Welcome to the first discussion of the Spend the Summer with Agatha Christie Read-Along. On Book Club Girl we're focusing on Christie's short stories so today we'll discuss her short story, "The Tuesday Night Club." This story is now available in the US in Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories, and was originally available in collection titled The Thirteen Problems. Agatha Christie wrote 20 short stories about Miss Marple and "The Tuesday Night Club" is the first, so it's our first introduction to one of her most famous main characters.
For those who still haven't read the story, it's very short, and can be read for free online, so there's still time to read it and join in the discussion!
1. According to Mysterynet.com, The Tuesday Night Club is one of the 3 best Marple short stories (the other 2 being "Motive v. Opportunity," and "Affair at the Bungalow.") Was this the first short story of Christie's that you've read, and was it your first introduction to Jane Marple as well?
2. Knowing now that this was the first Miss Marple story, it now makes more sense, but I confess I was surprised at how Miss Marple was treated by her friends and family, who essentially dismissed her as having no opinions on the case at hand, much less any chance of guessing the murderer. Were you also surprised?
3. I love the idea of a club to examine unsolved mysteries - and liked that the story started with the phrase, "unsolved mysteries." Many of us come together in book clubs on a regular basis. Were you at all inspired to start discussing unsolved mysteries with your friends after reading the story?
4. Christie writes in her introduction that Miss Marple was inspired by her own grandmother and that she received equal amounts of mail in support of Marple and her other main character, Hercule Poirot. If you're a Christie reader already, do you have a preference?
5. Christie's initial description of Miss Marple, sitting in her black brocade dress and knitting, is immediately followed by a description of her eyes and everything--and everyone--that she's taking in and identifying within the room. What did you think of Christie's decision to present her this way?
6. Did you, like Miss Marple, guess the identity of the murderer and how the crime was committed? Did you find yourself re-reading the story to see what clues you had missed?
I look forward to hearing all of your answers, and welcome you back to discuss "Three Blind Mice," on July 5th.
In the meantime, check out the Agatha Christie discussions going on on these blogs!