Title: At Bertram’s Hotel (Miss Marple #10)
Author: Agatha Christie
First published in 1965
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Miss Marple comes to Bertram’s Hotel, London for a holiday. The last time she visited Bertram’s was when she was 14 years old. The hotel brings back some fond memories of the times she spent as a little girl. Bertram’s is still the same. War or not, Bertram’s is still the same – the go-to place for old hussies and generals.
But Bertram’s is not as reputable as it makes out! A series of bank robberies are somehow connected to Bertram’s. When Bess Sedgwick, a well-known adventurist, arrives, things go awry. Her daughter Elvira is at the hotel too. And so is a handsome racer who has managed to steal not one but two hearts – that of the mother and the daughter.
At Bertram’s Hotel was supposed to be a buddy read with my friend Mallika. ‘Supposed’ because things started well, then came the news of a Covid positive case in my layout and we went from green zone to containment zone overnight. Tension was at its peak so I wasn’t sure if I could continue reading. But thanks to Mallika’s kind and caring words, I got back on track sooner than expected. 🙂 There are 27 chapters in total and we had planned to discuss 9 chapters at a time. We did the first 9 chapters as per plan and zoomed ahead with discussing the next 18 chapters at once. (Thanks to me! *Sic*)
This is definitely not one of the best in Marple series. A couple of my blog buddies agree with me on this. The man problem is Miss Marple making a guest role of sorts. The old lady is at the hotel as the story begins. She knows something’s fishy but she cannot really put a finger on it. Her ‘clue’ take the detective assigned on a wild goose chase (initially) but he already has a doubt about the goings-ons at Bertram’s.
Canon Pennyfather is an absent-minded clergyman who manages to ‘accidentally’ pour water into the fire. He messes up with the dates and goes back to the hotel; as he enters his room, he’s coshed in the head. The poor chap goes missing for over a week and nobody as an idea as to where the absent-minded clergyman might be.
As readers, we are given all the possible clues. Connecting the dots is what we must do – hint: The Bertram’s Hotel. Elvira’s role in the story is pretty interesting and so is that of her mother’s. From mystery point of view, this book is enjoyable and interesting. But I wish this was released as a standalone and not as a part of Marple series. The old lady hardly plays a major role in the story!
Read this if you are looking to complete the Miss Marple series. If you are new to Marple series, this might not be the right book to start with.
Featured Image Credits: Goodreads