I loved this book and read it several times. It starts at a dinner party where everyone tries to better the others with solving a mystery. But as always Miss Marple bests them all. I can never tell where she is going. Agatha surprises me everytime.
This collection of Miss Marple stories contains the entirety of "The Tuesday Night Club" and only a few others, which are not, on the whole, as fantastic. But it is a great collection of every short story involving Miss Marple.
All of these short stories involve Miss Marple, Agatha Christie's grandmotherly sleuth of St. Mary Mead. Miss Marple seemed to be a genuine Victorian, sheltered and simple. However, behind those kind eyes was a mind acquainted with all manner of human depravity. Please note that the first 6 stories take place amongst a group, trying to outwit each other with wild tales. Miss Marple, her nephew Raymond West, an artist, a physician. an attorney and an Ex-Commissioner of Scotland Yard are among the guests.
1) THE TUESDAY NIGHT CLUB --*
After 3 people eat tinned lobster and one dies, Miss Marple figures out the solution of who killed the victim and how.
2) THE IDOL HOUSE OF ASTARTE --
An unusual story of 'atmosphere,' where a man is killed without a weapon that anyone could find.
3) INGOTS OF GOLD --
Raymond West, Miss Marple's nephew, shares a story of missing gold off the coast of Cornwall.
4) THE BLOODSTAINED PAVEMENT --
An artist tells of seeing blood on the pavement of a Cornish inn. Based on a Spanish battle in the area from earlier times, that meant someone was going to die. Within 24-hours, a married woman died.
5) MOTIVE V. OPPORTUNITY --
An attorney tells a fascinating tale about an old man who writes a new will, leaving almost all of his fortune to a seance medium who had become part of his household.
6) THE THUMBMARK OF ST. PETER --
Miss Marple tells a tale of an unhappily married couple who also take care of the husband's father. When the husband suddenly dies, the neighbors start to talk about the wife as the murderer. Miss Marple steps in and gets things turned to rights.
7) THE BLUE GERANIUM --
This is a bizarre story about a married woman who constantly hounds her husband and a string of nurses. When a soothsayer visits that ill woman and warns her about blue flowers, she suddenly dies when blue flowers appear on her wallpaper.
8) THE COMPANION --
A physician recalls a strange story of two, nondescript English women who die within a short time of each other, while on vacation.
9) THE FOUR SUSPECTS --
This is a great story about innocence when one cannot prove who killed a German man in the English countryside. The three who are innocent are forever besmirched under the cloud of possibly being a murder. Miss Marple saves the day.
10) THE CHRISTMAS TRAGEDY --
A married couple is at a spa with Miss Marple and the wife dies by being hit over the head with a bag of sand. The murderer would have gotten away except for Miss Marple. I thought this a rather unlikely tale.
11) THE HERB OF DEATH --
Everyone at dinner becomes ill after a dinner of sage and digitalis (mistakenly picked from the garden). However, the owner's niece dies. Is it an accident or murder?
12) THE AFFAIR AT THE BUNGALOW --
This story is so outlandish I won't even try to outline it. A beautiful actress told the story; only Miss Marple understood the significance of the story.
13) DEATH BY DROWNING --
Miss Marple knows who killed Rose Emmott, and it wasn't who the police think. Miss Marple asks Sir Henry Clithering (Ex-Commissioner of Scotland Yard) to intercede and she gives him the name of the murderer.
14) MISS MARPLE TELLS A STORY -- **
Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes, have connecting bedrooms in a hotel. After Mr. Rhodes finished working on scientific papers, went to check on his wife. She'd been stabbed; no one saw anyone leave except Mr. Rhodes and the chambermaid. Who murdered her and why?
15) STRANGE JEST --***
Miss Marple helps a couple find the fortune that their Uncle Mathew left for them. However, he didn't believe in banks so he hid his fortune but the couple has unearthed 2 acres and has found nothing. They will have to sell the old estate soon if they don't find the money.
16) THE CASE OF THE PERFECT MAID --
There's such a thing as too perfect, as Miss Marple proves once again. When an honest but silly maid is sacked when a broach is lost and then found (when the owner threatens to call the police), Miss Marple investigates.
17) THE CASE OF THE CARETAKER --
A happy new couple arrives in the groom's old home. Soon, they demolish and rebuild the old homestead. The old caretaker's wife starts threatening the couple and soon after, the wife is dead. Miss Marple has her justice.
18) TAPE-MEASURE MURDER --
A woman, waiting to try on a new dress, was suffocated while she was at home alone. The seamstress banged on the door until they found the woman dead. Miss Marple figures out the truth.
19) GREENSHAW'S FOLLY -- ****
An elderly woman is murdered with an arrow. The dead woman promised to will all her things to the housekeeper on her death, instead of paying her wages.
20) SANCTUARY --
This is probably one of the most interesting and unique stories Agatha Christie ever wrote. A dying man stumbles to a church and says, 'Sanctuary.' It takes Miss Jane Marple to solve the case. This one is a real page-turner.
* TAKEN FROM THE BOOK 'THE THIRTEEN PROBLEMS' -- Stories 1 - 13.
** TAKEN FROM THE BOOK 'THE REGATTA MYSTERY AND OTHER STORIES' -- Story 14.
***TAKEN FROM THE BOOK 'THREE BLIND MICE AND OTHER STORIES' - Stories 15 - 18.
**** TAKEN FROM DOUBLE SIN AND OTHER STORIES' -- Stories 19 and 20.