To keep myself from reading A Murder Is Announced before my nice new copy arrived, I caved in and selected a different “agatha”. I chose
At Bertram’s Hotel — kind of a late one written in the 60s, but still pretty good. The last time I was in France (Gosh, it’s good to be able to throw in a phrase like that!) I bought a copy of A L’Hôtel Bertram and thought I’d sharpen up my French and read it side by side with the English version.
Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha—–
But instead, I’ll give you a side by side and you can do the work yourself. Hm, wordpress and I are having a little tiff and I can’t get these exactly side by side, so I’ll pretend that I want you to read the French and see if you can tell what it’s saying before you glance down at the English. ——
OK, Miss Marple visits the Bertram Hotel which miraculously is still in its fine old form the way it was before The War. The chairs have tall legs and high seats that an older woman can get out of easily. There is tea service with luscious buttered muffins, seed cake—rooms modernized but not too much so, including modern bathrooms that have flowered tiles so they are not coldly hygienic. A comfortable writing lounge with tall armchairs (where a person might overhear a conversation because unseen . . .) a large main room with broad blazing fires. Shopping in London. Miss Marple looks forward to a grand two week vacation provided by her loving nephew, Raymond.
It was great fun reading about the atmosphere. Unf, some robberies occur–big ones, train robberies and so forth and one wonders if there will ever be a good old fashioned murder. Nearly at the end of the book, there is, and we get back to plot and motive and a few twists.
I prefer the cozy English village mysteries of Agatha Christie’s, but the London background in this one made fast reading.
Four mystery button review: