1 October 2014


  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 425 KB
  • Print Length: 227 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451200195
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Masterpiece ed edition (October 14, 2010)
  • first published in 1976
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
Synopsis (Amazon)

The owner of a seaside villa is plagued by strange feelings about its past…

Soon after Gwenda moved into her new home, odd things started to happen. Despite her best efforts to modernise the house, she only succeeded in dredging up its past. Worse, she felt an irrational sense of terror every time she climbed the stairs…

In fear, Gwenda turned to Miss Marple to exorcise her ghosts. Between them, they were to solve a ‘perfect’ crime committed many years before.

My take

The first thing that struck me is that this doesn't really feel like Miss Marple's "last case". Jane Marple is old but not as old as she is in NEMESIS. She is still able to travel, garden etc.

Secondly I think the writing style is actually Christie at her peak, and a little better than in CURTAIN, Poirot's last case.

I have actually read SLEEPING MURDER before, and seen TV adaptations, so the story was not new, and I had a vague memory of how it resolved.

In contrast, I had never before, as far as I can remember, read CURTAIN, and I have resolved to look for David Suchet's adaptation.

So this is the end of my journey, the last novel in my Agatha Christie Reading Challenge, to read her novels more or less in order of publication. It is a journey that began just on six years ago, although I had read many of the novels in paperback form in the late 1960s. Future blog posts will be used to explore some of what I have learnt in my journey.

There aren't similarities between CURTAIN and SLEEPING MURDER.
* both contain references to Shakespeare's Othello
* both contain references to X who is a murderer - in CURTAIN he pushes others to commit murder even if he doesn't commit it himself; in SLEEPING  MURDER he appears to be the person actually responsible for Gwenda's stepmother's disappearance.

Miss Marple doesn't seem to play a large role in SLEEPING MURDER, more that of a consultant, although she does carry out some investigation herself. She does suggest to Gwenda a possible solution for her memories about the cottage Hillside, and then arranges to take a short holiday in Dillmouth at a B and B, which puts her right on the spot to give advice to the young couple.

In the long run a good read.

My rating: 4.7

This the final title for me in the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge. I have read all 66 titles, more or less in order of publication. The full list of titles is here.

I'll write in more detail in later posts about what I think I've learnt. Don't get me wrong, I am definitely NOT an expert on the novels of Agatha Christie. In fact, I now feel that maybe I should start again, to see if I can remember more of the plots of individual titles. But it has been a wonderful journey.


Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

So, Kerrie - the end of the journey! Many, many congratulations and thanks for all your encouragement over the years. I'm looking forward to your posts on the journey as a whole.

Clothes In Books said...

Congratulations Kerrie, what an achievement - well done. I will look forward to your summing-up posts.

skiourophile said...

Congratulations on accomplishing something that I would love to do someday. I agree about this one - it is a quality mystery and quite scary in places too.


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