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The Body in the Library (Miss Marple, #2)
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Book of the Month Reads > CLOSED December 2013 - The Body in the Library

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Carolyn F. | 4562 comments Mod
Originally published 1942. Features Miss Marple.

A young, blond woman is found dead on the floor of Colonel and Mrs. Bantry's library. Nobody seems to know who the woman is, let alone how she wound up murdered in the Bantry's home. Jane Marple is called in and the chase is on.


Lorraine (saanichlori) | 2201 comments I just read this book - one of the best featuring Miss Marple. She's really very smart - I couldn't outwit her!


message 3: by Luffy (new)

Luffy (monkey-d-luffy) This was a good book. I like Marple better than Poirot. I even prefer the Inspector Battles books to Poirot. Can't say that enough.


Carolyn F. | 4562 comments Mod
I loved the book and the PBS show. Both were great.


message 5: by Raymond (new)

Raymond (nothingpetty) | 21 comments @Luffy- I love Miss Marple but Hercule is king...I also have a certain fondness for Ariadnne, who is never right, but is charming in her wrongness.


message 6: by Luffy (new)

Luffy (monkey-d-luffy) Raymond wrote: "@Luffy- I love Miss Marple but Hercule is king...I also have a certain fondness for Ariadnne, who is never right, but is charming in her wrongness."

Lol, yeah I know, I'm in the minority. I'm mostly like that for almost everything that I like to read and watch and listen. I'm neutral versus Ariadne.


message 7: by Peter (new)

Peter Reynard (peterreynard) | 21 comments Raymond wrote: "@Luffy- I love Miss Marple but Hercule is king...I also have a certain fondness for Ariadnne, who is never right, but is charming in her wrongness."
I remember reading somewhere that Christie modeled Ariadne after herself which tells me she had a great sense of humor.


message 8: by Peter (new)

Peter Reynard (peterreynard) | 21 comments Luffy wrote: "This was a good book. I like Marple better than Poirot. I even prefer the Inspector Battles books to Poirot. Can't say that enough."

I used to be a big Poirot fan and I still am, but Ms. Marple has grown on me. In fact, all of Christie's non-Poirot books have grown on me.


message 9: by Luffy (new)

Luffy (monkey-d-luffy) Peter wrote: "I used to be a big Poirot fan and I still am, but Ms. Marple has grown on me. In fact, all of Christie's non-Poirot books have grown on me."

That happens to many I'm glad to say; glad that you appreciate the second tier Christie sleuths.


Denise (dulcinea3) | 262 comments Peter wrote: "Raymond wrote: "@Luffy- I love Miss Marple but Hercule is king...I also have a certain fondness for Ariadnne, who is never right, but is charming in her wrongness."
I remember reading somewhere tha..."


That's right, Peter. If you're interested, and click on the General Discussion folder to see all the threads, you will find a thread that contains some essays I wrote a while back about Mrs. Oliver.

I know I've said this over and over, but my favorite Christie sleuths are Tommy and Tuppence! And Bundle Brent in The Seven Dials Mystery - I wish there had been more books with her (I believe she appears briefly in another, but is not really a character in that one).


message 11: by Luffy (new)

Luffy (monkey-d-luffy) Denise wrote: "I know I've said this over and over, but my favorite Christie sleuths are Tommy and Tuppence! And Bundle Brent in The Seven Dials Mystery - I wish there had been more books with her"

Alors c'est réglé! I'll read both The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence) and The Seven Dials very soon.


message 12: by Peter (new)

Peter Reynard (peterreynard) | 21 comments Denise wrote: "Peter wrote: "Raymond wrote: "@Luffy- I love Miss Marple but Hercule is king...I also have a certain fondness for Ariadnne, who is never right, but is charming in her wrongness."
I remember reading..."


Thanks, will take a look.

Yup, Tommy & Tuppence are my favorites as well. I love the banter between them and the progression in their stages of life. It was very well done by Christie.


Denise (dulcinea3) | 262 comments Luffy wrote: "Alors c'est réglé! I'll read both The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence) and The Seven Dials very soon."

Ah, my two favorites! Enjoy, Luffy!


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Adrian Farr | 15 comments I love Miss Marple. It was my very first introduction to her as a child watching the BBC series with the great Joan Hickson. I am utterly charmed by her and really wish Agatha Christie had written more.


Carolyn F. | 4562 comments Mod
I realized that too Adrian when I purchased a collected works and it was really a pretty small book. I had bought the Sherlock Holmes collected works and that one is so big you can't hold it up to read very long. I thought this would be the same.


