A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple Series)

A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple Series)

by Agatha Christie


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The delightful Miss Marple is ensnared in A Caribbean Mystery when a retired military man sparks her curiosity with a photograph and a strange story of a murderer

As Miss Marple sat basking in the Caribbean sunshine, she felt mildly discontented with life. True, the warmth eased her rheumatism, but here in paradise nothing ever happened.

Eventually, her interest was aroused by an old soldier’s yarn about a murderer he had known. Infuriatingly, just as he was about to show her a snapshot of this acquaintance, the Major was suddenly interrupted. A diversion that was to prove fatal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062073686
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/12/2011
Series: Miss Marple Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 83,165
Product dimensions: 7.82(w) x 5.36(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976, after a prolific career spanning six decades.

Date of Birth:

September 15, 1890

Date of Death:

January 12, 1976

Place of Birth:

Torquay, Devon, England


Home schooling

Read an Excerpt

Major Palgrave
tells a Story

"Take all this business about Kenya," said Major Palgrave. "Lots of chaps gabbing away who know nothing about the place! Now I spent fourteen years of my life there. Some of the best years of my life, too--"

Old Miss Marple inclined her head.

It was a gentle gesture of courtesy. While Major Palgrave proceeded with the somewhat uninteresting recollections of a lifetime, Miss Marple peacefully pursued her own thoughts. It was a routine with which she was well acquainted. The locale varied. In the past, it had been predominantly India. Majors, colonels, lieutenant-generals--and a familiar series of words: Simla. Bearers. Tigers. Chota Havi--Tiffin. Khitmagars, and so on. With Major Palgrave the terms were slightly different. Safari. Kikuyu. Elephants. Swahili. But the pattern was essentially the same. An elderly man who needed a listener so that he could, in memory, relive days in which he had been happy. Days when his back had been straight, his eyesight keen, his hearing acute. Some of these talkers had been handsome soldierly old boys, some again had been regrettably unattractive; and Major Palgrave, purple of face, with a glass eye, and the general appearance of a stuffed frog, belonged in the latter category

Miss Marple had bestowed on all of them the same gentle charity. She had sat attentively, inclining her head from time to time in gentle agreement, thinking her own thoughts and enjoying what there was to enjoy, in this case the deep blue of a Caribbean Sea.

So kind of dear Raymond, she was thinking gratefully, so really and truly kind.... Why he should take so much troubleabout his old aunt, she really did not know. Conscience, perhaps; family feeling? Or possibly he was truly fond. of her . . .

She thought, on the whole, that he was fond of her-he always had been--in a slightly exasperated and contemp. tuous way! Always trying to bring her, up to date. Sending her books to read. Modem novels. So difficult-all about such unpleasant people, doing such very odd things and not, apparently, even enjoying them. "Sex" as a word had not been much mentioned in Miss Marple's young days, but there had been plenty of it--not talked about so muchbut enjoyed far more than nowadays, or so it seemed to her. Though, usually labelled Sin, she couldn't help feeling that that was preferable to what it seemed, to be nowaday--a kind of, Duty.

Her glance strayed for a moment to the book on her lap lying open at page twenty-three, which was as far as shehad got (and indeed as far as she felt like getting!).

"Do you mean that you've had no sexual experience at ALL?" demanded the young man incredulously. "At nineteen! But you must. It's vital."

The girl hung her head unhappily, her straight greasy hair fell forward over her face.

"I know," she muttered, "I know."

He looked at her, stained old jersey, the bare feet, the dirty toenails, the smell of rancid fat ... He wondered why he found her so maddeningly attractive.

Miss Marple wondered, too! And really! to have sex experience urged on you exactly as though it was an iron tonic! Poor young things...

"My dear Aunt Jane, why must you bury your head in the sand like a very delightful ostrich? All bound up in this idyllic rural life of yours. REAL LIFE--that's what matters."

Thus Raymond--and his Aunt Jane had looked properly abashed and said "Yes," she was, afraid she was rather old-fashioned.

Though really rural life was far from idyllic. People likeRaymond were so ignorant. In, the course of her dutiesin a country parish, Jane Marple had acquired quite acomprehensive knowledge of thefacts of rural life. She hadno urge to talk about them, far less to write about them-but she knew them. Plenty of sex, natural and unnatural.Rape, incest, perversions of all kinds. (Some kinds, indeed,that even the clever young men from Oxford who wrotebooks didn't seem to have heard about.)

Miss Marple came back to the Caribbean and took up the thread of what Major Palgrave was saying....

"A very unusual experience," she said encouragingly., "Most interesting."

"I could tell you a lot more. Some of the things, of course, not fit for a lady's ears--"

With the ease of long practice, Miss Marple dropped her eyelids in a fluttery fashion, and Major Palgrave continued his bowdlerized version of tribal customs while Miss Marple resumed her thoughts of her affectionate nephew.

Raymond West was a very successful novelist and made a large income, and he conscientiously and kindly did all he, could to alleviate the life of his elderly aunt. The preceding winter she had had a bad go of pneumonia, and medical opinion had advised sunshine. In lordly fashion Raymond had suggested a trip to the West Indies. Miss Marple had demurred--at the expense, the distance, the difficulties of travel, and at abandoning her house in St. Mary Mead. Raymond had dealt with everything. A friend who was writing a book wanted a quiet place in the country. "He'll look after the house all right. He's very house-proud. He's a queer. I mean--"

He had paused, slightly embarrassed-but surely even dear old Aunt Jane must have heard of queers.

