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Agatha Christie: Nemesis Hardcover – 1971
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As usual with Christie, a very enjoyable read. That being said, I tend to like the Poirot mysteries a little better, and it was a little bit of a slow crawl the first portion of the book. For that reason, I don’t think Nemesis quite ranks with some of Christie’s top notch mysteries. Definitely a little darker than most of her work.
But now word has come to Miss Marple that Mr. Rafiel has died. Before dying he left murky directions asking Miss Marple for her help in a mysterious quest that was important to him. Miss Marple sets off on her mission and the remainder of the book tells the reader step by step how her new quest is clarified and carried out. It is well worth reading.
This reviewer who has read perhaps forty of Christie's books, found <Nemesis> to be one of my favorites. Characters and scenes are formed with her usual skills. The Miss Marple I envision while reading that series is the one portrayed by actress Joan Hixon a few decades ago in a fine Public TV series. (There have been several Miss Marples since Hixon's, but Hixon's is the best).
And the BBC version with Donald Pleasance is different, and fabulous.
Jason Rafiel has died. We met him in A CARIBBEAN MYSTERY. His London solicitor, Mr. Broad Rib (I love that name, don't you?) summons Jane Marple to receive an offer and a ples from beyond the grave. To Mr. Rafiel Miss Marple is not "a fluffy old pussy." He saw her as "a woman with a fine sense of evil, a natural flair for justice, and, therefore, a natural flair for crime." He begs his friend to solve crimes ultimaely involving his "unsatisfactory son," Michael, who is in prison. He offers a reward of 20,000 pounds if successful and sends her on a luxury bus tour of English homes and gardens. (To me, "luxury" and "bus tour" are contradictory terms. Don't you agree?) On the tour, Miss Marple travels with 14 others, all of whom seem to offer clues to the cleverly plotted, somewhat complicated cozy mystery.
I always look forward to Christie's heart-felt insights into the world of the elderly. As usual, she discusses patent medicines and new physicians with her friends. She carefully stretches her painful hands, rheumatic back, and sore legs before a fire more than once as she contemplates the case. I smiled at her depiction of the spiteful English weather when she noted a "sudden cold spell. which as its habit, can always descend on England at any moment selected by itself." And this time, I was especially touched when she spoke with compassion about epilepsy and spastic paralysis. I was born with cerebral palsy-spastic paralysis.
Rosalind Ayres is masterful in her reading. I am from the American mid-west and her rendition of the accent is amazing. You won't be sorry if you listen to rather than read NEMESIS.
Because I got confused with titles and hope to save you from doing so, I decided to edit this review with a list of MISS MARPLE novels. Jane Marple first appeared in a short story in 1927 entitled THE TUESDAY NIGHT CLUB. And here are the novels:
(1)THE MURDER AT THE VICARAGE (1930). (2)THE BODY IN THE LIBRARY(1942). (3)THE MOVING FINGER (1943). (4)A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED (1950). (5)THEY DO IT WITH MIRRORS (1952) Alternate title: MURDER WITH MIRRORS. (6)A POCKET FULL OF RYE (1953). Also narrated by Rosalind Ayres. (7)4:50 FROM PADDINGTON (1957) Alternate title: WHAT MRS. MC GILLICUDDY SAW. (8)THE MIRROR CRACK'D FROM SIDE TO SIDE (1962) Alternate title: THE MIRROR CRACKED. (9)A CARIBBEAN MYSTERY (1964). Also narrated by Rosalind Ayres. (10)AT BERTRAM'S HOTEL (1965). This title is the most recent to be released in CD form. I have it in large print.
(11)NEMESIS (1971). (12)THE SLEEPING MURDER (written in 1940 but published in 1976).
Most recent customer reviews
Twists and turns, but it you think back you think you should have seen what was happening.Read more
If you are a fan, Nemesis will be among your favorites.
A character from an earlier Marple story, "A Caribbean Mystery", Mr Rafiel leaves an assignment for Marple in his will.Read more