September 13, 2022 review: Well I read this for Halloween bingo 2021, “Locked Room Mystery” square. LMAO. I can’t help it, I am always going to find a way to read Christie during the months of September and October. She always seems to be a symbol of the coming darker winter days. The locked room aspect comes into play when a young man comes and demands to speak to Lewis Serrocold at gunpoint behind locked doors of his office. What is interesting though is that somehow Lewis is left unhurt, but somewhere else a man is shot. The why behind the murder and how it was done are the best parts of this book.
September 2021 review: I ended up reading this again for Halloween Bingo 2021, “Country House Mystery” square. I tried to find some other book I had not read yet, and just gave up yesterday and re-read this. Since it was a favorite of mine and I read it 2 years ago I thought it would be fun to revisit. I am glad I read this and still enjoyed it.
I just loved this from beginning to end. As someone else said, I love it when Christie provides a diagram to show where a murder is. It’s like you have your own game of Clue to play. Miss Marple is still the sharpest knife in the drawer. I can’t say that I saw the ending at all. I was leaning towards one way and then found out I was wrong. The ending leaves things on a nice note for several of the characters.
Miss Marple is asked to go visit an old school friend, Carrie Louise Serrocold. Carrie’s sister thinks something is wrong at her home and can’t figure out what is going on. Carrie’s second husband, Lewis Serrocold has turned their home into a school for wayward (or as someone people say straight criminals) boys. Since Miss Marple has something of a reputation for solving crimes, Carrie’s sister thinks she can figure out what is going on there or if she’s just wrong about something going on.
Miss Marple heads to visit Carrie and quickly figures out there is a lot going on. A young man named Edgar Lawson is running around accusing others of spying on him and that his father is really Winston Churchill. Two of Carrie’s step-sons, Steven Restarick, Alexis Restarick seem to be in love with Carrie’s granddaughter, Gina. Too bad Gina is newly married to American Walter. And then Carrie’s only living daughter believes that Gina’s married beneath her and that Walter is up to something. When one of the trustees of Carrie’s first husband’s foundation is found shot to death during an argument everyone wonders who could have done it.
Christie I thought did a great job of setting the stage so to speak. I definitely didn’t know who did what or could have done it. Miss Marple I thought was great about realizing in the end that she was looking at things wrong. As a reader, I realized I was too.
The writing was okay though the flow was a bit much in some places. I think that things moved faster when Miss Marple was involved in any of the goings on.
The setting of Stonygates felt like a very worn house. You have Miss Marple and even Walter seeing how badly run down things are even though there is enough money to fix the place up. It feels like a place out of time when you read about how little Carrie and her husband seem to care about the grounds and the rooms.
The ending was a bit rushed though. We read about what happens via a letter that someone sends to someone else which I thought was a bit of a cop-out. I would have liked to read it via Miss Marple’s POV I think.