He went on to deal with the next points. Travel was nothing nowadays. She would go by air-another friend, Diana Horrocks, was going out to Trinidad and would see Aunt Jane was all right as far as there, and at St. Honore she would stay at the Golden Palm Hotel, which was run by the Sandersons. Nicest couple in the world. They'd see she was all right. He'd write to them straightaway.

As it happened the Sandersons had returned to England. But their successors, the Kendals, had been very nice and friendly and had assured Raymond that he need have no qualms about his aunt. . . .

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

Mary Daheim

“Jane Marple has an uncanny combination of elderly gentility and bedrock cynicism about human foibles learned by observing the mundane in everyday village life.”

Customer Reviews

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A Caribbean Mystery: Miss Marple Series, Book 9 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If super hero capes came in fluffy pink wool, Miss Marple would have one. Her super her name? Nemesis, of course. Why do I have this mental picture of her sharing afternoon tea with the Hulk?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my favorites! The twisted plot gives it a hard to find murderer and fun reading. I would definatly recommend this book for anyone who likes a hard to solve mystery! My favorite character by far in any of Agatha Christie's books is Jane Marple, because she never fails to find the murderer, even though she is old. If you begin to read this book and find it boring, don't give up on it! It will get better very soon!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was witty, but not quite as witty and clever as Agatha Christie's 'Hercule Poirot' series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Miss Marple is sent to the West Indies by her nephew Raymond West who hopes the sunshine will help her rheumatism and speed her recovery from a touch of pneumonia. While there, she stays at the Golden Palm Hotel. In a conversation with retired Major Palgrave she hears a story about a murderer who may be nearby. The discussion is interrupted and before Miss Marple can learn more the Major is murdered. She sets out to solve the mystery utilizing her best weapon which is conversation.Away from St. Mary Meade or similar environments , however, Miss Marple is out of her element and without her usual friends and contacts to discuss the case.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the Carribbean! Fantastic setting for a murder mystery . Could'nt think of anything better!
Anonymous 4 months ago
The best mystery writer ever in the business!
abbie_g on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I did not care for this at all. I knew who did the killer was less than halfway through the book. I thought Christie was supposed to be better than that! I only finished the book because, due to this author's reputation, I thought I had to be wrong, but no. Such a huge disappointment.
jnicholson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Miss Marple takes a holiday in the Caribbean, only to come up against a serial murderer who is about to kill again. Not the most memorable of plots, but an unusual method of murder.
riverwillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Miss Marple is staying at a Caribbean hotel when her suspicions are raised by the death of Major Palgrave who may or may not have a photography of a murderer who he recognises as being at the hotel. Miss Maple gets to the bottom of the mystery in her own initimitable way.
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Like to see the picture of a murderer?"Major Palgrave was the man with a million stories, and everyone vacationing at the lovely Golden Palm Hotel on the Caribbean island of St. Honoré tried to avoid him like the plague. Once he got started, he never stopped. His latest victim, so to speak, was Jane Marple, who had come to the Golden Palm to recuperate after a serious bout of pneumonia. Knitting bag in hand, Miss Marple was sitting, half listening and making polite replies once in a while, until Major Palgrave started speaking about her favorite topic: murder. He begins to tell her a rather unusual story about a man who got away with murder more than once, and when Palgrave asks her if she wanted to see a picture of a murderer, the knitting stops and she's all eyes and ears. But after he fishes through his wallet for the photo, he suddenly stops and changes the subject rather abruptly and rather loudly. Taken aback, Miss Marple looks up to see why and sees several people nearby. Although curious, she goes right back to her knitting. The next day, when one of the maids finds Major Palgrave dead in his room, apparently from natural causes, Miss Marple can't help but wonder if all is as it seems. When she creates a clever story to retrieve the photograph Palgrave was about to show her, it's gone, and now she's interested.Miss Marple is the perfect detective. When people look at her they see "all knitting wool and tittle-tattle," and she becomes more or less invisible that way, easily dismissed by most of the players. But one man, wealthy businessman Jason Rafiel, sees right through her. And since Jane is not in St. Mary Mead at the moment, with no help from the likes of Sir Henry Clithering, it is Rafiel to whom she turns in hopes of preventing more death. A Caribbean Mystery is lighter in tone than some of her other Marple mysteries, slowly paced and there are spots where my interest definitely flagged. The mystery plotline was good, although a bit predictable. The ocean, the sand, the palms and the steel band music definitely brought the Caribbean to mind while reading, since I've been there a number of times. And although this isn't one of my favorites in the Marple series, I couldn't help but enjoy watching her brain at work. My advice to potential Christie readers: put this one somewhere in the middle of your reading schedule and start with some of the other Marple stories.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just reread this one. Miss Marple goes to the Caribbean for a little sun and relaxation. But even here, murder follows. A fellow guest dies after telling her about a murderer he once met. She finds that a bit more than coincidence, especially when another person dies. Only Miss Marple can solve the crime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Be aware that this version changes Mr. Rafiel's name to Mr. Rafter. Story is excellent, but this quirk in the edition is a bit annoying.
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