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Short Story Monday – The Four Suspects and A Christmas Tragedy by Agatha Christie

>> Monday, August 15, 2011

I’m continuing with the related short story collection featuring the Tuesday Night Club.

The Four Suspects and A Christmas Tragedy by Agatha Christie
Part of a collection published as The Thirteen Problems originally published 1932
Published: originally published 1932 this edition published 2004 by Harper Collins

I’m continuing with this collection and I read two more stories this week. This has been such a great introduction to Miss Marple and is making me eager to read some of the books featuring her. The second set of stories in the collection takes place about a year after the meetings of the Tuesday Night Club when a new group of friends who enjoy puzzling out mysteries gather. Miss Marple and Sir Henry Clithering a former Scotland Yard Detective are the holdovers from the first group.

In The Four Suspects, Sir Henry Clithering is the one who tells the story.

It’s an unsolved case in which a man was found dead at the bottom of the stairs and while it may have been an accident, there were only four people at his house with him and all four are suspects in the mind of Sir Henry. Dr. Rosen had earned the enmity of a German Secret society and when he moved to England he fully expected that he would be killed someday. None of Sir Henry’s four suspects have an alibi or were seen by anyone else at the time of Dr. Rosen’s death. A key clue is the mail delivery the day of Dr. Rosen’s death and this time Miss Marple and Mrs Bantry (one of the other members of the group) together manage to solve the case.

In A Christmas Tragedy, it’s Miss Marple’s turn to share a story.

She tells about her visit to a spa around Christmas time. One of the couples she met had her worried from the very beginning that the man was out to murder his wife. They were living off her income but not able to touch the capital. She was able to will her money to her husband and had done so. Miss Marple gave some examples of why her instincts were so strong about Mr. Sanders and his motives. One afternoon when Miss Marple and another woman are in the lounge, Mr. Sanders arrives from an outing with friends. He asks the ladies for their opinion on a gift he’d purchased for his wife, but when they go up to the room they see her body on the floor. Miss Marple then tells how the investigation into Mrs. Sanders death proceeded and asks the other members of the group if they’ve figured it out. Of course they haven’t so Miss Marple explains what really happened,

I’m enjoying the second group of stories in this collection even more than the first. I’m hoping to wrap up the final three next week.

Short Story Mondays is hosted by John at The Book Mine Set.


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