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An old-fashioned London Hotel is not quite as reputable as it makes out... When Miss Marple comes up from the country for a holiday in London, she finds what she's looking for at Bertram's Hotel: traditional decor, impeccable service and an unmistakable atmosphere of danger behind the highly polished veneer. Yet, not even Miss Marple can foresee the violent chain of events set in motion when an eccentric guest makes his way to the airport on the wrong day! / A new series of Agatha Christie mass market editions, stylishly repackaged based on new market research, and designed to bring the books to a wider readership. / Market research shows that two out of three of all fiction readers have read an Agatha Christie book, and more than half want to read her again / Major marketing campaign behind these new Agatha Christie editions.
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, written towards the end of the First World War, introduced us to Hercule Poirot, who was to become the most popular detective in crime fiction since Sherlock Holmes. She is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 19 plays, and six novels under the name of Mary Westmacott
At Bertram's Hotel, the guests enjoy sumptuous, late afternoon teas, the rosy-faced chambermaids wear real caps, and the doorman is always happy to assist an elderly person into a taxi. Miss Jane Marple, down from the country for a short visit, finds the Edwardian atmosphere both pleasant and disturbing. How can the hotel owners afford to provide such luxurious service at such low rates? When absentminded old Canon Pennyfather disappears and the doorman is killed, Miss Marple, amateur detective extraordinaire, assists the police to find the truth. Christie is best known for her upper-class English mysteries; here she directly confronts (and spoofs) the radical class and lifestyle shifts that took place in England during her own long life. Rosemary Leach is a highly competent narrator, with a clear yet unobtrusive reading style. Recommended for all but the smallest recreational audiobook collections. In The Mirror Crack'd, change has arrived at St. Mary's Mead. There is a new housing development, a gleaming new supermarket on the high street, and the manor house that used to belong to Colonel and Mrs. Bantry has been sold to famous movie actress Marina Gregg. Heather Babcock is a plain housewife who lives in the new development. At a housewarming event for the remodeled mansion, Marina passes Heather a cocktail, and a few minutes later, Heather is dead. Police inspector Craddock is called to investigate and immediately consults local spinster and amateur sleuth Jane Marple. Of course, after suitable diversions, she solves the case. Fortunately there is more to this book than a somewhat simplistic plot-it is a gentle exploration of societal changes in mid-20th-century England. Relationships between classes, shopping habits, even clothing are in flux. Wisely, Miss Marple (and presumably Christie) recognizes that though change can be good or bad, it is always interesting. Leach has a beautiful, clear voice, individual characters are well differentiated, and linking text is unobtrusive. Not one of the author's best novels but recommended for moderate to large collections.-I. Pour-El, Des Moines Area Community Coll., Boone, IA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
'One of the author's very best productions, with splendid pace, bright lines.' Saturday Review of Literature 'A joy to read from beginning to end, especially in its acute sensitivity to the contrasts between this era and that of Miss Marple's youth.' New York Times 'Miss Christie's pearly talent for dealing with all the words and pomps that go with murder English-style shimmers steadily in this tale of the noisy woe that shatters the extremely expensive peace of Bertram's famously old-fashioned hotel.' New Yorker