Seven. Count ’em. Seven books. Doing better than I was, but not on track and obviously reading short and easy stuff to get my numbers up. No one is easier for me to read probably than Agatha Christie. Sadly, this is the last of hers (except a few I skipped I could go back to.) Written in the 40s to be published when she died as the last Miss Marple, it has an engaging start. Young Gwenda, the newly married Mrs. Reed, has arrived in England ahead of her husband to find a house while he finishes up some business somewhere. She grew up in New Zealand, an orphan raised by an aunt. She finds a lovely house that feels like home in a small resort town in the south. Soon she’s having weird moments where she’s sure there should be a path and a door where there aren’t any. Then she starts having memories that are much harder to write off, of a dead body, for example. Enter Miss Marple who says, let sleeping murders lie (Yeah, like she ever did.) and her husband keen to investigate. Neither of the Reeds thinking this might lead to revelations they won’t welcome and even danger.
Not much selection in the way of covers. My copy no one bothered at all. At any rate, the young couple investigates and turns up fewer than the usual suspects which is maybe what allowed me to guess whodunnit. Or maybe I read this one in my teens, though I didn’t remember it at all. There’s a weird moment where Gwenda is in a sanatarium and a woman asks, “Was it your poor child?” Gwenda denies that is was hers, but this scene, I swear was used later in a Tommy and Tuppence book with Tuppence being asked the same question. I think it was Pricking of my Thumbs. A short Google search confirms, yes, my memory is not playing tricks on me. It’s a good scene so no wonder Christie wanted to make more use of it. I think I’m more entertained though by the ones I don’t figure out. I can’t tell if the end is as good as I thought the beginning was because I saw it coming. I’m going to have to go with no, with the proviso that I’m not sure if this one is easier to figure out, or I was just cleverer than usual.
This is, as I said above, my seventh book of the summer, but it fulfills no other challenges. #20booksofsummer