Book Review: The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

I am hosting an Agatha Christie Readathon on my blog in April 2018 where we are reading one of her books each week. The third book up, The Body in the Library, is the third book in the Miss Marple cozy mystery series she’s written. I’ve read many in this series, but you can read them out of order. It’s more about books using the same characters but not really connected other than a few fun memories and mentions. This was selected as my book to re-read as part of this challenge.


This review is for The Body in the Library, the third cozy mystery book in the Miss Marple series, written by Agatha Christie in 1942. I read this book at least once in the past, and even wrote a very brief review on Goodreads in 2017 when I was on a quest to write something for every book I’d previously read. Now I’m on a different quest: the April 2018 Agatha Christie Readathon where this book was selected as my “re-read” book in the challenge. I’ll also say what I wrote the first time around was so laughable, I’m shocked at myself. It was useless, but that won’t be the case today!

If push came to shove, I think I’m more of a fan of Miss Marple’s detection style yet I prefer Hercule Poirot as a character. Marple is wonderful and I enjoy everything I’ve read with her as the main detective, but she lacks a little pizzazz to jolt you along the path. In this caper, a good friend of hers wakes up to find a dead body in her library. Neither her husband, guests, or servants recognize the young girl. It appears like her husband is the guilty party and when news spreads around town, the investigation begins. Suspects ran the gamut of an older gentlemen that the dead girl was growing close to, especially when he is ~50 years her senior. He thought of her as his adopted daughter, even choosing to leave her some money. Everyone believed him to be a fool and her to be a gold-digger. Maybe it was his son-in-law and daughter-in-law who stood to inherit less once he had passed away. Or was it the playboy filmmaker known for dabbling with slightly younger women. Throw in a complicated dance arrangement, a secret marriage, and a few more potential leads, including a side-plot where a car goes missing and another young girl turns up dead, then you’ve got quite a forehead-squisher of a story.

Christie never fails to astound me with the ingenuity behind each of the plots. You think you know everything, and one or two details don’t exactly line up, but you just can’t solve the puzzle. The clues are generally all out there, just masked in such a way that you have to work hard to guess what’s slightly off. Marple always picks up on it, much to the dismay of the police investigation team. ‘Marple’s just a doddering old fool who gets lucky sometimes. She’s a biddy putting her nose in places where it doesn’t belong.’ But you see, dear investigators… it does belong because she always finds her criminals before you do.

Exploration of fraud, loss, money problems, and guilt are the top of the suspect list this time. Someone’s lying, and while it may see obvious at first, suspicion is cast in every direction. The story flows easily, even if you feel sometimes you’re being taking on a tour of the unknown. It’s that very path that winds you up while you’re learning all the facts, then drops you off a swirling abyss of options. One by one, the alibis are proven fake or real… the past secrets come to light… and the true notions of an evil mind begin to materialize. That’s why I love the cozy mystery but in particular the Grand Dame’s approach to delivering the story. Little by little, not in any massive way, but enough the needle moves ever so slightly until it begins to dance in front of you upon landing at the final solution.

Next week’s book is a Miss Marple book that was voted by everyone following this blog: Murder at the Vicarage. Join us if you can!


Background on the Agatha Christie Readathon

I’m an avid mystery reader and one of my favorite authors is Agatha Christie. I shared a post on this wonderful writer several months ago and have a dedicated page to her on my blog. Click on both links to see what I’ve read or said in the past. I’m holding an Agatha Christie Readathon in April. For more information, click the link and see the background and guidelines below. Essentially, we will read 1 book for each week in April 2018, then post our reviews.  You can join in and read with us — either 1, 2, 3 or all 4 weeks! The goal is to revisit an old favorite, connect with new bloggers, and share the love we have for this fantastic author. Voting in the pools was held from 3/1 thru 3/14, and the results are in for which books we will read in April:

  • The Secret Adversary (Other) – Read By 4/6, Post Review on 4/7 (Week 1)
  • Peril at End House (Poirot) – Read By 4/13, Post Review on 4/14 (Week 2)
  • The Body in the Library (Re-Read) – Read By 4/20, Post Review on 4/21 (Week 3)
  • Murder at the Vicarage (Marple) – Read By 4/27, Post Review on 4/28 (Week 4)

If you’re interested, please respond below in the comments with which weeks or books you want to read. I will create a separate page for each one and list all the sites where you can find the reviews. You will post the review on your site, and I’ll link it from that page so everyone can see them!

Please share with your followers so we have even more participation. Thanks!


Below is the structure and guidelines of the April Agatha Christie Readathon:

  • In April 2018, we will read 4 books written by Agatha Christie.
  • We will follow a schedule (6 days to read, 1 day to post review):
    • We read the first book from Sun 4/1 thru Fri 4/6, then post reviews on Sat 4/7. It will be from a non-series book I haven’t read.
    • We read the second book from Sun 4/8 thru Fri 4/13, then post reviews on Sat 4/14. It will be a book from the Hercule Poirot series.
    • We read the third book from Sun 4/15 thru Fri 4/20, then post reviews on Sat 4/21. It will be a book I’ve already read but I will re-read another time.
    • We read the fourth book from Sun 4/22 thru Fri 4/27, then post reviews on Sat 4/28. It will be a book from the Miss Marple series.
  • You can read only one week, a few weeks, or all four weeks — your choice.
  • Reviews/Posts can be any format, but you will link back to my main page where I will then list all the blogs or websites who are participating so that everyone can find your reviews.



About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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  1. I remember enjoying this book back in my Agatha Christie obsession days! Lol! (yes, that was a thing in my life). I agree on your thoughts of Miss Marpole vs Poirot though. While I enjoy Miss Marple, she can be a little stiff and proper in the personality department.


  2. Forgot to add, I prefer Poirot over Marple cuz whenever he’s there, there’s always lots of theatrics and surprises! Now I know why I didn’t take to Marple’s mysteries as much a Poirot’s, because they’re cosy mysteries! Looks like cosies aren’t my thing…😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m reading it but not finished yet – the A to Z is consuming my time, as I suspected. When I finish I’l post my review and you can link or not, as you see fit. Interestingly, I’ve had this book on my shelf as part of a collection I was buying years ago (like 25+) and I don’t think I’ve ever read it!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Miss Marple seems on top of her game and definitely with it! I’m excited to read the first in the series for this week. I’m hoping to get to know her a bit more. 🙂

    I actually haven’t decided if I enjoy cozy mysteries as much since I’m fairly new to the genre, but I am curious about this week’s choice!

    Liked by 1 person

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