So I have been reviewing short stories from The Tuesday Club Murders AKA The Thirteen Problems.
I typically review short stories on Sundays, but decided as these are the Tuesday Club Murders, I’ll be posting on Tuesday!
“The Blue Geranium” from The Tuesday Club Murder by Agatha Christie
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.
One night there is a gathering at Miss Marple’s home with: 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 and call it: The Tuesday Night Club.
Our seventh mystery takes place a year after the original club meetings. Colonel Arthur Bantry is having a party, of which Sir Henry Clithering is a guest of. Colonel Bantry and his wife, Dolly, are trying to decide on a sixth person, when Sir Henry suggests Miss Marple and astounds his hosts with tales of her powers of deduction.
That night they have a party with the Bantrys, Sir Henry, Miss Marple, an actress Jane Helier, and a Dr. Lloyd.
The Bsntrys decide to set a case to Miss Marple, one that has been troubling the Colonel. He had a friend George Pritchard, who was married to a rude and cantankerous invalid wife.
She was extremely cruel to her nurses, them changing regularly until Nurse Copling came along. She out up with all amounts of horrid behavior.
Mrs. Pritchard loved fortune tellers and psychics and one day a fortune teller named Zarida came calling when George and the Nurse were out. When the two returned home, Mrs. Pritchard told them that Zarida declared the house to be evil and warned her to stay away from blue flowers.
Two days later a letter arrives from Zarida
Beware of the full moon:
- The blue primrose means warning
- The blue hollyhock means danger
- The blue geranium means death
Four days later one of the pink primroses in the wallpaper pattern turned blue in the middle of the night during a full moon.
A month went by and the same thing happened during a full moon to a hollyhock.
Then another month passed and the Nurse and George were worried while Mrs. Pritchard was frantic. The morning after the full moon Mrs. Pritchard was found dead, her smelling salts were in her hand, one of the geraniums was blue, and there was the smell of gas in the air.
Everyone suspected foul play, but could not figure out how it happened. They tried to investigate Zarida but she had disappeared without a trace.
Thoughts After Reading:
I figured out who did it, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how it was done. I was extremely stumped by Christie.
Later I watched the production on Acrorn’s Miss Marple, and I did not like it at all. I don’t recommend it for your viewing pleasure. Answer will be at the end of the post.
For more Miss Marple mysteries, go to The Thumb Mark of St. Peter
For more from The Thirteen Problems AKA The Tuesday Club Murders, go to The Blood Stained Pavement
For more Agatha Christie, go to Motive v. Opportunity
For more short stories, go to What Strange Creatures
For more strange occurrences at the full moon, go to Fool Moon