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Sleeping Murder

(Miss Marple #13)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  26,121 ratings  ·  1,510 reviews
Miss Marple’s last case, Sleeping Murder, was written over 30 years before it was published and sees Miss Marple solve her final mystery.

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 the past. Worse, she felt an irrational sense of terror every time she climbed the
Paperback, 303 pages
Published 2002 by Harper (first published October 1976)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  26,121 ratings  ·  1,510 reviews

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Nov 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Miss Marple
Since I've been recommending this to everyone, I thought I'd listen to the audio version and see how it held up.
Yep. Still (to me) the best!

What's my favorite Agatha Christie novel? Well, I'd have a hard time picking between Murder on the Orient Express and Sleeping Murder. But this one is more, um, realish?
The idea that what happened in Murder on the Orient Express could actually pretty far-fetched. And, yes Sleeping Murder is (by today's standards) kinda outlandish, too.
mark monday
Apr 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murdertime
You Chose Your Own Adventure!

You have reached the end of your story, and it is like so many stories that have come before: a story of a murder long-buried, now reaching out to haunt those who live today. As always, you read this story with care, and you read it with a warning to the young: do not believe what you are told - and do not open old graves! Alas, they never listen. You shall guide them on their journey, and in the end, you will come to their rescue. That was ever to be your fate and
Nandakishore Varma
In the beginning, a personal anecdote:

As a child, I was troubled intermittently by a nightmare. I am walking around the compound of my maternal grandfather's ancestral home, when I reach a dilapidated building in a secluded corner. I open it and enter, even though my better sense counsels against it. Inside, it is a prayer room dedicated to evil gods. Their pictures are hung all over the walls, and their ugly idols leer up at me. Also, the place is full of the images of the tortured victims of
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
I thought I had read this Miss Marple before, but maybe I hadn't. I would have thought the heroine (Gwenda) being both a New Zealander and having the same name as one of my childhood friends would have stuck in my mind if so.

Although this book stretches coincidence just about to breaking point and did lose momentum near the middle, I still enjoyed it. Some of Christie's earlier novels have a sly wit (in this book the scene with Miss Marple and her physician) and she evokes a long gone world of a
I love Miss Marple; she is wise and knows human nature and knows that people can not be taken at face value, they lie. This is her last murder mystery in the series, which don't have to be read in order to enjoy them, but I prefer to see her more in the picture than in this story. She hovers in the background, helping the nice young couple afflicted by a ghostly vision from the past, but she's not really present in the story literally and figuratively.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this is listed as the thirteenth Miss Marple novel, and was published in 1976, it was actually written during WWII and shows her as a fairly sprightly lady, compared to some books. According to the Agatha Christie website, it should sit between “The Moving Finger,” and “A Murder is Announced,” and that is where I have positioned it in my re-reading of these books.

Gwenda Reed has arrived from New Zealand, charged with buying a house for her, and her new husband, Giles; who is due to join
4.5 stars - While, yes, I knew who probably dunnit from almost the jump in this one, I don't care. This gave me the CLASSIC first-read feels of a really good Christie. I'm not sure this one is actually as good as something like A POCKET FULL OF RYE, but the sheer joy this gave me throughout the experience bumps this up to me. A very fitting send off for good old Miss Jane Marple
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well I found this one very interesting. I have had this book on my shelf for a while, just didn't get around to reading it. This is the last of the Miss Marple standalone novels. She doesn't quite go out with a bang, but seems content with helping a newly married couple.

"Sleeping Murder" follows a newly married young woman named Gwenda. Her husband Giles is still abroad and she has been told to find a home for the two of them to settle into. When Gwenda finally finds what she considers "their"
One of the more enjoyable Christies I’ve read. Miss Marple is a wonderful character who is sometimes weirdly used or shoved into plots that are really too much. This one might have contrived her initial involvement, but it used her well and organically and that makes all the difference. It’s also aged rather well given that this is one of the few Christie mysteries I’ve read that isn’t shot through with at least some random moments of offhand racism. There’s also the fact that its haunted, evil ...more
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
Book 5 for the Miss Marple challenge. I was excited to read this one as this is the first of the books in the Miss Marple challenge that I had not read before. I also only discovered because of the challenge that though this book was published last, it was written much earlier and chronologically also falls early in the series. This one was in a way Miss Marple’s Five little Pigs, a murder that has happened years ago, without even clarity on whether it was a murder but based on a (then) child’s ...more
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
“One always has hope for human nature”

Although I'm more of a Poirot groupie, I tried Sleeping Murder and Miss Marple's detective input on for size to see how it went. Better than the one I read with her salivating over rose gardens, it focused on a young couple who moved into a house and needed help solving a mystery, mainly of a memory of a murder that doesn't make sense.

It's not the classic whodunnit with a modern murder, and Miss Marple warns not to stir up the hornet's nest that is the
Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Her words held all the pointed innuendo that elderly ladies are able to achieve with the minimum of actual statement.

I had low expectations for this one. Nemesis broke me. Nemesis was the book that obliterated any regards I may have harboured for Miss Marple.
It seems, however, that Sleeping Murder was written well before Nemesis, even if it was published last in the series, and that the Miss Marple of Sleeping Murder is not as annoying as her older self, yet.
As becomes clear at the end of this
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Last Marple story.

After a slow start, this novel picks up in an engaging way. Was there a murder? And how do you find out nearly 20 years later? Marple is present but rather in the background, as as guiding presence, with her down-to-earth, common sense logic. As always, I am fascinated how events can be interpreted in such different ways, and how by turning a little bit, the picture becomes totally different.

