HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie
Loading...

At Bertram's Hotel (original 1965; edition 1965)

by Agatha Christie

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,394442,605 (3.54)97
Member:yrizaria
Title:At Bertram's Hotel
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Pocket (1984), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Kindle, Read again
Rating:****
Tags:mystery, British

Work details

At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie (1965)

Recently added byprivate library, Orbasan, youkosiren, pieandsunshine, BrokenTune, Jeshika

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 97 mentions

English (39)  Danish (2)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
“I learned (what I suppose I really knew already) that one can never go back, that one should not ever try to go back—that the essence of life is going forward. Life is really a One Way Street, isn’t it?”

I put a spoiler warning on this post not so much because I will discuss the details of the plot but because I will discuss some of the characters in a way that will give away much of the conclusion. If you are planning to read the book, don't read any further. You have been warned.

At Bertram's Hotel is one of Dame Agatha's less outrageous novels starring Miss Marple. There is not a lot of action in this story but there is a lot of interaction between the characters which eventually leads to the highlight of the plot. So, in a way this book starts at the end and works towards the crime. It certainly would not be a Marple story if there was no crime.

As mentioned, I will not go into the details of the plot and contain my observation to the following:

1. This was one of the best Marple stories I have read. The characters were detailed and life-like and Marple did not interfere too much with the goings on at Bertram's. The structure of the book was great in that it was a mystery, but not the usual who-dunnit. I.e. Christie delivered a story that was built on the mere suggestion that something was wrong, but the actual crime was a result of the interaction of the characters, whereas usually the crime precedes this.

2. I really don't like Miss Marple. Really. Can't stand her.

3. I'm still perplexed as to how Christie's books get away with some of the most patronising, misogynist, xenophobic, judgmental attitudes without getting much more flak for it.

So, here's my main problem: The characters are mostly stereotypical. This would be fine as I'm used to Dame Agatha's casting by now, but then you get the division between the British characters, the Americans, the Irish, and the rest of the world.

The British ones are all straight-laced, except for one or two, but even these are described and treated respectfully.

The American ones are described as curiosities and are slightly mocked for their being tourists in London and for being fascinated by the quaint English things around them.

The Irish one, a decorated veteran, is a lovable rogue but also a blackmailer.

And then there is the French-Polish-Italian racing driver, who is described as someone who looks like he is up to no good and undoubtedly will be trouble to all involved with him, even though there is little to evidence this. It is purely Miss Marple's impression that he is a most unsuitable young man.

Despite the stereotyping, Bertram's Hotel is full of fabulous characters. One of my favourites - and probably one of my favourite Christie characters - is Bess Sedgwick.

"Bess Sedgwick was a name that everyone in England knew. For over thirty years now, Bess Sedgwick had been reported by the Press as doing this or that outrageous or extraordinary thing. For a good part of the war she had been a member of the French Resistance, and was said to have six notches on her gun representing dead Germans. She had flown solo across the Atlantic years ago, had ridden on horseback across Europe, and fetched up at Lake Van. She had driven racing cars, had once saved two children from a burning house, had several marriages to her credit and discredit and was said to be second-best dressed woman in Europe. It was also said that she had successfully smuggled herself aboard a nuclear submarine on its test voyage..."

I rooted for Bess all the way through the book. So, reading the ending was a huge let down. Not only in the way the story ended but also in the way that Marple, or is it Christie, at one point described Bess a "nymphomaniac" even though she wrote to say that Marple would not call her that, but would call her a woman who "is too fond of men".

And the Miss Marple's counter-part, who is just as sanctimonious as Marple, describes Bess as "wild" and destined for ruin because she will not submit to society.

I was already raging at this point when Marple finished it off with this:

“Yes,” said Miss Marple. “The children of Lucifer are often beautiful—And as we know, they flourish like the green bay tree.”

Oh, get lost, Marple.

The part that eludes me is that Dame Agatha seemed to be rather progressive for her time. There were a lot of turns in her autobiography that I would not have expected. The last thing I expected was for Christie to describe a woman as "wild" just because she was fond of racing cars, sports, and adventures, because if this truly was Christie's attitude, then she herself was beyond redemption.

So, what I am taking forward to the next Christie book is that her characters may have standards and values that are consistent within the characters (and the social mores of the time) but are not necessarily consistent with the values of the author. I'm told that this is something that can happen.
( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
Don't read this expecting the movie scenerio ( )
  nadineeg | Jul 2, 2016 |
I first read this one way back in junior high school (in the *cough* 1970s), and I remember being quite puzzled about several aspects of it. I didn't really understand how hotels worked, for one thing, or what it meant to seem Edwardian, or what trains carried that made them so tempting to robbers (the Irish Mail Express? Why would thieves want to steal other people's mail?). And I didn't really appreciate Miss Marple, at least not the way I do now as I near the end of my chronological reading of the series. I'll be sorry to see the old pussy go. I've enjoyed getting to know her again and better. I can't help wishing that Christie had written more Marples and fewer Poirots, but such is life. ( )
  rosalita | May 12, 2016 |
Bertram's Hotel, an old , well known hotel where people come from all over the world to relax and enjoy in traditional English ways. Miss Marple is also at Bertram's Hotel and feels that what seems to be seen is not exactly what it is. And the mystery grows as days go by. Miss Marple at last solves it :) ( )
  PallaviSharma | May 9, 2016 |
Miss Marple visits Bertram's Hotel, a place she remembers from her youth. It is strangely unchanged - very Edwardian in character - and Miss Marple finds that odd. Who's behind this mysterious hotel? And why does it exist? Miss Marple and the police inspector known as Father search for answers. 3 1/2 stars. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Agatha Christieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brinchmann, JacobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cole, StephanieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Himmelstoss, BeateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leach, RosemaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mäenpää, SimoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Harry Smith
because I appreciate the scientific way
he reads my books
First words
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.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Information from the Norwegian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
66 avail.
23 wanted
5 pay4 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.54)
0.5 1
1 4
1.5 3
2 41
2.5 10
3 162
3.5 33
4 158
4.5 16
5 64

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 108,380,918 books! | Top bar: Always visible