“The code word is Nemesis.” Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple sees in the newspaper that her millionaire friend from A Caribbean Mystery, Mr. Rafiel, has died, and she gets a letter from his solicitor to visit him, where she learns that he has left her £20,000, but only if she accepts his unnamed mission. Deciding she can’t pass up an adventure, Miss Marple accepts Operation Nemesis, with Mr. Rafiel’s reminiscing in his will about Miss Marple’s appearing to him in her fluffy pink shawl and announcing that she is Nemesis. So Miss Marple accepts the challenge.
In a few days Miss Marple gets a letter that Mr. Rafiel has paid for her to take a bus tour of notable houses and gardens in England. There, she meets several people who seem connected to her quest, such as Elizabeth Temple, the recently retired headmistress of a girls’ school who states that she is on a pilgrimage. She wants to connect with Verity,0 a former pupil who died. “Why did she died? asks Miss Marple. “Love.” What a curious answer. Unfortunately, she dies soon atter and before she can clarify her answer.
Miss Marple meets a number of other people Mr. Rafiel has arranged to have on the tour and a trio of sisters who invite her to stay with them for the more difficult days of the tour. She gradually figures out more details of her mission, despite Mr. Rafiel’s leaving it to Miss Marple to discern.
This book is, in my mind, the darkest of the Miss Marple books. Some might consider Sleeping Murder, the last book in the series, but written during World War Ii, to be the darkest, but in my opinion, Nemesis is so full of evil and twisted love that it makes me feel very creepy. But further, this book is just very sad. When you add that to the eeriness, it leads to a very dark book.
The theme of this book is the nature of love, both genuine, honorable love and twisted love. We see people who demonstrate healthy love and others who demonstrate unhealthy love. When the dead girl earlier tried to marry an unsuitable man, the priest agreed to marry them because he recognized true love between them, even though he suspected Verity would never be able to change Michael.
Rosalind Ayres narrates the audio version of this book. She keeps it moving ably and serves as a great performer of the Miss Marple books.
Nemesis is the only book by Christie to be a sequel of sorts and not just in the same series. The concluding events of Caribbean Murder lead directly to the events of Nemesis. The darkness of the book may please those who enjoy creepy books, but to my tastes, it’s too creepy. I give the book three stars.
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