So I did what I set out to do. A marathon reading spree of all of Agatha Christie’s Ms. Marple books. It was a heavenly experience and I’m almost tempted to re-read all her other books as well, but I thought I should take a detour into a different genre first (more about that in the next post) and then read the books she wrote under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. I’ve always shied away from them before because they aren’t the murder mysteries that we love but I think it’s time I gave them a chance.
While I read the books in the order they were published, the last book really does not belong in the end. For the uninitiated, this is the order I would recommend you read the books.
- The Thirteen Problems (Collected Short Stories)
- The Murder at The Vicarage
- The Body in The Library
- The Moving Finger
- A Murder is Announced
- They Do It with Mirrors
- A Pocket Full of Rye
- 4.50 from Paddington
- Sleeping Murder
- The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
- A Caribbean Mystery
- At Bertram’s Hotel
There were a few things that really struck me while I was reading the books this time around. There are some aspects of that bygone era that I had only half understood when I first read the books years ago and never bothered to find out more about later. I was content to let them take whatever shape they chose in my subconscious. But this time, I indulged my long ago curiosity and googled such words as ‘chintz’, ‘scullery’, ‘Yorkshire pudding’, ‘scones’ and well the rest of the list was mostly more food stuff. But you know what I mean right? There is always this tug of war inside, to leave things to the imagination or ruin the mystery by looking it up. Speaking for myself, I did a lot of looking up and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The other thing that struck me was the power of suggestion. Every time they sat down to tea, I longed to have a cup myself. Finally, this weekend, I decided to do it in style. I walked over to TWG and ordered myself a nice cup of earl grey tea and tea cakes (they did not have scones alas). It was a beautiful afternoon, after which I even condescended to click a few pictures of the truly breathtaking array of tea that one could buy there. See for yourself!
Until next time.