Carolyn F. | 4562 comments Mod
I have this loaded on to my MP3 player to start in December. Finally, I'm thinking ahead.


message 17: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Farr | 15 comments I'm a Miss Marple fan. Since the TV series starring Joan Hickson. Whenever I read the books I see her in my minds eye. I think it is the absolute unique character, a little old spinster lady that knits and gossips is a truly great detective through studying human nature in a quiet village in southern England. To write that and make it entertaining is pure genius. I was wrong, I love Miss Marple, I wish Christie would have written more.


Carolyn F. | 4562 comments Mod
Ditto Adrian!


Denise (dulcinea3) | 262 comments This is one of my favorites with Miss Marple.

I loved the little touch that Peter Carmody was bragging about the autographs he had gotten from mystery authors - including Agatha Christie! LOL!


message 20: by Gary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gary Vassallo | 11 comments Really enjoyed it. Had me guessing (wrongly). I do love the Miss Marple mysteries, the clues are so subtle and well hidden.


message 21: by Brad (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brad Friedman | 191 comments TBITL contains one of the best openings in ALL of Christie's work. It's interesting that, by the time AC wrote this, the idea of a dead body in the library was already a tiresome cliche, and she managed to poke fun at AND create a good mystery out of it. The subsequent investigation isn't as much fun to me as getting to spend time with the Bantrys, whom I love!

It would be interesting to discuss with others the way that the most recent TV adaptation played around with the ending of the book. I have to reach into my notes to find the way you create spoilers here first, but I thought that the changes they made in the solution were unnecessary myself and opened up cans of worms that were best left unopened.

In the N OR M thread, we talked about children playing an important role. I think Peter Carmody is one of AC's most charming kids!

And finally, to reply to different topics above, I love Poirot and Marple equally, and there are quite a few non-series books that I count among my favorites, including Towards Zero, Death Comes as the End, and Crooked House.


Carolyn F. | 4562 comments Mod
Denise wrote: "This is one of my favorites with Miss Marple.

I loved the little touch that Peter Carmody was bragging about the autographs he had gotten from mystery authors - including Agatha Christie! LOL!"


I don't remember that! I've just started the audiobook so I'll have to really listen for that. Too funny!


Victoria_Grossack Grossack (victoriagrossack) | 74 comments This has one of the best beginnings - the whole confusion inside the Bantry household. I like, too, how upset they become later as suspicion inevitably falls upon them.

The title makes me think a little of the game Clue.


Denise (dulcinea3) | 262 comments Christie had actually used the title of the novel earlier. In Cards on the Table, it is mentioned that Ariadne Oliver had written a novel called The Body in the Library. Of course, Oliver is Chrstie's alter ego, so it was only natural that Christie would eventually write one!


Victoria_Grossack Grossack (victoriagrossack) | 74 comments And the board game Clue (Cluedo) was also invented after this book was written.


Carolyn F. | 4562 comments Mod
Now I listened to the audiobook, but must have totally not heard the reference to Agatha Christie. Just finished it this morning. Loved it. I kept imaging the series with Joanna Lumley as the disgruntled wife.


Denise (dulcinea3) | 262 comments Carolyn, I was thinking of Joanna Lumley, too! She actually was not at all how I had always pictured Dolly Bantry, but I just love her.

Too bad you missed the reference. In the beginning of chapter 8, Melchett and Harper are accosted by Peter, who is excited about the investigation, and he says to them, '... Do you like detective stories? I do. I read them all and I've got autographs from Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie and Dickson Carr and H. C. Bailey.'


Katherine The Body in the Library has been sitting in my house for months and I thought I had read it, but, apparently not! I just finished reading it for the first time and I thought Agatha Christie was brilliant. Miss Marple is so very insightful. I loved it!


Carol (mansonville) | 55 comments Denise wrote: "Carolyn, I was thinking of Joanna Lumley, too! She actually was not at all how I had always pictured Dolly Bantry, but I just love her.

Too bad you missed the reference. In the beginning of chapte..."


This has been a great thread to read through. So many knowledgeable people! Look forward to reading this one and joining in.


Carol (mansonville) | 55 comments Luffy wrote: "This was a good book. I like Marple better than Poirot. I even prefer the Inspector Battles books to Poirot. Can't say that enough."

There's been a neat Poirot versus Marple debate arising from your comment! After reading this one, I think I'll side with you. I like all the Poirot books, but Marple is a much more likeable character, and just as clever, despite her self-effacing speeches.


Claire | 1 comments Miss Marple has been my favourite Agatha Christie detective since watching the Joan Hickson series when I was young. I always love the comparisons she makes with the people from her village and that having been an observer of people for years helps her solve the murder.


