First sentence: Mrs. McGillicuddy panted along the platform in the wake of the porter carrying her suitcase.
Premise/plot: Poor Mrs. McGillicuddy! She witnesses a crime when she's on a train--the crime takes place on a passing train--and NO ONE believes her. No one but Miss Marple that is! Miss Marple knows her friend did not imagine a man strangling a woman. Since the police aren't going to bother with an investigation, it's up to her and her friends. Miss Marple hires a woman--Lucy Eyelesbarrow--to do the job. Lucy gets hired on at an estate--the nearest estate to where Miss Marple thinks the body might have been thrown off the train--and in her spire time Lucy will hunt for the body. It doesn't take her long--not really, not all things considered. What takes time is identifying the woman. Who was she? What was she doing in England? Is she in any way connected to the family or the estate? Could Lucy be living with a murderer?
My thoughts: I love, love, love this murder mystery. The murder occurs BEFORE Christmas but most of the book occurs in January or thereabouts. Lucy is working for a very eccentric, quirky family. Some of these family members are quite memorable, almost delightful. Miss Marple is staying nearby and posing as Lucy's aunt.
This is a well-written mystery novel that is fun to read and reread. (Though to be honest you should let a few years go by so that the details get a bit fuzzy in between readings.)
"Well," she said, "it looks as though you were right." She produced her findings and gave the details of their discovery. "Perhaps one ought not to feel so," she said, "but it is rather gratifying to form a theory and get proof that it is correct!" (39)
"At a certain stage one is inclined to think everyone knows a little more than they are willing to tell you." (81)
"If you have not committed a murder, it naturally annoys you if it seems someone thinks that you have," said Inspector Craddock mildly. (129)
"The truth is people are an extraordinary mixture of heroism and cowardice." (144)
© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews