Soon after Gwenda Reed moves into her new home, odd things start to happen. Despite her best efforts to modernize the house, she only succeeds in dredging up its past. Worse, she feels an irrational sense of terror every time she climbs the stairs... In fear, Gwenda turns to Jane Marple to exorcise her ghosts. Between them, they are to solve a 'perfect' crime committed many years before...
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William Morrow Paperbacks
September 07, 2004
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Excerpt from Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie
Gwenda Reed stood, shivering a little, on the quay-side.
The docks and the custom sheds and all of England that she could see, were gently waving up and down.
And it was in that moment that she made her decision -- the decision that was to lead to such very momentous events.
She wouldn't go by the boat train to London as she had planned.
After all, why should she? No one was waiting for her, nobody expected her. She had only just got off that heaving creaking boat (it had been an exceptionally rough three days through the Bay and up to Plymouth) and the last thing she wanted was to get into a heaving swaying train. She would go to a hotel, a nice firm steady hotel standing on good solid ground. And she would get into a nice steady bed that didn't creak and roll. And she would go to sleep, and the next morning -- why, of course -- what a splendid idea! She would hire a car and she would drive slowly and without hurrying herself all through the South of England looking about for a house -- a nice house -- the house that she and Giles had planned she should find. Yes, that was a splendid idea.
In that way she would see something of England -- of the England that Giles had told her about and which she had never seen; although, like most New Zealanders, she called it Home. At the moment, England was not looking particularly attractive. It was a grey day with rain imminent and a sharp irritating wind blowing. Plymouth, Gwenda thought, as she moved forward obediently in the queue for Passports and Customs, was probably not the best of England.
On the following morning, however, her feelings were entirely different. The sun was shining. The view from her window was attractive. And the universe in general was no longer waving and wobbling. It had steadied down. This was England at last and here she was, Gwenda Reed, young married woman of twenty-one, on her travels. Giles's return to England was uncertain. He might follow her in a few weeks. It might be as long as six months. His suggestion had been that Gwenda should precede him to England and should look about for a suitable house. They both thought it would be nice to have, somewhere, a permanency. Giles's job would always entail a certain amount of travelling. Sometimes Gwenda would come too, sometimes the conditions would not be suitable. But they both liked the idea of having a home -- some place of their own. Giles had inherited some furniture from an aunt recently, so that everything combined to make the idea a sensible and practical one.