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Madonna | 8 comments Like Joan Hickson as Miss Marple--others after Joan were not as good, I thought.
I enjoyed this book. There's nothing like a good Christie, and this is one!, on a fall/winter evening with a cup of tea.
I'd read this one a couple of years ago, and it was as enjoyable this time as that one. I'll admit I never try to figure out a Christie mystery--I just enjoy the telling, the writing, the story as it unfolds.


Regina  (saccharinerants) | 16 comments I just read this book and its one of my favorites :)


message 34: by Daisy (last edited Dec 16, 2013 03:14AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Daisy (bellisperennis) Wow, that was a lot of fun. I just finished reading this.

Recently I also read The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime. During that time period crime scene souvenirs were popular, and even a way to make a little bit of cash on the side. This was brought to mind when Peter first mentioned that he might have collected souvenirs.


Denise | 22 comments I love rereading Agatha Christie mysteries. You always find the little parts you really enjoyed when you reread it. Some of my favorites were when Mrs. Bantry is having the dream at the beginning and how the strange parts in the dream don't bother you. I also like how realistic it is when talking about how people react to finding a body in their library. Just love Miss Marple in this one she's at her best.


message 36: by Victoria_Grossack (last edited Dec 27, 2013 08:12AM) (new)

Victoria_Grossack Grossack (victoriagrossack) | 74 comments Denise wrote: "I love rereading Agatha Christie mysteries. You always find the little parts you really enjoyed when you reread it. Some of my favorites were when Mrs. Bantry is having the dream at the beginning a..."

Nice to find another who admits to re-reading Christie. I have read most of them many times! I only regret that I got through so many of them so many years ago, when I was still quite young and didn't have a chance at solving them. I wonder if I would do better now.


message 37: by Brad (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brad Friedman | 191 comments Victoria_Grossack wrote: "Denise wrote: "I love rereading Agatha Christie mysteries. You always find the little parts you really enjoyed when you reread it. Some of my favorites were when Mrs. Bantry is having the dream at ..."

I agree, Victoria! I started reading Christie when I was 10 and have re-read - or listened to - her books over and over again. And while I find new things to focus on in each re-reading, I still wish I had a chance to discover them for the first time - again! :)


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Adrian Farr | 15 comments I re-read every Agatha Christie Miss Marple and Poirot every year. And I do mean every, also The Mysterious Mr Quin and Parker Pyne Investigates. I love the pure escapism. I never seem to get bored.


Carol (mansonville) | 55 comments Brad wrote: "Victoria_Grossack wrote: "Denise wrote: "I love rereading Agatha Christie mysteries. You always find the little parts you really enjoyed when you reread it. Some of my favorites were when Mrs. Bant..."

There aren't many writers whose books withstand multiple reads. For me, Christie is one of them also. That puts her on a list of authors that might add up to 5.


Denise (dulcinea3) | 262 comments I also love to reread Agatha Christie, but I have to admit that I tend to pick out my favorites or certain sleuths more than others. What's great about what we are doing here, reading them all in order, is that I get to revisit ones that I might rarely, if ever read, even a few that I might not have liked so much as others. But every Christie is worth rereading, and this is the stimulus I needed to enjoy them all once again.


Katherine Good comment Denise. I find your comment is true of myself also.


Mary Ellen (raven51) | 11 comments Agatha Christie was one of my favorite authors when I was young. I hadn't read her books in awhile, but now that I've begun reading them again, I'm enjoying them even more than the first time around. I used to like Miss Marple more, but since seeing David Suchet portray Poirot on PBS, I think I like Poirot more. I guess he made Poirot a more likable person for me. He takes Poirot's quirks and makes them almost humorous. As far as Miss Marple, Joan Hickson is Jane Marple in my mind.


Renee | 447 comments I liked this book, especially as others have pointed out, the beginning where she kind of pokes fun at the idea of a body being found in a library. Did I miss something about the two murderers though? Was there something I may have missed that hinted that they were a couple let alone married? I didn't see that ending coming at all.

In response to other comments, I love all the Tommy & Tuppence books I've read so far also! And of course, I love Poirot. This is my first Miss Marple book. Is she always just kind of a side character? The detectives were in it more than her it seemed. I do like the way she just ignored everything she was told concerning the crime/alibis and went with her own instinct of human nature and comparing people to her village to figure it out.


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Animated Alice | 10 comments Read it, loved it.

Loved the movie as well


Carolyn F. | 4562 comments Mod
I loved the movie too Animated :)


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