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At Bertram’s Hotel

//by Agatha Christie//published 1965//

746398In this Miss Marple mystery, she is once again on a nephew-Raymond sponsored holiday.  This time, Miss Marple has gone to London to stay at Bertram’s.  Bertram’s has been around forever.  A quiet, respectable hotel that, somehow, time has touched very lightly.  Everything about Bertram’s is really quite perfect, and Miss Marple is delighted to see how little it has changed since she was there as a girl.

This mystery is a bit odd because the murder is towards the end of the story and is, in many ways, rather anticlimactic.  The real mystery is more about a criminal ring that has been pulling have fantastic heists all around the countryside.  While we start and end with Miss Marple, much of the middle bit follows Chief Inspector Davy, who meanders around collecting bits and pieces of information.  Of course, Miss Marple frequently just so happens to be at the right place at the right time, and hears some critical conversations and makes some critical deductions.

At Bertram’s Hotel was a solid read, but, as with most of Miss Marple’s books, not really one that struck me as amazing.  I’m really just not as huge of a fan of Christie’s later works,  as they so often seem to lack the zing of her earlier stories.  Still, this was a perfectly acceptable installment in the Miss Marple series.  3/5.

4 thoughts on “At Bertram’s Hotel

  1. I always had very mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, I loved the idea of Bertram’s (especially those perfectly poached eggs!), but on the other, all the stuff about the doppelgangers just never seemed to make any sense…

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    • I know. I somehow enjoyed the story, and absent-minded Canon Pennyfather, but… in the end, the whole story felt rather rambly and not very cohesive, almost as though Christie wasn’t sure what the mystery was, either. The ending also feels strange – the murder didn’t fit naturally into the story, so the Chief Inspector’s determination to bring her to justice seems weird.

      So yes, not one of her best in my opinion, but even her not-best are frequently better than others’ bests, I often find!

      Liked by 1 person

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