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Cooling Down with AC: A Caribbean Mystery


I adore Miss Marple. She seems like a sweet, gentle old lady, but she’s bright and knows human nature. In A Caribbean Mystery, Miss Marple is on vacation, enjoying relaxing in the Caribbean sun thanks to her nephew’s generosity. There’s only one problem – she’s bored. It may be paradise, but nothing ever changes. But then Major Palgrave dies under suspicious circumstance, and Miss Marple takes it upon herself to figure out who the killer is.

Miss Marple is on center stage in this one, in a new setting making new friends. Of course, everyone has their secrets, here mostly romantic ones, and there are plenty of suspects. None of the characters really struck me, except Mr. Rafiel, a rich elderly man who becomes Miss Marple’s ally in catching the criminal.

I can’t say that the plot here is the strongest. It wasn’t too tough to figure out the killer, even if there were red herrings aplenty. There were simply only so many characters that fit the clues, it wasn’t too tough to narrow it down to the right one. I still enjoyed it though. It was fun reading about Miss Marple putting on her little old lady act to get the other guests to share what they knew. She knows what she’s doing, that’s for sure.

I think I need to read a Hercule Poirot soon, but I did just get the first Miss Marple in the mail. Decisions, decisions.

Purchase A Caribbean Mystery at Amazon or an Indie bookstore.

Miss Marple #10
First published 1964

3 out of 5 stars

I borrowed my copy from the library and the above is my honest opinion.

Cooling Down with AC: 4:50 from Paddington


Mrs. McGillicuddy saw someone murdered on a train that passed the one she was on. She is positive that she saw a man strangling a woman, but after reporting it to the authorities, no body is found. No one seems to believe her, so she turns to her dear friend Miss Marple. Miss Marple listens to the whole story, goes to the local police who find nothing, and then assures her friend that she has done her duty. Mrs. McGillicuddy then goes on her way, but Miss Marple hasn’t done all she can.

As an older woman, Miss Marple cannot do al the necessary running around herself, so she calls on some old friends to help her. She sends Lucy Eyelsbarrow, a professional housekeeper to Rutherford Hall, the place Miss Marple is sure the body is. Of course, Lucy does find the body hidden in a sarcophagus in a barn, putting the Crackenthorpe family who live in the hall under the direct light of a Scotland Yard investigation.

Of course, it’s not spoiling anything to say that Miss Marple does in fact solve the case, but not before a couple more murders are committed. We actually don’t see much of Miss Marple in this story. She’s in the background, learning all she can about the family from Lucy, who is almost too perfect, and an occasional visit, but she knows people too well.

It’s an amusing story. The Crackenthorpe family are just all a little batty. There’s the old miser, the three grown sons, each of whom has problems, a son-in-law who seems at a loss at life, and a daughter who is the only solid member of the family.

I for one didn’t guess who the culprit was before Miss Marple set it up so that Mrs. McGillicuddy identified him, but I rarely even try to figure out whodunnit. There were clues along the way, but Miss Marple is better at putting things together than I am.

I have to admit to a slight bias when it comes to Christie’s stories. I’ve been reading them for like 25 years now. Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Tommy and Tuppence are all old dear, comfortable friends, folks I enjoy visiting.

Purchase at Amazon or an Indie bookstore.

Miss Marple #8
Also known as What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw
First published 1957

4 out of 5 stars

I found that I was competing against the same kids as before, which was great, because we all got to know each other, and I made some great new friends. These contest, while competitive in the water, are actually fun, happy events where winning is secondary to enjoying the surf, the beach, and all the companionship.

(Tuesday Teaser from pg. 43 of Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton)

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