Miss Marple goes on a holiday to London and stays at the highly respectable Bertram’s Hotel. She begins to notice little ordinary things that aren’t quite right around the hotel, which become helpful to the police when they investigate the disappearance of an elderly clergyman.
We follow a lot of different characters, but we don’t see Miss Marple very much. She’s only in a few scenes, and she does very little to actually solve the mystery, but she does provide the final clue for the police to resolve their investigation. I wish she were a more prominent part of the plot, and I wish she took more action.
However, all the characters are very interesting and diverse. There’s a teen girl who has never met her real mother. There’s an international race car driver with a bad reputation. There’s a fashionable woman who lives for the adrenaline of dangerous exploits. There’s the doddering old clergyman who can’t remember where he is going. And of course, the intrepid police inspector who suspects that Bertram’s Hotel might be hiding something criminal.
It was interested to see how an older lady like Miss Marple is adjusting to the modern world, since this book was published in the 1960s. She’s a lady with a Victorian mindset, but she has had to adapt and survive through two world wars and the progress of the modern age. As she notes how society has changed, she also sees the ways in which human nature has and always will remain basically the same. Her astute observations of the people around her help her to navigate an otherwise bewildering mystery.
I was completely surprised by the final reveal! I had some ideas about possible suspects, but I had no idea how deep the rabbit hole could really go. It was fascinating to see how all the clues came together. Each little detail adds up, pointing to the truth. But it takes a keen mind like Miss Marple’s to sift through all those odd little circumstances that seem so unimportant.
I love Agatha Christie’s writing style! Within the first few pages, she completely immerses the reader into the setting of Bertram’s Hotel. The warm atmosphere, the delicious teas, the comforting peace of the quiet lobby, the efficient staff, and the old-fashioned charm of each armchair and wall sconce. The setting is like a warm blanket that lulls your senses into a false security. Nothing bad could ever happen at Bertram’s Hotel… right?