Agatha Christie 100 - Sleeping Murder

The final Christie novel features Miss Marple, but there isn't anything in the story that actually tells us that it's going to be her last case.

Young Gwenda Reed has just come to settle in Britain after a life in New Zealand. Her husband is due to come along some time later, but meanwhile she's out to find them a house to live in. As she passes through a small town called Dillmouth, she finds a lovely house which she buys. But as the house is being renovated, she starts to experience frightening visions, amongst others of a dead woman, that disconcert her. While staying with friends in London over the weekend, she meets their aunt - an elderly lady with a nose for evil called Miss Jane Marple...

Well, as I said above, there's absolutely nothing here that indicates that this is supposed to be Miss Marple's final case. In fact, it cannot be, based on things that are mentioned in the text. However, seeing as it was written some time earlier in Christie's career, the plot here is less meandering and follows a clearer path than in several of her late career works.

It's interesting to note that in this story, Miss Marple urges the young couple not to investigate into the past, as this is something she (and many of Christie's other characters) has been doing for the last few published novels.

The case itself is a pretty good one. Not great, but a solid plot that follows a clear trajectory with an investigation into several people that were involved at the time when the murder happened. And of course I liked it when I noticed that Miss Marple started suspecting the culprit at around the same time when I realised who it was...

While the story itself doesn't as much as hint at any finality, I take some pleasure in the fact that the last published novel featuring Miss Marple is a good, solid mystery with none of the blemishes that marred her last few outings. I'll award this a 62 out of 100.


Just one edition of this title in Swedish as well, a bit less deservedly so than with Passenger to Frankfurt and Postern of Fate. The Swedish title makes certain that the reader knows this is Miss Marple's Final Case, by titling it exactly so. 

The cover of the only Swedish edition is a bit minimalistic, but generally fine. I feel that there's this general perception that Miss Marple sits around in her rocking chair, solving murders while knitting, though I can't actually remember an instance where she did just that... 

With this post, the Agatha Christie re-read itself is over. I managed to squeeze it in during one year, even with some time to spare. Those of you who followed along (or only checked in from time to time), I'm grateful that you hung around. If nothing else, you will have seen a bunch of new covers that you've never come across previously...

But have no fear - I'm not finished with Christie quite yet. There will be a couple of follow-up posts where I'll discuss certain things and theories that hit me while reading through her works. In the next post, you can look forward to some number crunching on those ratings I've handed out. Stay tuned.


  1. Congrats, Christian! I enjoyed the journey, and I look forward to your observations.

    1. Thanks, Nick, it's much appreciated.

      I hope you enjoy some graphs, because that's what you'll get in the next post. :)

  2. Christian - I thorough enjoyed your Agatha Christie re-read retrospective and mostly agreed with your reviews / ratings. Thanks for that. I like numbers and trends so am already looking forward to your next post.

    1. Thanks, Scott, glad to hear it. I think you won't be disappointed. :)