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At Bertram's Hotel

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At Bertram's Hotel is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on 15 November 1965 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at sixteen shillings (16/-) and the US edition at $4.50. It features the detective Miss Marple. Miss Marple takes a two-week vacation in London, at Bertram's Hotel, where she stayed in her youth. The hotel has a personality of its own, and a niche clientele of important church people, older women who lived through the Edwardian age, and girls looking for a safe place to stay in London. Miss Marple enjoys her trips around London, and learns that she cannot go back: life moves forward. She witnesses the complex lives of an estranged mother and daughter and as always works with the police to solve crimes. Reviews at the time of publication considered the denouement too far-fetched, but that it has "phenomenal zest and makes a reasonably snug read." Another reviewer called it "an ingenious mystery" reliant on Christie's skillful writing style. A review in 1990 found the plot "creaky" but praised the "hotel atmosphere" which "is very well conveyed and used." The character Elvira Blake was drawn well, and the careful description of the way older people look in 1965 compared to earlier eras, showed that Christie's "sharp eye had not dimmed".
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original title: At Bertram's Hotel
language: English
date of publication: 1965
genre: crime novel
narrative location: London
characters: Miss Marple
follows: Star Over Bethlehem
followed by: Third Girl

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