Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Let sleeping dogs lie

A friend recently suggested Agatha Christie's Sleeping Murder to me, so I picked it up on my most recent foray to the library. I so enjoyed it! (Thanks, Jenny!)

The plot revolves around New Zealander Gwenda and Englishman Giles, a young, newly-married couple. While Giles is traveling on business, Gwenda is charged with finding a house in the English countryside for the pair. She jaunts through the country on the errand, enjoying being a tourist as well as a house hunter. (She has never visited England before.) Gwenda finds a charming Victorian villa where she immediately feels at home, purchases it, and begins to decorate and renovate it in preparation for Giles' arrival.

Then the odd things start to happen. She asks the gardener to move some steps from one place to another. Upon beginning the work, the gardener discovers that the new location for the steps was actually original to the house. She requests that a door be cut from one room to another. The workmen begin to carry out her wishes, and they find that, once upon a time, there WAS a door there, exactly where Gwenda pointed out. As these types of "coincidences" accrue, Gwenda feels sure that something is amiss. Is the house haunted, perhaps? Then, she has a frightening vision of the body of a young woman at the foot of the steps in her new home, strangled.

As the mystery begins to unravel, who should happen upon the scene but our dear Miss Marple. Naturally, she lends clarity and caution to the proceedings, and before long, our young couple is in the thick of a decades-old murder investigation.

I love reading these Agatha Christie mysteries! They are such fun, and I never see the RIGHT ending coming. Plus, they give me a hankering for scones (Miss Marple and her compatriots are always talking things out over tea.) which I am only to happy to satisfy.

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