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The Body in the Library, by Agatha Christie
The stately manor house known as Gossington Hall is not the place one expects to stumble over a dead body. Certainly not the body of a blonde in a tawdry dress. Definitely not a blonde who is discovered dead in the library. However, the corpse of a young blonde is definitely what was found by the maid early one morning in Colonel Bantry's library.
While Colonel Bantry seems stunned at the discovery, his wife Dolly knows just what to do and she immediately places a telephone call to her friend, Miss Jane Marple. Although Miss Marple appears to be a slightly nosy spinster, she is (rather like Agatha Christie herself) a Queen of Crime.
Hearing of the discovery of a corpse in the Bantry library, Miss Marple rushes to Gossington Hall. She arrives at the manor house even before the local constable can show up to secure the crime scene.
Miss Marple immediately senses that something just doesn't look right. The blonde corpse is wearing a dress made of cheap fabric that makes the victim look like a floozy. Yet, the young woman's nails are bitten short like a schoolgirl's. It just doesn't seem quite real somehow.
Miss Marple agrees to aid her friends and she and Dolly Bantry immediately set out to find out who the body is and why she was placed in such a compromising position at Gossington Hall. The villagers are already beginning to look at poor Colonel Bantry with more than a touch of suspicion, so time is of the essence.
This book marked the third appearance of the spinster sleuth, Miss Marple in an Agatha Christie story. The elderly woman with a penchant for solving crimes debuted in Murder at the Vicarage in 1930, followed by The Thirteen Problems in 1932.
Dame Agatha waited more than a decade to reprise her elderly spinster in the classic mystery, The Body in the Library. Mystery fans were delighted to read more about the little old lady who knew all about the wicked ways of the world. As Miss Marple often explains, you can learn so much about evil from living in her quiet country village of St. Mary Mead.
If you love classic manor house mysteries with twists, turns and a puzzling ending, pick up a copy of Christie's The Body in the Library. Brew a cup of tea and enjoy one of the best English mystery novels ever written!
Read our biography of Agatha Christie.