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January 2014 Book of the Month: The Body in the Library

TuppenceTuppence City of London, United Kingdom admin
This month we're reading one of the finest of Miss Marple's cases, The Body in the Library, which also happens to be a favourite of British actor and comedian, David Mitchell.

Leave your comments and questions on the story here. Was this your first Miss Marple mystery? If not, how does it compare to the others you've read?
Any questions? Please email [email protected]


  • glalonzo0408glalonzo0408 Pennsylvania, United States ✭✭✭
    Love this book.....will enjoy seeing what others think... :o3

    The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes.

    Agatha Christie

  • This was the first full length Miss Marple I read. It's remained one of my absolute favourites. When I began to read it I found it hard to put down. By the end I was frantic to find out the solution. I wasn't disappointed by the ending. 

    SPOILERS: I didn't guess the murderers because of course they had alibis . I think this is one of the best examples of suspects ruled out who turn out to be guilty. I found so many of the characters interesting. There's many red herrings, in particular the body being found at Basil Blake's home. 

    I think this is a book that works best with Miss Marple solving the crime. She noticed clues, seemingly small details that the detectives didn't. Such as paying attention to nail clippings and slightly worn dresses. Plus people tell seemingly harmless Miss Marple, things that they wouldn't tell to the police. 

    "Do not allow evil into your heart. It will make a home there." Poirot -Death On The Nile
  • I will try to buy and read. It seems to be a very good book. I hope I like it. :D
  • glalonzo0408glalonzo0408 Pennsylvania, United States ✭✭✭
    I will try to buy and read. It seems to be a very good book. I hope I like it. :D
    I have no doubt that you will....ENJOY

    The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes.

    Agatha Christie

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    I do like this one, I like the fact it is set in St Mary Mead and so has Dolly Bantry, which gives it that Coziness, but I think A Murder Is Announced, 4.50 From Paddington and Sleeping Murder are slightly better, We have a Gossington Hall near us, I love the BBC Version and but not the ITV version, David Walliams and Ian Richardson and the boy are Great though.
  • SheriBethSheriBeth Georgia, United States Investigator
    This is one of my very favorite Agatha Christie books!  I just read it last summer, but I'll happily read it again during cold and dreary January!  Love that David Mitchell likes it too!   ;)
  • kaberi.chakrabartykaberi.chakrabarty Illinois, United States Investigator
    I had read this book many years ago but don't really remember the details so am enjoying reading it again. Just started rereading it today. Initial reactions: It's evident that Christie is really having fun with taking an old mystery fiction cliche and making a decent story out of it. So many references to detective fiction in general and how odd it would be to have such a thing really happen. Very "meta", as the kids would say nowadays.
    Also, as soon as I started reading about the "third housemaid" and the butler I couldn't help but think of Downton Abbey. Anybody fancy Dame Maggie Smith as Miss Marple?
  • ZeddieZeddie Ballymoney, United Kingdom Investigator
    I absolutely love this book!! This and Murder at the Vicarage are my favourite Miss Marple stories.
    My favourite Agatha Christie stories have always been the one's where the murderer seemingly has an alibi ( Evil under the sun being another). 
    I have always liked Dolly Bantry and her relationship with Miss Marple and i think this was played brilliantly by Geraldine McEwan & Joanna Lumley in the ITV adaptation. I dont really understand why they felt the need to change one of the murderers but it still worked very well. 
  • SPOILERS!!!! I liked the McEwan Version of Body In The Library -up until the very end. How could they change the murderers?  I have no idea why, but it did generate some controversy. I think it may have backfired though because I know fans who didn't want to watch Marple afterwards. It might be that the person who played the original killer didn't have enough acting experience. It fairness it would be a difficult part to play. But then they if that is the reasons, they should have thought of that when casting! 

    I think Joanna Lumley is wonderful to as Dolly Bantry. 

    I really dislike the Hickson version of Body In The Library.  Normally I love the Hickson versions, she is my favourite Miss Marple. But it was agonizingly slow. The way they re-acted to the body being found was drawn out and rang false. There was a strange character added who gave nothing to the plot. Plus Ruby wore the most terrible platinum blonde wig! 

    "Do not allow evil into your heart. It will make a home there." Poirot -Death On The Nile
  • dispensarynursedispensarynurse Pennsylvania, United States Fan
    edited January 2014
    I've read the Nov and Dec books of the month and for this one I figured I should get into it and post on the message board!

    I'm only about 2 chapters into this but I am happy to say it is much more captivating than I remember. I listened to the audiobook of this several years ago and while good, it never made my top 10 or top 20 even. I did recently watch the Geraldine McEwan version and even though certain things were altered it didn't stop me from wanting to read the book because I knew what I had just watched was going to be different from what I am currently reading. Plus it gives me some good visuals while reading along.

    Marple is my favorite Christie character and I look forward to getting into this book. I should also mention, I'm surprised by how thin the book is. From all the twists and turns I know this book has, I expected a lot more volume to it. I like fast-paced books and hope this one stays as exciting as I think it will be!
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