Written in 1940, but not published until 1976, Sleeping Murder is Miss Marple’s last case and is a very fitting climax to an amazing career.
This is one of a handful of retrospective murder mysteries that Agatha Christie wrote; that is, the murder being investigated has occurred some years previously.
Gwenda Reed, newly arrived in England from her home in New Zealand is house-hunting in Devon for a suitable residence in which to settle down with her husband of three months who is to join her shortly. On the outskirts of the small seaside town of Dillmouth, she sees a For Sale sign on a white Victorian villa and immediately decides that this is the house for her. Before long she has taken up residence and feels that she has come home. However, although she has never been in England before, everything about the house is strangely familiar and she has a terrifying vision of a murder.
Subsequent events lead Gwenda to start investigating past happenings in the house, although this is against the advice of Miss Marple who tells her is would be better to ‘let sleeping murder lie.’ And sure enough, past evil is resurrected with tragic results for some.
This is a really excellent murder mystery, and a close study of the inter-relationships of the people concerned ought to give the reader a clear pointer to the culprit (but probably won’t, it didn’t with me!) Miss Marple plays a relatively minor role in this novel, although of course it is she who arrives at the correct conclusion and unmasks the villain of the piece.
As I said earlier, this is a triumphant last bow for Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and illustrates beautifully her self-deprecating brilliance.
You can get hold of the book via the following links.Sleeping Murder