Nemesis was Agatha Christie's last Miss Marple mystery (Sleeping Murder published posthumously, was actually written 30 years earlier), it is also one of the last mysteries that Christie ever wrote. At the age of 81 she produced an extraordinarily good novel. One of her best.

Nemesis is an absolute pleasure for any Miss Marple fans with several nods to earlier novels in the canon - A Caribbean Mystery, At Bertram's Hotel. These references add a further level of enjoyment for Marple fans. At the same time if you've never read an Agatha Christie before you can enjoy this novel without needing to recognise any of the interior references.

Miss Marple is asked to investigate a crime - she is given no information as to the crime, its perpetrator or what she's expected to do. All she knows is that she is expected to achieve justice, although, at the beginning whether this is for the victim or the alleged perpetrator she is unsure. She is sent on an innocent seeming tour of the Famous Houses and Gardens of England, and while on the tour meets the Bradbury-Scott sisters, who have never recovered from the violent death of their ward, a beautiful young girl, Verity Hunt, who was brutally murdered 10 years earlier. A man is in jail for Verity's murder, but is he really responsible? Miss Marple investigates.

Many of Agatha Christie's finest novels have revolved around love gone bad, and this is no exception. Christie builds a wonderful evil atmosphere around this novel, and there's also a great sadness. Her depiction of Miss Marple is at its best here - possibly because Christie was now around the same age as her elderly detective and the humanity of Miss Marple truly comes through. This is a powerful novel, and also feels like a farewell novel - the only way Miss Marple was going to be resurrected again after this was, truly, posthumously. It's one of Christie's best, and as final novels in series go is also one of the best. And as that most human of detectives trips into the sunset to spend her declining years eating partridge and going to the opera, you can't help but root for her and her wonderful creator.      


Popular Posts