 stars.
If you don’t know Miss Marple by now, I don’t suggest you start with this collection. What I do like though is that Miss Marple is a lot more endearing in these short stories than she was in her first appearance (Murder at the Vicarage). We get to see Miss Marple solve the solution to all of the below mysteries time and time again and everyone around her being astounded by how brilliant she is.
The Tuesday Night Club (5 stars)-Introduction to Miss Marple and several other key characters we will see again and again. Miss Marple’s slightly jerky nephew Raymond. His girlfriend/fiancee/wife Joyce whose name weirdly switches in later books and Sir Henry Clithering who works for Scotland Yard who appeared in some other Miss Marple books. The group that attended this first get together decides to tell a real life murder mystery to see who can guess who dun it. I loved the solution to this one a lot. This was a great way to show how astute Miss Marple was though she acts like she is not as smart as she really is.
The Idol House of Astarte (3.5 stars)-Another murder mystery told by Dr. Pender (introduced in the first story) tells about a man who unexpectedly stabbed though no one was near him when he was injured. I thought the whole premise was a bit far-fetched myself. Once again Miss Marple quickly solves it.
Ingots of Gold (2 stars)-Maybe I just hate this one since it is told by Raymond West and it irked the crap out of me through all of these stories. Also this one was not that great of a mystery and the solution bored me to tears.
The Bloodstained Pavement (5 stars)-Told by Joyce, I really loved the description of the places and people in this one. And I can honestly say that I did not catch on to what was going on and what really happened until she and Ms. Marple explained the solution.
Motive V Opportunity (3.5 stars)-Told by Mr. Petherick and honestly kind of a boring story about what happened to a will. I also hated that the party behind this got away with it too.
The Thumb Mark of St. Peter (2 stars)-Told by Miss Marple. I still have no idea what in the world was happening. I think because Christie chose to have Miss Marple ramble here and there I could not keep straight anything that was said. I was able to follow along just when we almost go to the end, but seriously the whole story was straight up convoluted. I was really happy to get to the end of this story.
The Blue Geranium (5 stars)-Told by Colonel Bantry (from The Body in the Library) I thought the whole story was well done and the final solution quite clever. Once again Miss Marple hits on the solution that no one else did.
The Companion (4.5 stars)– Told by Dr. Lloyd. I thought this was kind of a meandering story. And I have to say I hate when guilty parties escape. In this story we have Dr. Lloyd I think having a grudging admiration for the murderer.
The Four Suspects (5 stars)-Told by Sir Henry Clithering again. I loved this whole story about a secret German society and how one of the suspects was able to plan out a murder.
A Christmas Tragedy (5 stars)-Told by Miss Marple and I really did enjoy this one. You have to love someone that can meet a total stranger and call him out as a murderer. I thought the solution to this one was quite ingenious too.
The Herb of Death (5 stars)-Told by Mrs. Bantry. I really did get creeped out while reading this a bit because once you realize what happened and why the whole thing was so sad. Mrs. Bantry is one of my favorite re-occurring characters in the Miss Marple books so it was great to get a story told by her.
The Affair at the Bungalow (3 stars)-Told by actress Jane Helier. I seriously thought she was not that bright when she was introduced in the preceding stories, but the ending to this one did make me laugh and groan at the same time. I can see why Mrs. Bantry probably wanted to shake her.
Death by Drowning (5 stars)-Sir Henry is back again in this one visiting the Bantrys. Coming back to St. Mary’s Mead he is called upon by Miss Marple to intervene when she thinks a guilty party may get away with murder. She’s actually not really in this one that much, but we get to see how Sir Henry’s mind works.
Miss Marple Tells a Story (3 stars)-Miss Marple tells her nephew Raymond and his wife Joan (see name change) about how she figured out a woman was murdered and who did it. It wasn’t as great as some of the other stories. I think anytime Christie tells a story in Miss Marple’s voice the book suffers.
Strange Jest (3 stars)-Once again actress Jane Helier calls upon Miss Marple to help her friends figure out where some buried treasure is after their uncle claims to have left them something, but they can’t figure out where it is.
The Case of the Perfect Maid (3.5 stars)-Miss Marple is called upon to help out a young maid accused of theft. I have to say that I had time swallowing the solution in this one.
The Case of the Caretaker (3 stars)-After an illness, Miss Marple isn’t feeling like her old self. Her doctor, Doctor Haydock gives her a mystery to solve to liven her up. I didn’t like that half of the story was in italics. It also gives my brain a jog when books switches fonts like that, so I had to re-read this story twice through.
Tape-Measure Murder (5 stars)-Miss Marple figures out who killed a woman and why. I actually like this one since it reminded me slightly of a Murder is Announced with regards to how bold the murderer was to do what they did and having to worry about getting caught.
Greenshaw’s Folly (2.5 stars)-Another story featuring Miss Marple’s nephew Raymond. I seriously didn’t get this story that much and once again was pretty bored. I also didn’t find the story realistic at all.
Sanctuary (5 stars)-I thought this one was actually really good and I am glad that the short story collection ended on a high note. I swear it be nice to have a family tree/acquaintances/friends flowchart of Miss Marple’s done one day. In this story we are introduced to her godchild who also calls her Aunt Jane. This one was smartly done though the story does end I thought on a slightly odd note. I wish we had been given an epilogue of the whole collection because this is the last story and that’s all she wrote.