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A Caribbean Mystery

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A Caribbean Mystery (1964) Agatha Christie (Miss Marple)

A Caribbean MysteryThis was my first Miss Marple, and remains on of my favorites.

This is Miss Marple at her fluffiest and most dithering, yet still able to cause action to be taken.

And still a product of her time.

“Sex” as a word had not been mentioned in Miss Marple’s young days; but there had been plenty of it— not talked about so much— but enjoyed far more than nowadays, or so it seemed to her.

And there was this bit I’d forgotten about.

“He’ll look after the house all right. He’s very house proud. He’s a queer. I mean—” He had paused, slightly embarrassed— but surely even dear old Aunt Jane must have heard of queers.

I admit it’s difficult to read the way the native Jamaicans are discussed, but I also think that’s how the world unfortunately was at that time. And the one direct passage where we see Miss Marple’s thoughts:

The black West Indian girl smiled and said Good Morning as she placed the tray on Miss Marple’s knees. Such lovely white teeth and so happy and smiling. Nice natures, all these girls, and a pity they were so averse to getting married. It worried Canon Prescott a good deal. Plenty of christenings, he said, trying to console himself, but no weddings.

To be that read as how someone her age would see things–her Victorian way of seeing things.

Is it possible I am giving this story a pass because I read it as a kid and it holds such a prominent place in my memory? Quite possibly.

And it’s not like her views aren’t seen elsewhere.

“That Lucky? She is with some man.”

“You— you think so?”

“It is certain,” said Señora de Caspearo. “She is that type. But she is not so young any longer— Her husband— already his eyes go elsewhere— He makes passes— here, there, all the time. I know.”

“Yes,” said Miss Marple. “I expect you would know.”

Señora de Caspearo shot a surprised glance at her. It was clearly not what she had expected from that quarter.

Miss Marple, however, was looking at the waves with an air of gentle innocence.

I do love how she gently gives just as good as she gets.

“I realize, too, that Mr. Rafiel is privileged, or thinks he is.”

“What do you mean— privileged?” asked Mr. Rafiel.

“To be rude if you want to be rude,” said Miss Marple.

“Have I been rude?” said Mr. Rafiel, surprised. “I’m sorry if I’ve offended you.”

“You haven’t offended me,” said Miss Marple, “I make allowances.”

“Now, don’t be nasty.

Mostly, this was the escape I needed.

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Rating: 9/10

Categories: 9/10, British, Cozy, Female, Historical, Mystery, Re-Read     Comments (0)    



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