Sleeping Murder, the last murder-mystery of the Miss Marple series, is, to me, the best one of the series. It is also one of the best murder mysteries by Agatha Christie. It has all the necessary features one expects from a novel of this genre, and more.
The plot of this murder mystery was cleverly done. And the story is well-written with a good even flow. The mystery was intriguing. It begins when Gwenda Reed experiences a vision of a dead body in her newly bought house. Was it a hallucination? Was the place haunted? Or was some unrested soul crying for justice? Gwenda is not sure. But she knows one thing. If this is an indication of a sleeping murder, she will not let it just lie. And despite Miss Marple’s warning that she might be endangering herself, she, along with her husband, is determined to unravel the mystery behind this cold case.
The story wasn’t fast-paced, and nor was it the nerve-wracking suspenseful type. Rather, it has a steady regular speed and the standard suspense expected of the genre. Yet, this is one of the finest in Agatha Christie’s repertoire. Intrigue, suspense, mystery, and drama are regular features in an Agatha Christie novel, and they were all found here. In addition, a twinge of sadness was felt running as an undercurrent throughout the story. Melancholy is not something you couple with an Agatha Christie novel, but a time or two, I’ve experienced that emotion while reading her. Sleeping Murder was yet another instance I felt similarly. The sad plight of the victim really touched my heart and filled me with melancholy. I think that’s what drove me through the edge and made me fiercely connect with the story.
Miss Marple’s involvement was very little but her contribution to the investigation was indispensable. She even managed to avert another murder being committed! Ah, the clever dear old little pussy! 🙂
I truly enjoyed this bittersweet tale. My early guessing of the criminal (which proved correct) didn’t hinder in any way my enjoying the story. And I’m really happy to part from Miss Marple, after journeying with her half a year, with quite a content heart. The series didn’t begin well for me. But with time, I came to appreciate the talents of Miss Marple and became fond of her. Christie wrote some remarkable stories for this series. But Sleeping Murder will come clearly and dearly to my mind when I think of the Marple series.