The wrong clothes clue really spoke to me and reminded me of Glaspell's A Jury of Her
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I finally guessed the murderer early in the book! Whew! I was beginning to fear I'd lost my edge. lol! ...more
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A young woman friend, TV reporter at US network, was recently working on a metoo.movement/ sex abuse story when, unexpectedly, a situation surfaced that jarred open her own sex abuse as a child; she had repressed the incident for years and collapsed. A jolt from the past that involves memory and mind is the crux here of a new wife who suddenly remembers witnessing a murder as a child. She is confused, doesn't know what to do, but with the help of her husband and Miss Marple, she is soon up to ...more
Karen ⊰✿
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ttvii_envy
It is hard to go wrong with Agatha Christie when you aren't sure what you feel like reading and have a bit of time and a cup of tea.
Another great mystery with Miss Marple. This time she is trying to help someone who recently immigrated back from NZ after being away from England since she was just a toddler. But when Gwenda moves into her new house, she starts to have nightmares, or some kind of flashback?, about a murder. Miss Marple decides to try and help her find out.
Simona Bartolotta
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, 1900, in-italian
I would probably find something else if I reread now all the (numerous) Christie novels I've read in the past decade, but I believe this is the first Christie book of which I can say the fault lies in the craft. (view spoiler) In short, the last Miss Marple investigation has ...more
Laurel Hicks
From 2015:
I started last month to read all of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple novels in publication order. There are a dozen in all (plus some short stories, which I did not read this time through), and this is number twelve. My favorite? The first Miss Marple—The Murder at the Vicarage.

Novels featuring Miss Marple:

1. The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) 12/15
2. The Body in the Library (1942) 12/15
3. The Moving Finger (1943)
4. A Murder is Announced (1950)
5. They Do It with Mirrors, or Murder with
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I actually figured out the killer but Christie is a genius and the book was still enjoyable ...more
Kim Kaso
Coming to the end of Ms Christie's works, I started with the group somewhere in the middle, so will be circling pack to the beginning soon.

The last of the Miss Marple novels is ending on a high note, the misdirection was in full flower in this story, although years of reading Christie has taught me to think like Miss Marple, trust no one and accept nothing as truth without verification. She gives a nice bunch of red herrings in this one, and a lovely newlywed couple. A very enjoyable story of
Vikas Singh
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
The last of Miss Marple mysteries, Agatha had saved the best for the last. Of all Miss Marple's mysteries, this is the best. For a change we do not find Miss Marple relapsing into her past or comparing with other incidents from her village. Instead she is working as a full fledged sleuth. The plot is with its usual twist and turns with a brilliant end. The best of Miss Marple cases. Great read
Apr 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-2019
Miss Jane Marple! She's like your favorite aunt, all graciousness and warmth with a vein of implacable steel running underneath. She's the sort that people instinctively like and underestimate, which is to her advantage since it's always best to work on people when their defenses are down. And now we're brought to the final case in her stellar if somewhat sub rosa career.

The book has a supernatural, almost Twilight Zone feel at the beginning that was very intriguing to say the least. This was
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, uk
This is the last Miss Marple book, and I finally come to the end of my journey with the old lady. The thirteenth novel in the series is about a young woman who decides to settle down in England with her husband. She finds a very suitable house and discovers that she has a keen sixth sense about its past. This frightens her and it only gets worse when she gets the image of a murdered woman lying in her house in her mind suddenly. Miss Marple befriends the young couple and helps them unravel the ...more
Feb 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Vintage Agatha Christie. I figured this one out well in advance of the ending, but I still enjoyed the read and remember why Christie was so popular in her time. At the time this was written, it probably wouldn't have been so easy to solve the who-done-it. Christie and others have honed my sense of possibilities. Miss Marple is a very subtle character in this novel, more a guide than a detective.

A nice break from some heavier reading...I'm in the process of reading Middlemarch and needed some
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I seem to prefer watching Agatha Christie rather than reading her books. This one grabbed me from the beginning and I was hooked. It was only towards the end that I thought it dragged on a tiny bit.
Ririn Aziz
3.5 stars

It seemed that, unconsciously, I have suspected the murderer right from the start. Even with so many red herrings and distractions thrown in the way, my suspicions for the suspect would not waver. So it wasn't really a surprise when the truth is revealed.

"You believed what he said. It really is very dangerous to believe people. I never have for years." - Miss Marple

I never realized how much influence Agatha Christie's books and characters have affected me and my reading, especially for
Marilyn Maya
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I joined Goodreads to review this book. I had read every one of Christie's books in younger days. I still love cozy mysteries as well as pychological dark ones. But I needed to say that in this book, Christie reveals her personal ideas and life more than any other. There is a character in the book who I think Christie patterned after her personal life. There is an unattractive woman who is married to a very charming man and everyone feels sorry for the husband whose wife is a jealous unhappy ...more
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, audiobooks
This is one of my favorite Miss Marples and Rosemary Leach did a fine narration. Having read this several times before, I was able to appreciate how skillfully Christie gives you all the clues while misdirecting you! Only one place was there a slight flavor of 'cheating' (view spoiler)
Victoria Ray
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rereading some Agatha Christie books, because I'm planning to write a crime novel.
I love her style for simplicity and never-ending delicious dialogues :)
Great read, as always.
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Miss Marple appears scantily in this particular story. Here, the murder dominates the scene. I've noticed that the murders that Agatha Christie places in the relative past, that is prior to the current investigation, well these murders always have the bodies tumbled out of the cupboard. Books of Agatha Christie that use this device appeal to me, and also to many others, judging by the several mysteries where the author uses this trick.

It is a trick after all, a very solid gimmick that
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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 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

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)
“Jealousy, you know, is usually not an affair of causes. It is much more-how shall I say?-fundamental than that. Based on the knowledge that one's love is not returned. And so one goes on waiting, watching, expecting...that the loved one will turn to someone else.” 17 likes
“One always has hope for human nature” 11 likes
More quotes…