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A Caribbean Mystery, Agatha Christie Book review

Written by eastern writer on Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Plot Summary of A Caribbean Mystery

"Miss Marple is on vacation at a beautiful Caribbean resort, and longs for a little excitement. Her wish is granted when another elderly guest, Major Palgrave, is found dead. Although it appears to be from natural causes, Miss Marple finds it suspicious that he is killed only a few hours after relating to her a story of a husband who killed his wife, a story which he quickly stopped telling after seeing a group of the hotel's other guests coming toward him. Even more suspicious when a young hotel maid is killed a short while later. Miss Marple plays the part of the foolish old maid for much of this story as she attempts to solve the mystery."
Steph, Resident Scholar

"A Caribbean Mystery places the sweet Miss Marple in a tropical paradise. In the beginning Miss Marple is quite bored, even though everybody treats her quite nice. Excitement comes from nowhere when she realise that the death of the old Major Palgrave might not be quite that natural as everybody believes (or want to believe). The only clue is a conversation with the victim (when she wasn't actually listening carefully) and a missing picture of "a murderer" which the Major had. Things are getting pretty complicated with the death of the servant Victoria Johnson (which was trying the blackmail the murderer) and the death of a woman, which came on the island with her husband and one other couple. More than that, is appears that their host doesn't remember where she was during the murders, but her husband is trying to protect her.
In all this Miss Marple can only count on an old, rich and arrogant man. Or can she?
Claudia, Resident Scholar

"Miss Jane Marple is vacationing in luxurious St. HonorĂ© in the Caribbean Islands. Just as she begins to get used to the slow and monotonous island life, a shocking question awakes her dormant curiosity: “Would you like to see a picture of a murderer?” Suddenly, the same man who had asked her this is found dead in his room the next morning. As fellow hotel residents brush off this event, Miss Marple begins to dig deeper into this, more than coincidental, death.

At the same time, Victoria, a local islander and maid, finds the death of old Major Palgrave quite strange as well. The rumors of the Major's high blood pressure had been verified with a prescription bottle found on his sink. Victoria dares to go against this fact by telling the owners and several other members that she had never seen this bottle in his room ever before. Will this knowledge help the case or hurt more victims?

Miss Marple begins to piece together clues from bits of gossip and accounts of hotel residents. One resident in particular even shows interest in her cause. Reclusive, rude, and rich Mr. Rafiel, the oldest man there, becomes rather friendly to Miss Marple and plans on helping her with this case with any knowledge he's got. "
Ariel Smith, Resident Scholar

Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 40%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 10%

How difficult to spot villain? - Difficult, but some clues given
Time/era of story: - 1930's-1950's
What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot? - 80%
Special suspect? - lover
Kind of investigator - british mystery (I say!)
Crime Thriller Yes
Murder Mystery (killer unknown) Yes

Main Character
Gender - Female
Profession/status: - unemployed
Age: - 60's-90's
How much violence does he/she use? - none
Ethnicity/Race - British
How sensitive is this character? - sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor - Cynical sense of humor
Intelligence - Very much smarter than other characters
Physique - healthy but a geeky weakling

Main Adversary
Identity: - Male
Age: - 20's-30's
Motive of antagonist - money/treasure
How sensitive is this character? - mean, arrogant
Sense of humor - Mostly serious with occasional humor
Intelligence - Smarter than most other characters
Physique - very athletic

Island? Yes
Island: - Caribbean Island
Misc setting - resort/hotel

Part of a series? Yes
Person - mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death? - moderately detailed references to deaths
How many deaths? - 3-4
Unusual forms of death - poisoning
Unusual form of death? Yes
Amount of dialog - roughly even amounts of descript and dialog


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