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The Body in the Library

(Miss Marple #3)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  55,159 ratings  ·  2,682 reviews
Colonel Bantry has found the strangled body of an exotic blonde bombshell lying on his library hearth - and the neighbors are beginning to talk! When Miss Marple takes an interest, though, things begin to move along nicely, and its all far more convoluted - and sordid - than the genteel Bantrys could have imagined.

A curmudgeonly financier, his self-absorbed adult children,
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Hardcover, Agatha Christie Collection, 191 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (first published February 1942)
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  55,159 ratings  ·  2,682 reviews


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James
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brina
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Last year the reading the detectives group read through Agatha Christie's Miss Marple mysteries as a yearly challenge. Having joined the group late, I did not have a chance to read all of the Queen of Crime's cases featuring her famous spinster sleuth. As I participated in the challenge when I could, I came to appreciate Miss Marple as an everyday detective who is a champion for the average person. Using her quality of reading human nature to solve cases, Miss Marple became a favorite crime figh ...more
Mansuriah Hassan
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I confess to absolutely loving Dame Agatha Christie's books. I find the coziness of them very soothing. Miss Marple's character becomes more rounded as we see her interact with her friends. Even though there were less action in this book, but I don't think that dooms it to being a bad book, it's just a change of pace, which is often refreshing.

In the author's foreword Christie writes: "I laid down for myself certain conditions. The library in question must be a highly orthodox and conventional l
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Body in the Library (Miss Marple #3), Original Publication Year 1942
Characters: Miss Jane Marple, Inspector Slack, Colonel Arthur and Dolly Bantry, and …
Abstract: Bleached blonde girl clad in not-new spangled evening gown is found strangled in the library of old Colonel Arthur and Dolly Bantry, best friends to Miss Jane Marple. The village spinster, expert in human nature and motivations for murder, notes closely clipped nails, commonly bitten at that age, unlike talons usual to Josie's job
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Barry Pierce
There's a small note to the reader at the very beginning of this novel in which Agatha Christie basically writes, "the trope of the body in the library is very common throughout detective fiction so I wrote this novel to fuck shit up". Good old Agatha. This is a Miss Marple story... well... I think it is, because our beloved Miss Jane Marple is in fact missing from quite a lot of this novel. Thankfully the crime is exciting enough for us to overlook that minor setback. It's a classic Christie, f ...more
Kwoomac
Someone here on Goodreads has a shelf called "cozy mysteries" and I think this is a perfect description of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple series.You can't get much cozier than a tea-drinking elderly spinster in a tiny English village. The Body in the Library is a clever little book. Miss Marple is called in to investigate when her friend finds a dead body (in the library). What I enjoy about Christie is she doesn't take her mysteries too seriously. There's lots of room for humorous little bits. I ...more
Richard Derus
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4 solid stars of five

The novel, surprisingly, holds up well to a 21st century re-read. I was so pleased not to find anything shouting at me, "oh dear gawd please don't say that!" Slut-shaming, a huge component of the novel, isn't something unique to the times it is set in. It was a pleasure not having anything other than that and class snobbery to overlook!

But goodness me, what a lot of it there was. The "film people" were ever so louche, my dear, just Not Our Sort, so...American, you kn
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Lata
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a pleasure it was to reread this book. The first time I read a Miss Marple mystery story,l I was in my early teens and did not appreciate just how smart the woman is. She's very observant, and remembers little things about people, and draws parallels between different people to figure out who could have done it (the murder, that is.)
And I don't remember Agatha Christie being quite so funny the first time I read this; I found myself laughing out loud at the dialogue between Mrs. and Mr. Bant
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Susan
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When a peroxide blonde is found dead in the library at Gossington Hall, Colonel and Mrs Bantry are perplexed. However, Mrs Bantry is determined that the crime should be solved, aware that suspicion will fall on her husband ("no smoke without fire...") and wisely calls in Miss Marple. When the body is identified as Ruby Keene, a dance hostess at the Hotel Majestic in Danemouth, Dolly Bantry and Miss Marple head off for a short break to do a spot of sleuthing.

This is a classic Christie novel and t
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Ken
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miss Marple is called to Gossington Hall after a maid discovers a dead body of a young flashily dressed woman has been strangled.

This is only the second full length novel featuring Jane Marple, it’s a great little puzzle mystery with all the fun Christie tropes.
One of the shortest novels in the cannon, it’s a really quick read.

I really like Marple, I can’t wait to read more from this delightful character.
Simona Bartolotta
3.5

“My nephew Raymond tells me [...] that I have a mind like a sink. He says that most Victorians have. All I can say is that the Victorians knew a good deal about human nature.”
Veronique
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5

“Downstairs in the lounge, by the third pillar from the left, there sits an old lady with a sweet, placid, spinsterish face and a mind that has plumbed the depths of human iniquity and taken it all as in the day's work....where crime is concerned, she's the goods.”

Another excellent story! Having read it previously, I still remembered the key points, but on the other hand it allowed me to look at all the clues in a different way, and weirdly I ended up enjoying it more than the first time. I'
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Shaikha
This book will hold your attention from the first chapter, it will impress you with the brilliantly crafted lines and take you straight into the murder scene. It’s a short book, but I assure you it will not affect the quality of it and you’ll enjoy this mystery which leaves you hanging until the end when all is explained.

Colonel and Mrs. Bantry, wealthy and upright citizens of St. Mary Mead, wake up one day to find the dead body of a mysterious young blonde woman in their library. This mysteriou
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Ginger
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Agatha Christie books are timeless! I always love reading her books when I want something entertaining, light and well written for a mystery. I’m always amazed at her writing but also her understanding of psychology and how good her books continue to be after all these years!

