Joan Hickson as Miss Marple

Image source: Wikipedia

The air conditioner at our house doesn’t work and it’s hot here, but that’s not why I’m participating in the Spend the Summer with Agatha Christie read-alongs. I do like the phrase “Cooling Down with AC,” though. I adore Agatha Christie, and have since I discovered her in junior high. For me, she is one of the writers that made me fall in love with mysteries.

Today, a read-along of “The Tuesday Night Club” is being hosted at Book Club Girl. It’s the first short story written about Miss Marple and serves as the perfect introduction.

A small group of individuals has gathered at Miss Marple’s home, including Miss Marple, her nephew Raymond a writer, an artist, Sir Henry Clithering a former Commissioner of Scotland Yard, and a clergyman. The topic of  “unsolved mysteries” comes up and Sir Henry presents the group with a previously unsolved murder. He now knows who the killer was, but it hasn’t been made public knowledge yet, so the gathering tries their hands at finding the solution.

The case in questions involved a man and his wife and the wife’s companion. All three sat down to dinner and were taken ill that evening. Two of them recovered, but the wife dies. All the facts were laid out for the group and each gave their solution. Of course I’m not giving away anything by telling you that overlooked, underappreciated Miss Marple is the one who figures out what truly happened.

This story makes a perfect first meeting with Miss Marple. She is a gentle little old lady with faded blue eyes who sees everything that goes on around her. She may spend her time in a small village, but her knowledge of human nature, with its strengths and weaknesses is universal. When I was younger, she wasn’t my favorite of Christie’s characters, but I’ve come to appreciate her observations and the humor that runs through the stories.

“The Tuesday Night Club” can be found in Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories. It was first published in The Sketch magazine in 1926 and later became the first chapter of The Thirteen Problems in 1932.

4 out of 5 stars

I purchased my copy of The Thirteen Problems and the above is my honest opinion.