The Tuesday Club Murders AKA The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple #2) by Agatha Christie
So I was debating whether to post this on Sunday, Agatha Christie’s birthday, as it is a short story and I do Short Story Sunday, but the title of my copy is The Tuesday Club Murders. I have to post on Tuesday! Right?
So here we go, the first story will be posted today, while the following will be on Sundays as they usually are.
So Miss Marple is an elderly woman who has lived in her village St. Mary Mead all her life. But even though she grew up in a small town, she has the observational skills of a hawk.
So one night there is a gathering at Miss Marples home: Miss Marple; Raymond West, Miss Marple’s nephew and a writer; Joyce Lempriére, an artist; Sir Henry Clithering, former commissioner of Scotland Yard; Dr. Pender, the elderly clergyman of the parish; and Mr. Petherick, solicitor.
They are enjoying themselves, when Raymond starts talking about unsolved mysteries.
Joyce decides they should start a club and meet every Tuesday and present a mystery. One they know they answer to: The Tuesday Night Club.
Sir Henry starts them off:
There are three people who sit down to a dinner of tinned lobster. Later that night all fall ill, two recovered and one died.
Mr. Jones was a traveller and a good looking man of fifty. He is married to Mrs. Jones who was average looking and forty-five. Mrs. Jones’ companion is Miss Clark, a sixty year-old stout woman.
Now no one would have thought anything of this except that shortly before the incident, Mr. Jones stayed at a hotel and wrote some mail. One of the maids had been reading tons of mystery novels and decided to go over the blotting paper and see what was written and finds part of a note:
Entirely dependent on my wife…when she is dead I will…hundreds and thousands…
That started the wheel, and they then discovered that he was very friendly with the doctor’s daughter.
They did an autopsy and then discovered she died of arsenic poisoning.
So they started digging-Mr. Jones was a ladies’ man, who’s wife had the money, but he only inherited $8000-not hudreds and thousands.
Dinner that night had been tinned lobster, salad, trifle, bread, and cheese. Nothing of the dinner remained so there was nothing for them to test.
They questioned the young maid, Gladys Linch, who was terribly upset-but had no helpful information.
All three ate the same food, and it couldn’t be Mr. Jones who did the poisoning as he came right when the food was being served.
Miss Clark was looked at but there was no motive-she wasn’t having an affair with Mr. Jones, and with Miss Jones dead she had to find a new job-not easy for a woman of her age.
Mrs. Jones did ask her husband to make her some corn-flour after dinner. However, she didn’t eat it. She didn’t care for it, and her companion was banting (dieting), and starving and ate it.
All guess and are wrong, except for Miss Marple. Who did it and how did she figure it out?
(I will post the end upside down on the bottom for those interested.)
Thoughts After Reading:
I loved this! Although there was no hope of me ever getting it as I’m an American. I only got it this time because I discussed this item and them with my British boss. I know I’ve read this story a hundreds and thousands of times and I just finally get it!
For more Miss Marple, go to The Murder at the Vicarage
For more Agatha Christie, go to The Secret Adversary
For more short stories, go to The Man with the Twisted Lip
For more poisonings, go to A Much Expected Murder
And in other news happy 10 years to: