Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade April 2001

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The main theme in this novel, was one, which confused me very much. Most of Agatha Christie's novels are mysteries so they are filled with many details. For example, freshman year I read "And then there were None," by Agatha Christie and it was a complicated mystery to follow and one that took me a while to understand. In all of her mystery novels the plot is revolved around murder. Someone who murdered someone is their sleep, a murder that had taken place in a house that the main character(s) had just moved into, or a group of people selected to stay in a mansion were they were murdered one by one.

Soon after Gwenda Reed (main character) moved into her new home, very strange things started to happen. While she was trying to decorate the house to make it more modern, she dug up it's past. Every time she climbed the stairs, of the house she felt a sense of terror go through her.

Gwenda turned to Miss Marble, an English spinster who uses her instinct and knowledge of human nature to work out problems that she might come across, to get rid of the "ghosts" living in her house. Between them, they were to solve a 'perfect' crime committed many years before. As the book continues Gwenda and Miss Marble researched that a man named Mr. Kennedy had come home from being out one evening to a note that was from his wife telling him that she was leaving him for another lover. Mr. Kennedy claimed that he was so in love with her that he would rather see her dead then with someone else. After some research Gwenda and Miss Marble discovered that Mr. Kennedy was sleep walking and "thought" he saw a note from his wife and after reading he went back upstairs to where his wife was sleeping and killed her in his sleep.

Gwenda went to a doctor she knew and whom was a co-worker if her father, because years ago Mr. Kennedy had been staying in their hosptial to recover from the incident. He gave her a black book which had been keep between her father and Mr. Kennedy. After reading parts of the book Gwenda's whole life seemed to be pointless. She couldn't believe that her father would take part in such a thing. As she read the book she found interesting facts of how Mr. Kennedy got away with the murder for so long, her father was helping him. Being a doctor her father had proven that he was insane, which gave him a right to a few years in a hospital before continuing his trial. At this point of the novel Gwenda's thinking had changed in many ways. Especially, towards her father. Her father had never mentioned anything about it to her, and since it was few ago she was to busy with her studies to be involved on her own. She wished her father were still alive so that he might have warned her before moving into the house of the "sleeping murder".

Some good points that really added to the excitement of the book were when Gwenda got the conversation between her father and the murder. Also, when the clerk at the desk of one of the hotels she was staying in told her that they keep a record of all the visitors and by giving her that record gave her the biggest clue in her investigation. That led her to her most important contacts while trying to find the murder. Some bad points about this book were the long dragged out details of the points in Gwenda's travels when she couldn't find out any information. There was also too much background about Gwenda's wedding, which was not that, important to the main theme.

In conclusion, I think this book could have been much shorter then in was. It could have been an easy reader. Instead it was dragged out by details that were not necessary to the main event. Agatha Christie is a good author, except for the fact that most of her books are alike in many ways. I have only read three of her novels and two of them had about the same plot. I don't think that this book was worth reading.