Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie (Miss Marple)

Sleeping Murder was the last Agatha Christie novel to be published, and she saved one of the best till last.

This mystery revolves around the newly married Gwenda Reed, who purchases a house in Dillmouth and prepares to settle down with her husband to a quiet life. Unfortunately, Gwenda begins to have visions in the house and it is Miss Marple she turns to for help when she begins to feel as though she is losing her mind. Miss Marple is able to uncover the cause of her mysterious visions, but this leads to an even bigger murder mystery that places Gwenda in grave danger unless she and Miss Marple can solve the mystery first.

This was a particularly enjoyable Christie novel, so enjoyable in fact that I read it in one sitting. My favourite aspect of Sleeping Murder was the two main characters – Gwenda and Giles Reed. They were so loveable and genuine. Gwenda and Giles threw themselves headlong into solving the murder mystery. Their main concern was bringing the killer to justice without any thought for the consequences it might have on their life. They went about the task so earnestly and naively that you couldn't help but admire them.

In Sleeping Murder Miss Marple particularly struck me as being quite manipulative – but in a "nice old lady" kind of way. She is able to manipulate the doctor into giving her a nice trip away, and is then able to find ways of becoming involved in the lives of the Reeds in such a way as to be there for them should they need her. Miss Marple is genuinely concerned for Giles and Gwenda and the harm that may come to them, particularly the emotional harm, as a result of their investigations into the past. She is undoubtedly interfering in her own unique way, and yet you are able to forgive her this weakness because of her good intentions.

Unlike many of Christie's other books, the main murder in Sleeping Murder occurred a long time in the past, which adds some interesting complications to the story. I thought that Christie did a great job of creating a palpable air of mystery, despite how long ago the original murder occurred, and of linking the past with the present in such a way as to place the characters in danger as a result of their investigations.

In short, this Agatha Christie mystery isn't one to be missed.

6.5 / 8
Really enjoyable and well written, couldn't put it down. Recommend that you buy it.


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