As Jane Marple sat basking in the tropical sunshine she felt mildly discontented with life. True, the warmth eased her rheumatism, but here in paradise nothing ever happened. Then a question was put to her by a stranger: 'Would you like to see a picture of a murderer ' Before she has a chance to answer, the man vanishes, only to be found dead the next day. The mysteries abound: Where is the picture Why is the hotelier prone to nightmares Why doesn't the most talked-about guest, a reclusive millionaire, ever leave his room And why is Miss Marple herself fearful for her life Of note: A Caribbean Mystery introduces the wealthy (and difficult) Mr Jason Rafiel, who will call upon Miss Marple for help in Nemesis (1971) -- after his death.
A Hello from Paradise Pick
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William Morrow Paperbacks
January 07, 2004
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Excerpt from A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie
'Take all this business about Kenya,' said Major Palgrave.
'Lots of chaps gabbing away who know nothing about the place! Now I spent fourteen years of my life there. Some of the best years of my life, too--'
Old Miss Marple inclined her head.
It was a gentle gesture of courtesy. Whilst Major Palgrave proceeded with the somewhat uninteresting recollections of a lifetime, Miss Marple peacefully pursued her own thoughts. It was a routine with which she was well acquainted. The locale varied. In the past, it had been predominantly India. Majors, Colonels, Lieutenant-Generals -- and a familiar series of words: Simla. Bearers. Tigers. Chota Hazri -- Tiffin. Khitmagars, and so on. With Major Palgrave the terms were slightly different. Safari. Kikuyu. Elephants. Swahili. But the pattern was essentially the same. An elderly man who needed a listener so that he could, in memory, relive days in which he had been happy. Days when his back had been straight, his eyesight keen, his hearing acute. Some of these talkers had been handsome soldierly old boys, some again had been regrettably unattractive; and Major Palgrave, purple of face, with a glass eye, and the general appearance of a stuffed frog, belonged in the latter category.
Miss Marple had bestowed on all of them the same gentle charity. She had sat attentively, inclining her head from time to time in gentle agreement, thinking her own thoughts and enjoying what there was to enjoy: in this case the deep blue of a Caribbean Sea.
So kind of dear Raymond -- she was thinking gratefully, so really and truly kind... Why he should take so much trouble about his old aunt, she really did not know. Conscience, perhaps; family feeling Or possibly he was truly fond of her...