The Body in the Library (1942) by Agatha Christie [read by Stephanie Cole]
What I feel is that if one has got to have a murder actually happening in one's house, one might as well enjoy it, if you know what I mean.
Colonel Arthur Bantry and his wife Dolly wake up one fine morning to discover their usually well-ordered house in disarray (or at least their household staff to be dismayed). Mary, their maid, on her usual morning rounds had opened the curtains in the library, letting the sunshine in to reveal the body of a blonde woman on the hearth rug. The Bantrys have a difficult time believing that they didn't just dream that Mary came in and announced she'd found a body, but Dolly finally convinces Arthur to go and see. And then when it's proved that there really is a body in the library, the first thing to be done after ringing up the police is to get Miss Marple over as soon as possible to begin sleuthing like mad. Dolly very naturally wants to play detective--after all it's her very first dead body--but she knows that she won't be able to make heads or tails of it. Jane Marple will take care of that and Dolly can play Watson to Miss Marple's Sherlock Holmes. Inspector Slack thinks he gets everything in hand--obviously that film bloke, Basil Blake, with his wild parties and platinum blondes all over the place, must have done it. But Miss Marple knows there's more evil than what the energetic inspector suspects.
I've read this Miss Marple story several times, but after a couple of books that didn't strike my fancy quite they way I had hoped, I wanted something comfortable and familiar. So, I settled down and listened to an audiobook of the third entry in the Marple series. Stephanie Cole does an excellent job with the performance and gives a quite lively reading. It was most enjoyable to visit with Miss Marple, the Bantrys, Colonel Melchett, Sir Henry Clithering, and company again. For a more detailed review of the story, please see my previous review HERE. ★★★★★ for the audio version.
First line: Mrs. Bantry was dreaming.
Last line: And Raymond returned to the ballroom.
Death = 5 (three airplane crash, one strangled; one drugged)