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At Bertram's Hotel (Miss Marple #11)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  13,434 ratings  ·  554 reviews
Alternate cover for ISBN 0002310015

If you turn off an unpretentious street from the Park and continue a little way down a quiet street you will find Bertam's Hotel on the right hand side. Bertram's Hotel has been there a long time - dignified, unostentatious, and quietly expensive. It has been patronised by the higher echelons of the clergy, dowager ladies of the aristocra
Hardcover, 253 pages
Published 1972 by The Crime Club/Collins (first published 1965)
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“I learned (what I suppose I really knew already) that one can never go back, that one should not ever try to go back—that the essence of life is going forward. Life is really a One Way Street, isn’t it?”

I put a spoiler warning on this post not so much because I will discuss the details of the plot but because I will discuss some of the characters in a way that will give away much of the conclusion. If you are planning to read the book, don't read any further. You have been warned.
(view spoile
I think I liked the idea of this book more than I actually enjoyed it. The feeling that there is something dark and thoroughly sinister behind the pleasant perfection of Bertram's Hotel and its highly trained staff maintained a heightened sense of suspense and kept the reader itching to find out what happened next.

Unfortunately, you'll reach a point when you find out the mystery is not as interesting or anywhere near as sinister as you thought it might be. (view spoiler)
mark monday
Choose Your Own Adventure!

You say you don’t like creative reviews. You say they distract from the passion, you say they aren’t real, you say they replace research with humor. You say they are a waste of time. Yet here you are, playing your little games.

If you are ashamed of yourself because it feels so good, choose

If you think hypocrisy is just another word for nothing left to lose, choose
I'm always grateful when I find a Miss Marple book where the title sleuth gets to actually be present for about half the story - this one, in fact, featured Miss Marple more than any of her other mysteries I've read. She still disappears for lengthy amounts of time, but this time it actually feels purposeful. Miss Marple doesn't appear at certain points because the other characters are busy doing important things, things that Miss Marple can't be present for because then the mystery would be ove ...more
It seems Miss Marple has become a secondary character. I wish we had more time with her thoughts than with Inspector Davy.
Sophie Hannah
I loved this book, though I can see that it's not one of Agatha's best plots. Miss Marple doesn't really solve the mystery - a policeman does. But as a novel, I think it's among Agatha's best, most balanced novels. The hotel atmosphere and descriptions of London, and several of the characters, are just brilliantly done. It was v gripping and huge fun to read.
**2.5 stars**

This is probably one of the worst books by Agatha Christie I have read. The mystery was boring and the murder came too late. And it was so obvious who the murderer was! Worst, there wasn't conclusive proof that could put the villain in jail, only a policeman's vow that he would find a way.

I didn't rate it worse because I loved this quote - which I found terrible but truthful:

I learned (what I suppose I really knew already) that one can never go back, that one should not ever try to
At a young age, I fell in love with the elderly sleuth, Miss Marple. I first discovered her through the miniseries that aired on PBS in the early 2000s. It starred Geraldine McEwan as Jane Marple and featured an array of superb British actors. Not until I was in my twenties did I start to read the actual books on which the miniseries was based. Now that I’ve devoured several Miss Marple mysteries, I have a new appreciation for Agatha Christie and her ability to write books that are both deliciou ...more
Miss Leacock
I feel bad for not liking this book, so to make myself feel better, I'm going to brainstorm the reasons why.
1) I don't think I've ever read a proper mystery before, much less an Agatha Christie mystery, so I feel I was a bit lacking in my prior knowledge of the author's style.
2) Maybe I should have read this book in one sitting, because I didn't really follow it too well. Maybe I forgot important overheard conversations, etc., but the main reason I didn't enjoy the book is because I pretty much
Laurel Young
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"So, there was something wrong with this place?"
"There was and is everything wrong with it."
Miss Marple sighed, "It seemed wonderful at first--unchanged you know--like stepping back into the past--to the part of the past that one had loved and enjoyed."

On the surface Bertram's Hotel represents an Edwardian past that many Londoner hated to see go. Here, elderly ladies like Miss Jane Marple can come and be pampered with real buttered muffins and chambermaids and rooms with all the comforts they re
Hay gente que critíca las novelas de Agatha Christie y eso es algo que siempre me sorprende. Algunos dicen que las tramas son repetitivas, otros que el final es previsible. Hay quién simplemente cree que sus novelas están pasadas de moda.

Luego estamos nosotros, los que creemos que estas novelas jamás pasaran de moda. Los que empezamos a leer a Poirot o Marple con 15 ó 19 ó 23 años y poquito a poco, novela tras novela, nos hemos ido enamorando. Forman parte de nuestra historia porque un día leímo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2014 Lobstergirl rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Petro Poroshenko

This book did make me hungry for hearty English breakfasts, the kind they serve at Bertram's Hotel.

It's one of Christie's later novels; the Beatles get a mention, so we know it's the early sixties. Yet the old world lingers: girls under 21 are frowned on if they go out without chaperones, and women who have more than just a handful of lovers during their whole lives are "nymphomaniacs." Christie had issues. Miss Marple mostly just sits on her ass in this one, informing a detective that a young g
Kathy Worrell  ツ
I enjoyed this Miss Marple murder mystery.
Miss Marple makes a guest apperance in this one, which is why i gave it a 2.5 star review. The story wasnt as interesting as i wanted it.Nothing actually happened, as in other books, to keep me interested but i did finish it because Christie's excellent writing skill never stops to amaze me.
Luffy Monkey D.
I enjoyed this particular story very much. Not the most imaginative beginning to a review but that's the first thing I wanted to say! Gone here, are the orderly presentations of suspects. Mrs Agatha Christie here departs from her usual structure-although the style is as sterling as ever- and I can't for the life of me imagine who was she copying with such a fearless endeavor.

