"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Book Review: The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

The Body in the Library (A Miss Marple Mystery)
Author:  Agatha Christie
Publisher: Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
Copyright: 1970 (original copyright 1941)
Pages:  191
Genre:  mystery/crime fiction
ISBN  10: 1-57912-626-X
          13: 978-157912-626-1


Source:  My personal copy

Participating in the Agatha Christie Blog Carnival featured here.

From the cover:  Colonel and Mrs. Bantry are shocked when they wake one morning to find the dead body of a young platinum blonde on the floor of their library.  Nobody in the village of St. Mary Mead seems to know who she is, but everyone has a theory about the crime.  The ensuing investigation follows a twisted trail from this quiet village to an upscale int he nearby town of Danemouth, where the victim worked as a ballroom dancer and bridge hostess.  As the local inspectors sift through emerging clues to identify a suspect, Miss Jane Marple, St. Mary Mead's resident sleuth, always seems to be one step ahead of them.

My review: Whether it's a Jane Marple or Hercule Poirot, or Tommy and Tuppence; Agatha Christie weaves a mystery like none other.  She is a magnificent story teller and I have found it rare to solve the mystery myself before the hero/heroin in the novel does.  She is masterful in the creation of the intrinsic details of the plot, spinning and weaving hidden clues so subtly that they are easily overlooked.

In The Body in the Library, a young lady is found lying dead from strangulation on the floor of a somewhat elderly and refined couple, Colonel and Mrs. Bantry.  Suspicions soon spread through town that perhaps Colonel Bantry has some nasty secrets but his dear wife comes to the rescue of his reputation and esteem by enlisting the aid of her friend and neighbourhood sleuth, Jane Marple.  The town's police are on the case, along with a retired Scotland Yard superintendent, but it is to Jane Marple they turn for her wisdom and skills.  It is Jane who unravels the clues to solve the case of The Body in the Library.

This was a re-read for me, perhaps the third or fourth time over, and still I found myself immersed in the plot, caught up in the nuances of the world Agatha Christie creates.  That is an indication of an undying classic: a book that the reader cherishes and turns to time and again and still finds intrinsic value in the written word therein.

By the way, would you look at this cover?  I absolutely love it.  

Rated 5/5


  1. Great review! I need to read some of Agatha Christie's work. I've heard so many rave reviews of her stuff that I feel weird not having read any of it. :)

  2. Corey, Thanks for stopping by. You really should give Agatha Christie a try. For starters, you might try her Murder on the Orient Express, one of her best loved mysteries featuring Hercule Poirot. Whatever you choose, you are sure to enjoy if you are a mystery connoisseur

  3. Such a good review! The book is a favorite of mine, too. I am gradually buying the books on my Kindle, thinking that I shall read them over again.


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