Agatha Christie Project: a Body in the Libray

It's Friday! Time for an update on my Agatha Christie Project. This week I watched and read A Body in the Library. Now I had watched this one a couple years ago so I was familiar with it from the onset. After rewatching this one and seeing the ending, I was pretty sure that this was not the way Christie had written it and I boy was I right.

The blurb: “Those quiet ones are often the worst.  Jane Marple says so.” Miss Wetherby

Dolly Bantry wakes in her beautiful home in the quiet village of St Mary Mead; everything is perfect until the shocking discovery of a body in the library. Who is the murdered young girl and who could possibly have killed her? Suspicion falls on Dolly’s husband, a man with a reputation as a flirt, who swears he never met the young woman – but why was she found in his library?

Dolly calls on her friend, Miss Marple to help them in their time of need. Can she find the killer or is village gossip about Colonel Bantry true? Nothing seems certain, then another body is discovered…


What I really enjoyed about reading this one is that a murder is once again discovered in the quiet hamlet of St. Mary's Mead where Miss Marple is a resident.  Here we are again brought into the lives of many of the characters from Murder at the Vicarage.  The gossipy matrons, the vicar (who was the point of view character in the previous novel) and his wife, and of course Miss Marple.

In this novel, the perspective is 3rd person with a fairly omniscient narrator as opposed to the 1st person in the previous novel. I love that Christie does not limited herself in the way that she tells a story. Within the same series (Miss Marple, Poirot, etc), the perspective and the narrator can change.

Of course, I loved the book and finished it rapidly with eager anticipation. As for the comparison-- novel to film-- the ITV 2004 version of the novel does fairly well in its adaptation. They do leave out Inspector Slack and I'm not sure if they're casting choices and depiction for Colonel Melchett and Superintenddent Harper were exactly right; however, I did enjoy seeing Jack Davenport (probably you might remember him from the Pirates films) in the role as Harper.  There were several big names in film that you might recognize especially if you love British tv  as I do such as: Joanna Lumley, James Fox, Ben Miller, Tara Fitzgerald, and Simon Callow. It was very enjoyable.

The problem with this adaptation is that they switched some things around from the original including exactly who done it. The two who fell in love and committed these murders were not exactly the same couple from the novel-not even the same gender. I found that unsavory and unsatisfactory. I suppose they were trying to spice things up for a modern generation, but again I have to ask why? The original plot would have no problem holding the attention of today's readers. If not then why is Christie still so well-read? So why wouldn't that hold true with a tv viewing audience? I'll leave it at that.

No comments: