Nemesis: A Miss Marple Mystery

Nemesis: A Miss Marple Mystery

by Agatha Christie


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In Agatha Christie’s baffling detective story, Nemesis, a letter from a dead man instructs Miss Marple how to conduct an investigation into a puzzlingly unspecific crime.

In utter disbelief, Miss Marple read the letter addressed to her from the recently deceased Mr. Rafiel—an acquaintance she had met briefly on her travels. He had left instructions for her to investigate a crime after his death. The only problem was, he had failed to tell her who was involved or where and when the crime had been committed. It was most intriguing.

Soon she is faced with a new crime—the ultimate crime—murder. It seems someone is adamant that past evils remained buried. . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062073709
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/12/2011
Series: Miss Marple Mysteries , #12
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 121,740
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 5.34(h) x 0.76(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

Chapter One


In the afternoons it was the custom of Miss Jane Marple to unfold her second newspaper. Two newspapers were delivered at her house every morning. The first one Miss Marple read while sipping tier early morning tea, that is, if it was delivered in time. The boy who delivered the papers was notably erratic in his management of time. Frequently, too, there was either a new boy or a boy who was acting temporarily as a stand-in for the first one. And each one would have ideas of his own as to the geographical route that he should take in delivering. Perhaps it varied monotony for him. But those customers who were used to reading their paper early so that they could snap up the more saucy items in the day's news before departing for their bus, train or other means of progress to the day's work were annoyed if the papers were late, though the middle-aged and elderly ladies who resided peacefully in St. Mary Mead often preferred to read a newspaper propped up on their breakfast table.

Today, Miss Marple had absorbed the front page and a few other items in the daily paper that she had nicknamed "The Daily All-Sorts," this being a slightly satirical allusion to the fact that her paper, the Daily Newsgiver, owing to a change of proprietor, to her own and to other of her friends' great annoyance, now provided articles on men's tailoring, women's dress, female hearthrobs, competitions for children, and complaining letters from women and had managed pretty well to shove any real news off any part of it but the front page, or to some obscure comer where it was impossible to find it. Miss Marple, being old-fashioned, preferredher newspapers to be newspapers and give you news.

In the afternoon, having finished her luncheon, treated herself to twenty minutes' nap in a specially purchased, upright armchair which catered for the demands of her rheumatic back, she had opened The Times, which lent itself still to a more leisurely perusal. Not that The Times was what it used to be. The maddening thing about The Times was that you couldn't find anything any more. Instead of going through from the front page and knowing where everything else was so that you passed easily to any special articles on subjects in which you were interested, there were now extraordinary interruptions to this time-honoured program. Two pages were suddenly devoted to travel in Capri with illustrations. Sport appeared with far more prominence than it had ever had in the old days. Court news and obituaries were a little more faithful to routine. The births, marriages and deaths which had at one time occupied Miss Marple's attention first of all owing to their prominent position had migrated to a different part of The Times, though of late, Miss Marple noted, they had come almost permanently to rest on the back page.

Miss Marple gave her attention first to the main news on the front page. She did not linger long on that because it was equivalent to what she had already read this morning, though possibly couched in a slightly more dignified manner. She cast her eye down the table of contents. Articles, comments, science, sport; then she pursued her usual plan, turned the paper over and had a quick run down the births, marriages and deaths, after which she proposed to turn to the page given to correspondence, where she nearly always found something to enjoy; from that she passed on to the Court Circular, on which page today's news from the sale rooms could also be found. A short article on science was often placed there, but she did not propose to read that. It seldom made sense for her.

Having turned the paper over as usual to the births, marriages and deaths, Miss Marple thought to herself, as so often before:

"It's sad really, but nowadays one is only interested in the deaths! "

People had babies, but the people who had babies were not likely to be even known by name to Miss Marple. If there had been a column dealing with babies labelled as grandchildren, there might have been some chance of a pleasurable recognition. She might have thought to herself-.

"Really, Mary Prendergast has had a third granddaughter!" though even that perhaps might have been a bit remote.

She skimmed down Marriages, also with not a very close survey, because most of her old friends' daughters or sons had married some years ago already. She came to the Deaths column and gave that her more serious attention. Gave it enough, in fact, so as to be sure she would not miss a name. Alloway, Angopastro, Arden, Barton, Bedshaw, Burgoweisser (dear me, what a Gerawn name, but he seemed to be late of Leeds). Camperdown, Carpenter, Clegg. Clegg? Now was that one of the Cleggs she knew? No, it didn't seem to be. Janet Clegg. Somewhere in Yorkshire. McDonald, McKenzie, Nicholson. Nicholson? No. Again not a Nicholson she knew. Ogg, Ormerod -- that must be one of the aunts, she thought. Yes, probably so. Linda Ormerod. No, she hadn't known her. Quantril? Dear me, that must be Elizabeth Quantril. Eighty-five. Well, really! She had thought Elizabeth Quantril had died some years ago. Fancy her having lived so long! So delicate she'd always been, too. Nobody had expected her to make old bones. Race, Radley, Rafiel. Rafiel? Something stirred. That name was familiar. Rafiel. Belford Park, Maidstone. Belford Park, Maidstone. No, she couldn't recall that address. No flowers. Jason Rafiel. Oh, well, all unusual name. She supposed she'd just heard it somewhere. Ross-Perkins. Now that might be-no, it wasn't. Ryland? Emily Ryland. No. No, she'd never known an Emily Ryland. Deeply loved by her husband and children. Well, very nice or very sad, whichever way you liked....

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

Anne Perry

“Agatha Christie proves that if you really are good enough, you can break all the ‘rules’ and still come up with a winner.”

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Nemesis 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book. Interesting characters, good story, and in well-written language. Always love A. Christie.
poodlemagic More than 1 year ago
My daughter and I have purchased 16 of her novels on audio thus far and this one ranks up with the top ones we like. I definitely suggest this one and a very good listen, good plot, good twists, just an enjoyable story to listen to and try to guess who did the crime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Agatha was eighty one when she wrote this and it has no less punch to the whole story than when she was thirty one. She certainly deserves her standing at the top of the heap of all those who write books for entertainment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is great if you can deal with pages 120 through 154 repeating themselves as pages 157 through 198. Same for pages 204 through 236, the actual end of the book, repeating as pages 237 through 274. It also appears that something is missing starting on page 110.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you love solving puzzles, this is the perfect story got you. BUT read A CARRIBEAN MYSTERY first, as that book sets the stage for this mystery. Don't forget to see the movies!
JulesJones on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The last of the Marple novels to be written, and the second last in chronological order. It shows, with Miss Marple feeling her age, and feeling the loss of her ability to tend to her garden herself. But her gardening skills feature strongly in this book, as she uses them to test the claimed background of various suspects. Marple herself doesn't know what the mystery is at first, because she has been asked by an acquaintence from a previous case to investigate something for him -- only the request is set up to be delivered after his death, and with no actual information about the case, simpy instructions that take her to places where she can observe and form her own conclusions untainted by his biases. Marple is indeed the Nemesis that Jason Rafiel was hoping for, bringing a late but much-needed justice to an old case.I thought the writing could have been tighter, but Marple herself was a delight in this book. Enjoyed this a lot.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nemesis by Agatha Christie features Miss Jane Marple as she embarks upon a quest that a previous acquaintance has asked her to complete. She feels compelled to do this as the request came from beyond the grave. She is supplied tickets to a coach tour of Beautiful Homes and Gardens, and having no real knowledge of what she is supposed to discover, off she goes.Tension mounts slowly in this book as Miss Marple painstakingly puts the pieces together and finally realizes that she is to be the Nemesis for someone who got away with murder a number of years ago. She must study the characters around her, both on the tour and in the countryside where they stay. With her uncanny knack for sensing evil on full alert, it isn¿t too long before murder is on the agenda, and Jane Marple must tread very carefully or she could very well be in great danger as well.This was an interesting mystery that had Miss Marple more actively involved then usual. Instead of being overlooked while she observes all quietly from a corner, this time Miss Marple is front and center in the storyline as she takes control of the investigation. A well-done, entertaining mystery, that suffers a little from a slow start but the suspense builds nicely.
Sharonkincaid on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read them all......My favorites are the Miss Marples.......
2percentmilk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kinda dull, but still a good cozy mystery!
bohemima on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although this is a very late Christie, written well beyond her golden era, the opening chapter is a sheer delight in the author's classic style, as Miss Marple indulges in a long, discursive meditation on reading the newspapers.Miss M., despite being considerably aged and lame ("On'e feet are not what one would like feet to be," she silently laments as she contemplates her infirmities), she's still very sharp, if a bit more scattered, and able to spot a killer with ease. The careful reader will spot the truth fairly early on, but getting to Miss Marple's conclusions is interesting, if not as much fun as the earlier novels. One thing that makes this less than her best book is the absence of some of the characters from her standard books. A good relaxing read, but not her best book.If you like Christie, do give this a chance.
ianw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A bit too contrived for my taste.
Schmerguls on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the 9th c hristie book i've read. It came out in 1971, just four years before Christie's death in 1975. Miss Marple is given a vague assignment by a man she had encountered in the West Indies who has died. He seeks to have his wayward son cleared of a murder he doesn't think he committed. Miss Marple goes on the bus tour of gardens and houses in England designated by the dead man, and when the tourt gets to a certain town she is invited to stay at the house of three sisters. There are 2 old murders and one new one and of course Miss maple solves them all. The scenario nis very contrived and everything goes like clockwork, in typical Christie fashion. I read it with interest but it does not compare with the realy great Christie novels such as And Then There Were None and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. But it was OK.
bria.lynne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perhaps my favorite Agatha Christie to date.
