RogerBW's Blog

Sleeping Murder 17 June 2023

2001 audio adaptation by Michael Bakewell of Christie's 1940s mystery, in one 90-minute episode. Newlywed New Zealander Gwenda Reed finds the house she's just bought in England stranglely, even hauntingly, familiar, and then breaks down at a performance of The Duchess of Malfi

Yes, I know it was published in 1976; as with Curtain for Poirot, Christie wrote Miss Marple's "last case" during the war, perhaps in case she didn't survive the Blitz. It's less explicitly a last case, though, as Miss Marple is alive and well at the end of it.

Christie uses a particular trick that's uncontentiously regarded as fair play within the context of mysteries, and does it well – and the cast carry it off. The only really well-known name here apart from June Whitfield is Julian Glover, who does a fine job of not taking over, even if at 66 he's perhaps a little old for the role of Dr Kennedy.

It all feels a little loose on the scaffolding at times, as the couple keep digging up a thing then reporting back to Miss Marple to get their next sub-quest. Still, a pleasing production.

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