Tag Archives: Agatha Christie

A Caribbean Mystery

22 Jan

julia

Agatha Christie’s elderly sleuth gets to kick off her sensible shoes and enjoy some sun and sand before plunging into this dark mystery in the West Indies isle of St Honore.

While holidaying in the Caribbean, Miss Marple (Julia McKenzie) is politely listening as Major Palgrave (Oliver Ford Davies) bores the hotel guests at dinner with another long story about his life, boasting that he has in his possession a photograph of a serial killer. As he goes to show the photo, he suddenly looks up, sees somebody and stops. The next day, he is found dead, apparently of natural causes.

Miss Marple smells a rat, and recruits wheelchair-bound tycoon Jason Rafiel (Antony Sher) as a reluctant sidekick to help her find out who on the idyllic island would want the Major dead. As they probe a web of voodoo enchantments, philandering couples and ancient grudges, the death toll begins to mount and they must race against time to unveil the murderer before more lives are lost.

Filmed in the beautiful beachside locale of Cape Town, South Africa, this gorgeous adaptation features several well-known British actors such as Peep Show‘s Robert Webb as hotelier Tim Kendall, and The Fast Show‘s Charlie Higson, who also wrote the screenplay, in a cameo as ornithologist James Bond who inspired the name of Ian Fleming’s famous spy. A must-see for Marple fans.

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Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple

23 Jul

missmarple Joan Hickson stars as the titular character in this Agatha Christie television series made in the 1980s. Featuring three murder mysteries, this three-disc collection opens with the three-part Body in the Library, where Miss Marple is called in to help after her friend Dolly Bantry discovers the body of a peroxide blonde young woman in her house. However, it is not until a second body turns up that the case takes an unexpected turn.

In The Moving Finger, Miss Marple visits the seemingly peaceful village of Lymston to investigate a nasty case of poison pen letters. Is it a local gossip venting her spleen or is the motive far more sinister?

In A Murder is Announced, the townsfolk are amused to read a notice in the local paper announcing that a murder will take place next Friday at 7pm. However the party game turns terrifying when a real corpse turns up, and no one seems to be telling the truth.

Compared to more recent productions, this series looks a little dated but at 400 minutes of playing time, it certainly offers good value. Described as the “definitive Miss Marple”, Joan Hickson seems born to play the spinster detective, with her faded blue eyes and deceptively fluffy exterior.

While recent Miss Marples including Geraldine McEwan and Julie McKenzie have won accolades, Hickson is probably the only actor to boast of receiving a letter from Christie herself, expressing a wish that she play the coveted role.

PG, 400 mins, BBC