As Miss Marple sat basking in the Caribbean sunshine she felt mildly discontented with life. True, the warmth eased her rheumatism, but here in paradise nothing ever happened.
Eventually, her interest was aroused by an old soldier's yarn about a murderer he had known. Infuriatingly,... read more
"Would you like to see a picture of a murderer?", Jane Marple is asked by Major Palgrave whilst on a luxurious holiday in the Caribbean. When she replies that she would like to hear the story, he explains. There once was a man who had a wife who tried to hang herself, but failed. Then she... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
"Would you like to see a picture of a murderer?", Jane Marple is asked by Major Palgrave whilst on a luxurious holiday in the Caribbean. When she replies that she would like to hear the story, he explains. There once was a man who had a wife who tried to hang herself, but failed. Then she tried again later, and succeeded in killing herself. The man remarried to a woman who then tried to gas herself to death. She failed, but then tried again later and succeeded. Just as Major Palgrave is about to show the picture to her, he looks over her shoulder, appears startled, and changes the subject. The next morning, a servant, Victoria Johnson, finds him dead in his room. Doctor Graham concludes that the man died of long alcohol poisoning; he showed all the symptoms, and had a bottle of serenite on his table, a drug that soothes the pains of alcohol.
Miss Marple is convinced that Palgrave was murdered, but needs to see the photograph he was about to show her before seeing something over her shoulder that caused him to stop. She asks Doctor Graham to find it, saying it is a picture of her nephew. Meanwhile, she interviews other people, including Tim and Molly Kendall, the owners of the hotel, Mr Rafiel, an invalid, and Esther Walters, Mr. Rafiel's secretary, Lucky Dyson and her husband and Edward and Evelyn Hillingdon. On the beach when Mr Rafiel is going for a swim, Miss Marple sees Senora de Caspearo, a woman on holiday. She says that she remembers Major Palgrave because he had an evil eye. Miss Marple corrects her that he actually has a glass eye, but she still says that it was evil.
Victoria informs the Kendalls that she did not remember seeing the serenite on the man's table when she was tidying up in the afternoon. That night, Victoria is found stabbed. Molly starts having nightmares every night, and Miss Marple investigates why Molly is having nightmares. She finds Jackson in the house looking at Molly's cosmetics, saying that if belladonna was administered to it, then it would cause nightmares. The next night, Tim finds Molly unconscious on the floor, having taken an overdose of sleeping pills. The police are involved, and a cook, Enrico, tells them that he saw Molly Kendall holding a steak knife before going outside. Miss Marple also asks people if Major Palgrave told people about the photo, and other people say that it was not a photo of a wife killer he said, but a husband killer and Miss Marple becomes confused.
The climax? Read the book to find out.
The millionaire Jason Rafiel appears again, posthumously, in the novel Nemesis where he sends Miss Marple on a case specifically because of her success in solving the events related in A Caribbean Mystery.
“Life is more worth living, more full of interest when you are likely to lose it. It shouldn't be, perhaps, but it is. When you're young and strong and healthy, and life stretches ahead of you, living isn't really important at all. It's young people who commit suicide easily, out of despair from love, sometimes from sheer anxiety and worry. But old people know how valuable life is and how interesting.”Ms. Marple
When you think of people, it is in the image you have made of them for yourself.’Highlighted by 11 Kindle customers
‘Ave Caesar, nos morituri te salutamus,’Highlighted by 7 Kindle customers
Life is more worth living, more full of interest when you are likely to lose it. It shouldn’t be, perhaps, but it is. When you’re young and strong and healthy, and life stretches ahead of you, living isn’t really important at all. It’s young people who commit suicide easily, out of despair from love, sometimes from sheer anxiety and worry. But old people know how valuable life is and how interesting.’Highlighted by 5 Kindle customers
they deferred to the criticism of a man. But inwardly they were frustrated, irritated and quite unrepentant.Highlighted by 5 Kindle customers
Molly Kendal was an ingenuous blonde of twenty odd, always apparently in good spirits. She had greeted the old lady warmly and did everything to make her comfortable. Tim Kendal, her husband, lean, dark and in his thirties, had also been kindness itself.Highlighted by 4 Kindle customers
Nobody tells young women who can’t sleep to count sheep, or get up and eat a biscuit, or write a couple of letters and then go back to bed. Instant remedies, that’s what people demand nowadays. Sometimes I think it’s a pity we give them to them. You’ve got to learn to put up with things in life. All very well to stuff a comforter into a baby’s mouth to stop it crying. Can’t go on doing that all a person’s life.’Highlighted by 4 Kindle customers
‘Duncan is dead. After Life’s fitful fever he sleeps well!’Highlighted by 4 Kindle customers
‘Conversations are always dangerous, if you have something to hide,’ said Miss Marple.Highlighted by 4 Kindle customers
‘The many-splendoured weather of an English day,’ she murmured to herself and wondered if it was a quotation, or whether she had made it up.Highlighted by 3 Kindle customers
They’ve both worked like blacks, though that’s an odd term to use out here, for blacks don’t work themselves to death at all, so far as I can see.Highlighted by 3 Kindle customers
1 Major Palgrave tells a Story
2 Miss Marple makes Comparisons
3 A Death in the Hotel
4 Miss Marple seeks Medical Attention
5 Miss Marple makes a Decision
6 In the Small Hours
7 Morning on the Beach
8 A Talk with Esther Walters
9 Miss Prescott and Others
10 A Decision in Jamestown
11 Evening at the Golden Palm
12 Old Sins Cast Long Shadows
13 Exit Victoria Johnson
15 Inquiry continued
16 Miss Marple seeks Assistance
17 Mr Rafiel takes Charge
18 Without Benefit of Clergy
19 Uses of a Shoe
20 Night Alarm
21 Jackson on Cometics
22 A Man in her Life?
23 The Last Day
25 Miss Marple uses her Imagination
We’re hiding the errata, movie connections, books that influenced this book, books influenced by this book, books that cite this book and books cited by this book sections. If you would like to add content to them, you must first make them visible.