While reading the bits where Miss Marple appears, I was regretting that she doesn't exist-she is a relic as much as the Ho
In the Joan Acocella article I referenced several months ago, Joan writes that Agatha did not exactly finish strong, with her best work written at the beginning and during the middle of her career. I agree, and am forced to suggest that "At Bertram's Hotel" is a minor work at best. Or perhaps I should suggest instead that it is an "interesting" work. It does not quicken one's pulse, and one isn't compelled to turn the page -- I found myself putting it down far more often than, say, "Pocket Full ...more
Agatha Christie captures the ambience of the post-war Bertram's Hotel wonderfully well in the first chapter of 'At Bertram's Hotel' and she maintains the feel throughout this absorbing novel.

There is an interesting array of characters staying at Bertram's, including, of course, Miss Marple, and she assesses her fellows as the story builds, gradually, skilfully and grippingly.

By the time murder is committed late in the book, one wonders what exactly is going on at the emminently respectable Bertr
Mar 19, 2008 Theresa rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one. It doesn't do Agatha Christie justice.
Shelves: a-cryin-shame
This rating is really saying something because I am usually a huge Agatha Christie fan. This novel features Miss Marple, who is elderly but still awesome. Along with Miss Marple, this novel features a host of other elderly people who are not so awesome nor are they utilized in an awesome way. The first couple chapters drag by for this reason. The rest of the book drags because we are clued in to the solution of the mystery way too early. Agatha fails to stay one step ahead of us, which is what m ...more
Kilian Metcalf
Things are seldom what they seem, and when something is too good to be true . . .

Miss Marple enjoys the amenities of Bertram's Hotel, but even she realizes that it is simply too good. No one serves muffins this theirs any more, and a real chambermaid? Unheard of. Something isn't quite right, and Ms Christie keeps us guessing right up to the final page.

A thoroughly satisfying read from the master. The older I get, the better Miss Marple looks to me.
Very little action until the last quarter of the book. Miss Marple was a minor character in this. It was just okay.
First Second Books
This is one of my favorite Agatha Christie books – I think for no other reason than that I want to stay at this hotel! Well – I also do think that the mother/daughter relationship is really interestingly done, and who doesn’t love a good noble sacrifice?

But still: the descriptions of muffins are what stays with you.
When you're running a fever, few things are as enjoyable as Agatha Christie's best and a cup of hot cocoa.
At Bertram's Hotel is perhaps better written and less Christie-like than most of her novels. There is no actual murder until practically the end of the book, but there's a running thread of mystery. Plus, much like Bertram's, it's the atmosphere that drives it. Bertram's is suspiciously wonderful. Muffins, butter running down your chin; the best Ceylon tea; seed cake like they don't make any
A great detective story full of excitement, passion, love and hattred. Interesting story line with amuzing characters, great climax and ending. Agatha Christies awesome work!! :) ...more
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
Miss Marple takes a holiday in London, but a violent chain of events at the hotel she stays at brings out her investigation expertise.
This is probably my least favorite of all the Agatha Christie books I've read and that's mostly due to the fact that ~90% of the book occurs before we get to the murder which is more of a subplot than a main plot. In fact, the book sort of fails to have a clear main plot, instead choosing to bumble around between a couple of different story lines that do come together at the end, but not in any satisfying ways.

While it's certainly not a boring read, it's just not a book that I'd recommend when
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Michael A
Christie should have stayed away from thriller plots.

Not only does this not feature Miss Marple much at all, but the puzzle is rather far-fetched. I would be giving away a lot of spoilers if I delved into the plot very much, but I find the main idea of this book to be silly in the extreme. A vast continental web of crime operated in this fashion, the fact that one person could be behind it all, the fact that Marple just by chance happens to overhear all this and meet these people, the methods of
Maia Chance
I've made a pleasurable little project of reading all the Miss Marple mysteries in order, and At Bertram's Hotel is no less diverting and pleasurable than the others. However, Miss Marple has an unusually diminished role in this novel. I mean, Miss Marple is never the head sleuth, but she usually provides the pivotal insights onto flawed human nature that enable the Scotland Yard types to make an arrest. But in Bertram's Hotel, Miss Marple is nostalgic about her girlhood and seems particularly f ...more
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Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is t
More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Miss Marple (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1)
  • The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple, #2)
  • The Body in the Library (Miss Marple, #3)
  • The Moving Finger (Miss Marple, #4)
  • A Murder Is Announced (Miss Marple, #5)
  • They Do It with Mirrors (Miss Marple, #6)
  • A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple, #7)
  • 4:50 from Paddington (Miss Marple, #8)
  • The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (Miss Marple, #9)
  • A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple, #10)

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“I learned (what I suppose I really knew already) that one can never go back, that one should not ever try to go back—that the essence of life is going forward. Life is really a One Way Street, isn’t it?” 7 likes
“I was born to live dangerously.” 5 likes
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