Miss Marple stays in the background for most of this story whilst her young friend Lucy Eylesbarrow does the legwork. A seemingly insoluble mystery gradually becomes clear as the rival factions in a highly dysfunctional family gather at an isolated country house - and yet the solution is finally to be found elsewhere, for the crime has its roots in long ago, when the world was a different place. The subtlety with which Miss Marple engineers events so that the killer cannot help but be revealed is conveyed perfectly in the understatement of Joan Hickson's performance. Even as the killer's hands enfold her fragile neck, she's absolutely in command.
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