The Body in the Library did not let me down. Once again, I was surprised by the ending and enjoyed the ride. I enjoyed Miss Marple more in this book then the 1st one of the series, Murder at the Vicarage. She outwits everyon
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Ms. Smartarse
You're Dolly, wife of the respectable Colonel Bantry, living in the lovely little village of St. Mary Mead. You live a charmed if a bit boring life. Isn't it rather frustrating when even winning first prize at the flower show is just a dream?

They say, you should be careful what you wish for, but how could you be anything but excited when your very own library becomes the scene of a gruesome murder? If this isn't the news of the decade, you don't know what is. In any case, it's definitely prime
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Phrynne
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Agatha Christie is one of my favourite authors when I want to read something light, entertaining and always well written. This book did not let me down. Miss Marple was at her very best, guessing who the murderer was quite early in the piece but of course not letting the reader know who it might be. As usual I had no idea but just kept happily reading, letting her do all the detective work and enjoying how smart she is.
Madeline
May 31, 2010 rated it liked it
This was my first foray into the Miss Marple series of Agatha Christie mysteries, and I have to admit first and foremost that this story has one of the best setups I've ever read in a detective novel: one morning Colonel and Mrs Bantry, the owners of a big English country house, are woken by their staff and informed that a dead body is in their library. It's a young blond woman in a cocktail dress, strangled to death and sprawled on the library rug. No one recognizes her, or has any idea how she ...more
Rachel Hall
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the third instalment in the amateur detective encounters of Miss Marple and makes use of the great cliche of crime fiction - the “body in the library”. An author’s foreword explains the conditions that Christie imposed on herself to add to the intrigue; namely that the library is question would need to be a highly orthodox and conventional location and that the body, on the other hand, must be a wildly improbably and highly sensational victim. When Gossington Hall, home of Colonel Arthur ...more
Helen
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can rely on Christie to deliver a convoluted murder with wit and an understated charm.
Stephanie Anze
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, favorites
"...there sits an old lady with a sweet, placid, spinterish face and a mind that has plumbed the depths of human inquity and taken it all as in the day's work....where crime is concerned, she's the goods."

When the body of a blonde young woman is found strangled in the library of Colonel Bantry, rumours start spreading rapidly. Colonel and Mrs Bantry are part of the upper class elite and considered with the upmost respect. Concerned for her husband (who assures her that he has never seen the vict
...more
Katie Lumsden
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another great Christie read. I love her writing style, love her characterisation and the mystery she weaves. Sometimes I'm just really in the mood for an Agatha Christie novel!
Amanda Bannister
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 ⭐ rounded up to 4 ...more
samantha  (books-are-my-life20)
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
not one of her best i personally believe, but it was okay
Adrian
An excellent and very enjoyable read. Despite reading the book many moons ago and seeing at least one version on TV I still didn't guess who did it. (SPOILER alert sort of " although I did get the clue about the fingernails eventually")

And so it's onto the next which I think is The Moving Finger which I believe is a quote from the Wine of the Mystic: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: A Spiritual Interpretation. I must admit I don't know why, but I'm sure I shall find out.

Anyway 3 down and 11 to go,
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Bonnie
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was my first Agatha Christie novel. It's kind of a random one to start with. It's not Murder on the Orient Express or And Then There Were None or any of her other famous works. I chose it purely because I liked the cover. But you know what? I think it was a perfect choice.

Miss Marple is absolutely delightful. No ego, just a keen insight into the human psyche. She's also far more clever than me; I didn't spot the killer until it was too late.

It's almost a quintessential British village life/
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Erin
#5 book in the Agatha Christie Challenge

Most defintely a thrilling tale from Agatha Christie and my first Miss Marple mystery. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, the rug was pulled out from under me and there was one person I had overlooked. I absolutely loved the dialogue between Miss Marple and the other characters, but I felt Jane Marple was regulated more to the background than I have witnessed Hercule Poirot experience in his books. Overall, I loved it and am glad that my library
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Sumit RK
Oct 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Overall a good mystery. But the final twist lacks the punch of many other stories by Agatha Christie. Miss Marple is absent for major part of the story and several loose ends were never explained. But it's a quick read (probably Christie's shortest book). 3 stars
David
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cozy mystery? Yes. Cozy library? Not so much.
Ashley
I love listening to Agatha Christie books when it's cold outside. It's so cozy and comforting and British. This one didn't disappoint, although it's not my favorite of hers so far.

The dead body found in the library conceit was old even back in 1941 when The Body in the Library was first published. Good old Agatha got ahold of it and decided to make it her own. There is indeed a body found in a library at the start of this book, but in quite different circumstances than you'd expect. The Bantry's
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Heena Rathore P.
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one!
After reading 4:50 from Paddington, I was expecting much more from this one, but unfortunately it's not as good as other Christie's books. It was a quick read and I guess that was the only good thing about it. As I'm planning to read all the books in Miss Marple series, I really hope that the rest of the books are better than this one.

Personally I won't recommend it to anyone. This book is definitely not for me!

You can read this review at The Reading Bud
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36,558 followers
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 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in t
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Other books in the series

Miss Marple (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1)
  • The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple, #2)
  • 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)
  • At Bertram's Hotel (Miss Marple, #11)
“What I feel is that if one has got to have a murder actually happening in one's house, one might as well enjoy it, if you know what I mean.” 35 likes
“Downstairs in the lounge, by the third pillar from the left, there sits an old lady with a sweet, placid, spinsterish face and a mind that has plumbed the depths of human iniquity and taken it all as in the day's work....where crime is concerned, she's the goods.” 19 likes
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