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The Body in the Library
By Agatha Christie
Read by Stephanie Cole

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The Body in the Library

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The Body in the Library
A Miss Marple Mystery
By Agatha Christie
Read by Stephanie Cole
The Audio Partners Publishing Corp., (2003)
An Unabridged Recording on Four Cassettes
(Also available in CD format)
ISBN: 1-57270-324-5
Genre: Mystery

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - July 27, 2003

St. Mary Mead is not a town that you'd want to live in. It might just be my imagination, but it sure does seem to have an unusual number of murders for what should be a quiet, country village. Yet, were it not for these multitudinous murders, what would Miss Marple do in her spare time?

For those who have not met her before, Miss Jane Marple is an amateur sleuth extra-ordinaire. Beneath her deceptive, elderly lady's persona, hides a strong willed, intelligent woman who sees it as her personal mission in life to track down every killer who made the mistake of working his craft in St. Mary Mead. Because she is elderly, many people mistakenly believe that Miss Marple is nothing more than a harmless busy body who is just overly curious. They don't realize that her keen mind is busy getting to the bottom of whatever mystery she happens to be gnawing on.

The body in the library is that of a beautiful, peroxided blond. The cause of death was strangulation, and the library in which the corpse was discovered belonged to Colonel Arthur Bantry. Having a murder occur in St. Mary Mead is nothing new, but doxies are. Well, perhaps the girls were not doxies, but they surely did not dress or act in the demur manner in which the women of St. Mary Mead did.

Ever since Basil Blake, a man associated with the movie industry, moved to St. Mary Mead, garishly dressed and painted women had begun to appear in the town. Yet how did one of these women turn up dead on the floor of the library in Grossington Hall? Shortly after the housemaid finds the body, it becomes apparent that no one in the house knows who the girl is, how she came to be in the house, or even who might have killed her. To get to the bottom of the mystery, Mrs. Bantry asks her friend, Miss Marple to investigate the case. In short order the invincible Miss Marple thinks that she knows who the killer might just be. To see if she is right, Miss Marple sets an ingenious trap to catch the culprit.

The Body in the Library is technically a murder mystery, but Agatha Christie wrote it in such a witty, bantering manner that is could easily be classed as a dark comedy. Despite the humorous components of this story, it is a full-blown mystery that will keep you guessing until the end as to just who the real killer is.

This Audio Editions Mystery Masters edition of The Body in the Library is marvelous read by Stephanie Cole who played the crotchety, cane waving, Diana Trent in the fantastic comedy, Waiting for God. Cole 'sounds' just like Miss Marple should! Her reading is vibrant and she manages to bring all the characters in this complex story to life.

The Body in the Library is an all-around great, entertaining mystery that will delight not only Christie fans, but readers of every ilk.

Click Here for a complete list of all the books written by Agatha Christie.

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