#MissMarpleMonthly: Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie (1976)

Sleeping Murder is a classic mystery novel by Agatha Christie featuring her beloved detective Miss Marple. First published in 1976, the novel is set in the post-war era and tells the story of a young woman named Gwenda Reed who moves into a new home in England with her husband. However, strange occurrences begin to happen in the house, leading Gwenda to believe that something sinister happened there in the past. With the help of Miss Marple, Gwenda sets out to uncover the truth behind the house’s dark history.

One of the things that makes Sleeping Murder so enjoyable to read is Agatha Christie’s masterful storytelling. She builds suspense and intrigue from the very beginning of the novel and keeps the reader guessing until the very end. Each chapter reveals new clues and suspects, leading the reader down a twisting path of deception and misdirection. The plot is intricately crafted and meticulously planned, leaving no loose ends or plot holes. The pacing is just right, with moments of high tension and moments of calm reflection, creating a satisfying balance between action and character development.

Another aspect of the novel that stands out is its setting. The story takes place in England in the mid-20th century, and Agatha Christie does an excellent job of evoking the atmosphere of the time and place. From the descriptions of the streets and buildings to the social customs and attitudes of the characters, the setting feels authentic and immersive. The reader can easily imagine themselves walking the same streets as Gwenda and Miss Marple, feeling the same sense of unease and apprehension as they delve deeper into the mystery.

The characters in Sleeping Murder are also well-drawn and engaging. Gwenda is a likable and relatable protagonist, struggling to come to terms with her own past while also uncovering the secrets of her new home. Miss Marple, as always, is a charming and insightful detective, using her years of experience and knowledge of human nature to solve the case. The other characters in the novel are equally well-developed, each with their own motivations and secrets that contribute to the overall mystery.

One of the most interesting aspects of Sleeping Murder is its themes. The novel explores the idea of memory and how our past experiences shape our present selves. Gwenda is haunted by memories of a house she knew as a child, but cannot remember clearly. She is forced to confront these memories when she moves into a new house that triggers her sense of déjà vu. Similarly, the other characters in the novel are shaped by their past experiences, which influence their actions and motivations. The novel suggests that the past is always present, and that we must confront it in order to move forward.

Sleeping Murder is an excellent mystery novel showcasing Agatha Christie’s writing talent. It has all the elements that make her novels so popular: a well-crafted plot, engaging characters, and an immersive setting. But it also explores deeper themes of memory and identity, making it a thought-provoking read. Whether you’re a fan of Agatha Christie or just a lover of classic mystery novels, Sleeping Murder is a must-read. You can get a copy of Sleeping Murder from Amazon here.


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