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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Book Review: At Bertram's Hotel

When it was becoming apparent that I was becoming a real bookworm and bored with the novels around me, my Mom introduced me to Agatha Christie.  I fell in love with her mysteries and the gradual unraveling of secrets.  It had been years since I had read anything by Christie, but when I saw one of her novels on sale for $2 outside The Strand, I picked it up.  The fact that the title was "At Bertram's Hotel" intrigued me all the more as it immediately called to mind my own Grandpa Bert (short, indeed, for Bertram) who not only encouraged my reading more than anyone else, but [like Christie's novels] was always a bit of a mystery to me.

"At Bertram's Hotel" does not follow the same format as most other Agatha Christie mysteries.  There is a murder at some point, but it does not occur in the beginning and the overall plot is a bit wild and out there.  It was more "fun," I would say.  The allure of Bertram's Hotel is that it has maintained all the charm of old England, as if it was frozen in time.  But when Miss Marple stays there, she can tell that something is not right; after all, nothing can really remain unchanged after all these years.  So she begins to observe the comings and goings of the hotel's cast of characters.  There are clandestine meetings happening all over the place and they all begin to make sense as Miss Marple and Chief Inspector Davy learn more about the hotel guests.  It's a real caper - like a slightly more serious Scooby Doo episode for adults.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

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