They Do it with Mirrors by Agatha Christie
I do not know if it is the sunshine that has addled my mind but I spent most of this novel trying to remember if I had read it before. I racked my brains, checked the bookshelves and in a last ditch attempt checked audible in case I had listened to it as an audio book. I had not. So I am stumped.
Miss Marple visits an old friend at Stoneygates, a rehabilitation centre for junior delinquents. She has been tipped off that something is not quite right there and that her friend, who is married to the man in charge of Stoneygates, may be in danger. A scene takes place when one of the guests attempts to shoot the owner and misses, but then one of the other guests turns up dead, shot at the same time.
For me, it is all of the little details. Miss Marple is a keen observer of human behaviour and misses nothing! All of the behaviour by the family at Stoneygates is usually compared to someone living in Miss Marple's village, St Mary Mead. It is usually the butcher's boy, a quiet neighbour or a sly housemaid. Activities are compared and psychologically analysed leading to more insightful wisdom from Miss Marple.
The characters are great - an aggrieved parsimonious daughter, a flamboyant actor, a new married spoilt heiress and Jane's friend, who is cosseted by her family but knows exactly what is going on.
If you don't already know, Miss Marple books are my comfort. On a dull day there is nothing finer than curling up with one of these. There is fine detailing and politeness. And sometimes we all need a bit of polite company and delicacy especially when it is framed by murder. Every word is utilised and nothing is wasted.
I half-heartedly try to guess the murderer, but honestly just enjoy reading and watching the novel unfolding in front of me.
Miss Marple may seem a sweet, dear old lady with gimlet blue eyes, but she sees more than most people. A small piece of comfort.