Nemesis by Agatha Christie
Update to our holiday - it has been cancelled! We are not surprised, a bit disappointed but it's much more important to be keeping people safe especially in the light of rising numbers. With this in mind we have really been embracing Autumn in Yorkshire. We've just been for a lovely walk this morning and we got to witness the first frost we have seen. It was super chilly, there was an Autumn mist over the duck lake and the trees are starting to turn a beautiful burnt rust colour.
On a golden Autumn day, I was craving something cosy and familiar. Naturally I turned to my old friend Miss Marple. This is the 12th outing for Miss Marple and finds her in St Mary Mead living the quiet life, when out of the blue she receives a letter from an old acquaintance asking her to investigate a crime. However there is no mention of what the crime is, when it was committed and who was involved. Instead Miss Marple has been booked onto a coach tour of homes and gardens. Then one of the party is mysteriously killed, is this linked in some way to the crime Miss Marple is investigating.
Just a quick note one the text, the novel refers to Mr Rafiel who featured in Caribbean Murder. It is not essential that you have to have read this as the relationship between Miss Marple and Mr Rafiel is clearly explained.
Reading a Miss Marple is like putting on a pair of very comfortable shoes. There is something deeply comforting about these novels. Miss Marple remains my constant favourite and this novel feels refreshingly different from some of the other Marple novels. We don't know the crime, the victim or the players. Instead it is up to Miss Marple to identify the clues and markers.
This novel felt slightly darker than the rest. Miss Marple always engenders the appearance of a fluffy old lady, but it is intimated that she is very conscious and aware of evil. This comes as a surprise to Miss Marple but it is obvious to the reader as we observe her attunement to oppressive energy and recognises evil in the air. And the last communication is of a sweet old lady wrapped in a knitted pink bed jacket, calmly and coolly watching the unravelling of a murderer before her very eyes. At times she even unsettles the police with her cool detachment.
The writing is, as ever precise, no word is extra to the plot. Each character is described beautifully and an element or weakness of their personality usually reminds Miss Marple of someone from St Mary Mead.
Like the other Miss Marple novels, I very much enjoyed this. It probably isn't my most favourite of hers but nonetheless is a good read, I would have no hesitation in recommending it and is a nice acquaintance with an old friend.