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At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie
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At Bertram's Hotel (1965)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Miss Marple (10), Miss Marple: Chronological (21)

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English (46)  Danish (2)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
A relaxing holiday at a nostalgic city haunt leads Miss Marple on the trail of deceit and murder.

With the extinction of some stinker short stories, and one or two gems of novels, most of the Miss Marple stories hover squarely around average. Years after reading this novel, I’m still not sure how I feel about it. "At Bertram’s Hotel" avoids many of the predictable aspects of Christie’s well-worn premises, and maintains an oddly sinister undertone throughout. Ultimately, though, I can find very little to recommend it. Miss Marple does nearly no actual investigating here, and there aren’t even really any clues. I find it hard to believe she solves this one, given that it’s all divination. (There is one marvelous piece of all-encompassing misdirection, which is cleverly disguised for the entire novel.)

Christie seems a little torn here over what genre she’s writing in and most notably – as in a few of Christie’s most flawed works – the few charismatic characters far outweigh the majority, leading to an uneven reading experience. There are two potential problems with books like this: a) the murderer(s) will turn out to be someone who never stood out against the livelier characters, or b) the murderer(s) won’t be as much of a shock, since they dominated the proceedings.

"At Bertram’s Hotel" isn’t execrable, but it’s for die-hards only. I wouldn’t recommend this to a Christie novice. (Having said that, the Joan Hickson adaptation is really quite fine.)

Marple ranking: 11th of 14 ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
I’ve been working my way through Christie’s Miss Marple mysteries and this is the first one to be an utter disappointment. It was only through sheer stubbornness that I even finished it!

Miss Marple’s nephew pays for her to spend a couple weeks at the titular hotel in London. The place has been kept in the Edwardian style and she wanted to stay there to reminisce about days long gone. However, there’s something shady about the hotel. Or, at least you assume so since this is an Agatha Christie novel, but you wouldn’t know it otherwise. A series of characters comes and goes from the place: a brash and somewhat sinister race car driver, a young woman and her guardians, a clergyman. There's an out of left field scene at the police station where readers are told about a series of high profile robberies being investigated (gee, I wonder if it's related to the hotel?) But it's just a series of conversations - the murder doesn’t even occur until more than 2/3 of the way through the book! To make matters worse, Miss Marple doesn’t “investigate” – a police detective solves the crime, with only one observation from her.

Perhaps the worst thing that can be said about a mystery book can be said about this one: it was boring. Had this been the first novel of Christie’s that I read, I probably would not have read any more. Unless you are a die-hard completist – skip this one. ( )
  jshillingford | Oct 9, 2018 |
My first Agatha Christie novel. It was a nice, light murder mystery but a tad bland in spots.
Miss Marple is on a two week vacation at the distinguished Bertram's hotel. Bertram's is a traditional old English hotel where guests can expect whichever style vacation they please: English folks can have traditional tea with buttery muffins and American travelers can have cereal with orange juice if they wish.

Police are called in when an absent minded clergy member goes missing from the hotel and luckily they are still on scene when a hotel employee is murdered. Miss Marple conveniently blends into the background and hears many things that others wish she hadn't heard.

Nice light book that didn't take much brain power to read through. ( )
  ChelleBearss | Mar 10, 2018 |
Apparently, not one of Christie's better works. At Bertram's Hotel exceeds in establishing an atmosphere but leaves Miss Marple somewhat sidelined as the Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard leas the investigation. A delightful conceit but not a terribly satisfying crime or conclusion. ( )
  bookappeal | Feb 5, 2018 |
September 2017 reread: While Miss Marple is present through most of the book, she doesn't really contribute to the solution in the way I expected. This reread has made me reconsider my rating, downgrading the book from 4 to 3 stars. In particular, I didn't care for the ending. ( )
  leslie.98 | Sep 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Agatha Christieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brinchmann, JacobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cole, StephanieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gislon, MaryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Himmelstoss, BeateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leach, RosemaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mäenpää, SimoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Miss Marple Meets Murder by Agatha Christie

At Bertram's Hotel [and] A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie

At Bertram's Hotel [and] Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie

Miss Marple Omnibus (Volume 3) by Agatha Christie

The Case of the Queenly Contestant | At Bertram's Hotel by Detective Book Club

At Bertram's Hotel | A Business of Bodies | Conceal and Disguise by Detective Book Club

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In the heart of the West End, there are many quiet pockets, unknown to almost all but taxi drivers who traverse them with expert knowledge, and arrive triumphantly thereby at Park Lane, Berkeley Square or South Audley Street.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451199936, Mass Market Paperback)

Miss Jane Marple is enjoying her stay at London's elegant Bertram's Hotel. But its impeccable, old-world reputation is tarnished by new blood when someone disreputable checks in.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:34 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When Miss Marple comes up from the country for a holiday in London, she finds what she's looking for at Bertram's Hotel: traditional decor, impeccable service and an unmistakable atmosphere of danger behind the highly polished veneer. Yet not even Miss Marple can foresee the violent chain of events set in motion when an eccentric guest makes his way to the airport on the wrong day.… (more)

» see all 17 descriptions

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