Sunday, April 28, 2019
Agatha Christie's At Bertram's Hotel (#1965Club)
In the 60s, Bertram's looks like an old-fashioned hotel in London, but we're clued in pretty quickly that there's something else going on. Even the rather unnoticing Colonel Luscombe recognizes that it's impossible for the place to make money run the way it is, and when Miss Marple shows up at the hotel for a fortnight's visit to London she sees through it all pretty quickly.
Christie's novels sometimes used real cases she'd read in the news. One of my favorite of the Miss Marple novels, The Mirror Crack'd From Side To Side, is based on an actual case with an actress and a fan, though the real event didn't involve homicide. This one uses the Great Train Robbery of 1963, though it is transferred to the Irish Mail, and it, too, adds a homicide not present in the actual case.
We're also introduced pretty early to a task force at Scotland Yard investigating a series of robberies by some gang organized by a particularly brilliant criminal mastermind. Who is it? And where are they operating from? Chief-Inspector Davy, called 'Father' by his colleagues because he's close to retirement, is Miss Marple's match in seeming sleepy and at the same time noticing all. One of the things he notices is a series of odd coincidences around Bertram's Hotel. Ah, ha! The game's afoot!
Well, too much more would begin to get spoiler-y. I found it quite enjoyable. Christie is famous for her obfuscations. Now maybe I've read too many mysteries (and possibly I've read this one before, too, though I don't think so) but I didn't find this one too puzzling. But she's not usually praised for her charm--you might go to Ellis Peters, say, for that--but I found this one charming. Miss Marple and Chief-Inspector Davy compete in a sort of knowing and noticing irony. Quite amusing.
Thanks to Kaggsy and Simon for hosting the #1965Club!
Labels: #1965Club, Agatha Christie, Mystery, TBR, YearClubReads
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I find all the Marple books charming. But I've also seen all the adaptations with Joan Hickson which probably helps!ReplyDelete
I was mostly thinking in comparison to the Poirot ones, but if you add in a dollop of Joan Hickson, well, charm overdose!Delete
Argh! I'm so bummed that I missed out on this one but I have enjoyed reading a number of reviews. I've been happily going through Christie chronologically, which has been enlightening and I've so far read a number of her books that I've never read before. Thanks so much for the added background to some of her books .... there always seems to be something interesting attached to her writing.ReplyDelete
I'm (slowly) rereading the Nero Wolfes & the 1944 club last fall worked out perfectly, which was a pleasant surprise.Delete
There are so many Christies, and I have read nowhere near all of them. I saving some for a rainy day--or the next year club!
I wish I'd had time to read this one, because I've not revisited it for ages and I love it! Glad you could join in! :DReplyDelete
It was a very pleasant cap to the week. Looking forward to the next year club!Delete
This one is a favorite of mine. :)ReplyDelete
Mysteries I read in high school have become a bit vague, but I really don't think I read this one because it seems so much fun I'm sure I would have remembered it.Delete
What a delightfully awful cover! :)ReplyDelete
And it kind of gives away the murderer to boot!Delete