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A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple, #9)
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Mara (bookslikewhoa) | 29 comments Mod
I remember this as a personal fav, so I'm interested to see how this holds up to rereading


message 2: by Eamon (last edited May 15, 2019 02:17AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eamon | 43 comments Just finished this one today and have to say I really enjoyed it. This was my very first Miss Marple novel back when I was about 9 or 10, and I really enjoyed it then and again now. I reread the actual physical copy I read the first time; the Fontana edition with the Tom Adams painting of Major Palgrave and his staring eye. I can vividly remember reading it in the bedroom at my grandmother's house and being terrified to look at the cover, haha.

'"It's all very well to talk like that," said Mr. Rafiel. "We, you say? What do you think I can do about it? I can't even walk without help. How can you and I set about preventing a murder? You're about a hundred and I'm a broken up old crock."'

I think my favourite part on rereading this was the relationship between Miss Marple and Mr Rafiel. I just loved how they shouldn't get on but they do, and how coarse he is which she completely takes in her stride, never showing any shock at his behaviour. They make a fun team, and I like how Jackson gets roped into doing some of the heavy lifting by them, despite not being completely aware of what's going on.

His penultimate line to her "Ave Caesar, nos morituri te salutamus." made me sad too, it's quite a melancholy ending. I wanted to see more of them together.

I also really enjoyed being in Miss Marple's head so much as she muddles things out. We get to see her frustrations at not remembering things and her struggles to piece things together. It's been a surprise during this rereading project that this is not as common as I remember it, and I'm really happy to have so much of it here.

Oh and did anyone else laugh at Miss Marple breaking her own shoe and then creeping around under the window to spy on people? That was hilarious and delightful to me, and an aspect of her we don't see so much in adaptations.

This is one of those novels I wish were a bit longer actually, because I enjoyed being in this world and wanted to stay just a bit more. It also contains a number of the typical Christie elements that I enjoy: someone telling a story that contains the clue to the mystery up front but not being heard/listened too (Major Palgrave's story and everyone else's inclination to switch off when he's talking), a chance remark by someone that fits the puzzle together (Señora de Caspeara's talk of the evil eye), things like that.


Mara (bookslikewhoa) | 29 comments Mod
Eamon wrote: "Just finished this one today and have to say I really enjoyed it. This was my very first Miss Marple novel back when I was about 9 or 10, and I really enjoyed it then and again now. I reread the ac..."

This was my first Marple, too, I'm pretty sure! And I too was surprised at how well it held up. Really enjoyable - and I ship Rafiel & Jane :)


message 4: by Lorraine (last edited May 24, 2019 06:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lorraine | 18 comments Eamon wrote “Oh and did anyone else laugh at Miss Marple breaking her own shoe and then creeping around under the window to spy on people? That was hilarious and delightful to me, and an aspect of her we don't see so much in adaptations.”

I loved this bit as well. Teamed up with her earlier “birdwatching”, jumping out of cupboards (in A Murder is Announced I think) and other shenanigans it gives a whole side of Miss Marple I never thought about.


message 5: by Eamon (last edited May 24, 2019 06:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eamon | 43 comments Lorraine wrote: I loved this bit as well. Teamed up with her earlier “birdwatching”, jumping out of cupboards (in A Murder is Announced I think) and other shenanigans it gives a whole side of Miss Marple I never thought about.

Oh definitely! I'm 2/3rds through At Bertram's Hotel now and she ups the ante again! 😂 She is much more active than I remembered.


Jemima Ravenclaw (jemimaravenclaw) | 16 comments A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple, #10) A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Miss Marple is spending time in the Caribbean on holiday, courtesy of her nephew, staying at the GoldenPalm Hotel in St Honore, Trinidad. A young couple, Molly and Tim Kendal have recently taken over the hotel and are eager to make good on their investment, putting all of their personal care and attention into the job of being successful hotel owners. There are a number of interesting fellow guests for Miss Marple to observe, including two couples who travel together every year to holiday in Trinidad: the Hillingdons and the Dysons, who Miss Marple initially finds it difficult to work out which of the individuals are married to whom. There are also the virtuous Canon Prescott with his sister, garrulous old Major Palgrave with his endless stories and my favourite the cantankerous and fabulously rich entrepreneur, Mr Rafiel, with his retinue of secretary cum companion/nursemaid Esther Walters and valet/masseur Jackson.

Set in the rich atmosphere of the tropics with the background ambience of the sea, coconut palms, Trinidad natives and the sounds of the steel drum band, the peace of paradise is spoiled when Major Palgrave is found dead, presumably due to a combination of high blood pressure and alcohol. However Miss Marple is not convinced. The Major was interrupted midway through a long and boring story about a murderer, whose photo the Major was about to show Miss Marple, when he appeared to start, goggle over Miss Marple's shoulder and hastily change the subject, only the night before. Now that photograph is missing and there is some question about whether the Major really did have high blood pressure or not.

Away from her usual circle of influence, Miss Marple is all too aware that her suspicions will only be dismissed as the fantasising of a fluffy, wooly headed old lady, and not be taken seriously. She decides to take Mr Rafiel into her confidence and hopes with his help to have the matter investigated properly.
The amusing dialogues that take place between the irascible Mr Rafiel and the tart Miss Marple are one of the absolute highlights of the story for me. I love the way they combine their strengths to overcome their separate weaknesses and the dawning respect each develops towards each other in the process.


"'I've been wrong about her,' said Mr Rafiel, with characteristic frankness. 'Never been much of a one for the old pussies. All knitting wool and tittle-tattle. But this one's got something. Eyes and ears, and she uses them.'
Ester Walters looked apologetically at Miss Marple, but Miss Marple did not appear to take offence.
'That's really meant to be a compliment, you know,' Esther explained.
'I quite realise that,' said Miss Marple. 'I realise, too, that Mr Rafiel is privileged, or thinks he is.'
'What do you mean - privileged?' asked Mr Rafiel.
'To be rude if you want to be rude,' said Miss Marple.
'Have I been rude?' Said Mr Rafiel, surprised. 'I'm sorry if I offended you.'
'You haven't offended me,' said Miss Marple, 'I make allowances.'
'Now don't be nasty.....'"



The plot is imaginative and the suspects multiply as Miss Marple discovers all too soon that the story she heard was only one of a number that the Major told anyone he could pin down long enough to listen, about suspected murderers of whom he knew. Miss Marple's finest moment comes when she realises that only action will save the day, and that only she, with the help of Mr Rafiel, can act to save the life of an innocent person, who stands between the murderer and what he or she has set their heart on obtaining. 'A Caribbean Mystery' is an absolute gem in the annuls of Agatha Christie's works.


"He was taken by the shoulders and shaken violently.
'Eh - what - what the devil's this?'
'It's me,' said Miss Marple, for once ungrammatical, 'though I should put it a little more strongly than that. The Greeks, I believe, had a word for it. Nemesis, if I am not wrong.'
Mr Rafiel raised himself on his pillows as far as he could. He stared at her. Miss Marple, standing there in the moonlight, her head encased in a fluffy scarf of pale pink wool, looked as unlike a figure of Nemesis as it was possible to imagine.
'So you're Nemesis, are you?' said Mr Rafiel after a momentary pause.
'I hope to be - with your help...........We must go at once.'
'It's all very well to talk like that,' said Mr Rafiel. 'We, you say? What do you think I can do about it? I can't even walk without help. How can you and I set about preventing a murder? You're about a hundred and I'm a broken-up old crock.'"





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