kaionvin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In which I mostly skirt around my incredibly long and ever-expanding views on societal victim-shaming because who has days to type that up and people just want to know about the wacky British people, for godssakeNemesis starts very intriguingly, with Mr. Rafiel, introduced in A Caribbean Mystery leaving Miss Marple in his will twenty-thousand pounds, given she solve a mystery for him. Old hat for Miss Marple, right? Except she won't be told the who, the what, the where, or the when of the crime, only the code word "Nemesis".I feel a little guilty giving this a lower rating than A Caribbean Mystery, as it does feature a much more involving mystery, full of messed-up psycho-sexual dimensions to which Agatha Christie gives much more body than Caribbean trifle. But it is also in need of a judicious amount of editing: it takes a far bit to get moving, the same clues and recaps of events are repeated incessantly, and Christie's style heavily leans on dialogue where a little narration would be a lot more efficient. This undermines the solid core of the story Christie is weaving, but more problematic is her shockingly regressive views, which arise in several contexts, but most specifically as those that shame how young women of "today"(1971 is the publication date) act too "loosely".This is most egregious in some victim-shaming that occurs, which crops up not once but multiple times by several different characters. I chose one example to discuss, just because it's the most elaborated, but the other examples are much the same. **MILD SPOILERS, if you don't want to know anything about what the case is** The following are words from a crime/police-psychologist, who thinks the man in question does not have the personality of someone capable of the murder of a girlfriend for which he's been convicted. Said convict is a known compulsive liar, thief, gangster, delinquent baby daddy, and who was involved in a previous assault case with another girlfriend: (excuse the length, but I wanted to give you the fullest context necessary)"That [earlier case] told against him, of course. Not in the jury's mind, because of course they did not hear about that until after the judge's summing up, but certainly in the judge's mind [...] I made a few inquiries myself afterwards. He had assaulted a girl. He had conceivably raped her, but he had not attempted to strangle her and in my opinion--I have seen a great many cases which come before the assizes--it seemed to me highly unlikely that there was a very definite case case of rape. Girls, you must remember, are far more ready to be raped nowadays than they used to be. Their mothers insists, very often, that they should call it rape. The girl in question had had several boy friends who had gone further than friendship. I did not think it counted very greatly as evidence against him. The actual murder case--yes, that was undoubtedly murder--but I continued to feel by all the tests [...] none of them accorded with this particular crime." Yes, a man who fits many of the dimensions by which we define sociopathy, and who has a history of violence towards a girlfriend, is totally incapable of committing a murder (of which he was convicted even without the details of the assault-case being heard at trial, a trial where he had the best defense money could buy). He beat her, but he didn't strangle her, so he's clearly he's a nonviolent soul. Women who have had several boyfriends cannot be raped. She's lying. These later two implications are particularly horrible and hurtful, because besides being ugly and ignorant and false, are also much more prevalent even today than they should be in any right-minded society.**end spoilers**I'm not demonizing Agatha Christie. I haven't read enough of her to characterize her work as a whole or to really disseminate her worldview. But I do think it's very telling looking at the publication dates of her most popular works, that most o
charlie68 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought it was an above average mystery, with some deep themes about love and the dark side of love.
NellieMc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Classic Ms. Marple -- what's not to love? And this is actually one of her best -- but read Caribbean Mystery first.
jnicholson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rafiel leaves Miss Marple a mystery in his will. Two mysteries, in fact, since she must figure out what the mysery is first! Without knowing any details, she must undertake to correct an injustice.This novel meanders through coach tours, English gardens and village life before arriving at the core of the mystery.
riverwillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mr Rafiel, from 'A Caribbean Mystery' has died and has has left Miss Marple £20,000 if she agrees to undertake an investigation. Although he gives her no clues as to who or what he wants her to look into, Miss Marple agrees to undertake the task and is sent on a coach tour of English country houses and gardens. When one of her companions is killed, Miss Marple discovers just whose death Mr Rafiel wanted her to investigate and why. Ultimately she discovers just how destructive and terrible love can be. This is one of my favourite Miss Marple novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Christie brings back the interesting Mr. Rafiel from "The Caribbean Mystery", so he can enlist his unorthodox Nemesis in the search for justice. This one is brilliant from start to finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am reading through all of Christie's Miss Marple stories and thought this would be easiest to do on the Nook. There have been issues with typos, nothing unusual, but this book had several chapters out of order. Not sure what went wrong with the proofreading here, but if someone could correct the repeated chapters it would make for a cleaner read.
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
Good story but seemed to drag a bit at mid-point. Once again, twists and turns that keep you guessing but I was able to figure it out shortly before the true killer was revealed. A typical and somewhat predictable Agatha Christie novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The description or overview of this book says it is about the murder of a character in another novel by Agatha Christie. I had recently read and enjoyed that novel (A Caribbean Mystery) and chose to read Nemesis as a follow-up. However, the story line of Nemesis is NOT about Mr. Rafiel's murder. Instead, he asks Miss Marple to investigate a murder his son was blamed for. It was not only disappointing that the story wasn't what I expected, but it was also not one of the more intriguing novels by Agatha Christie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago