“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.”
This is a Marple story, but I love the book nonetheless.
The story follows the typical Christie formula - the impossible murder and a cast of suspects who all seem to have a connection to the victim. But who was the victim?
We have red herrings, we have murder, we have greed, jealousy, love, gossip, and everything else that village life has to offer - and that can be applied to the world at large. The cast of characters in this one is as superb as in Murder at the Vicarage - from Mrs. and Colonel Bantry to the young couple squabbling over their jealousies to Colonel Melchett, whose knowledge of the world is more pretence than anything.
“Colonel Melchett silently marvelled at the amount of aids to beauty that women could use. Rows of jars of face cream, cleansing cream, vanishing cream, skin-feeding cream! Boxes of different shades of powder. An untidy heap of every variety of lipstick. Hair lotions and “brightening” applications. Eyelash black, mascara, blue stain for under the eyes, at least twelve different shades of nail varnish, face tissues, bits of cotton wool, dirty powder-puffs. Bottles of lotions—astringent, tonic, soothing, etc.
“Do you mean to say,” he murmured feebly, “that women use all these things?”
Inspector Slack, who always knew everything, kindly enlightened him. “In private life, sir, so to speak, a lady keeps to one or two distinct shades, one for evening, one for day. They know what suits them and they keep to it. But these professional girls, they have to ring a change, so to speak. They do exhibition dances, and one night it’s a tango and the next a crinoline Victorian dance and then a kind of Apache dance and then just ordinary ballroom, and, of course, the makeup varies a good bit.”
“Good lord!” said the Colonel.