Aging Major Palgrave, an idiosyncratic but charming mystery writer, reveals to Miss Marple that one of the guests at a luxurious Caribbean resort they’re staying at is a Bluebeard-type wife murderer. Unfortunately, the Major succumbs to an apparently accidental overdose of alcohol and blood pressure medication before revealing the killer’s identity. When it’s discovered that the medicine belonged to another guest and the revealing photograph the Major was carrying is missing, Miss Marple realizes that the serial killer has struck again and more murders will follow.
Good Adaptation of Dame Christie’s Classic Mystery
There’s been a fair amount of actresses playing Agatha Christie’s favourite spinster, but I find Helen Hayes does a fine job as Miss Marple, capturing that “old sweet looking old lady but with great observation skills” really well. Sure, her accent can occasionally slip into an American tang, but, for me, it’s not that noticeable – nor does it distract from her rather lively performance. Like my favourite Marple, Margaret Rutherford, she’s a fun Marple and not sour-faced like the other actresses who played her.
The story- Detective Miss Marple (Helen Hayes) is on vacation, luxuriating in an opulent Caribbean resort. She meets quirky mystery writer Maj. Geoffrey Palgrave (Maurice Evans), who giddily informs her that he believes one of the other guests is a wife-murdering serial killer. But before he can reveal the alleged killer’s identity, Maj. Palgrave dies under suspicious circumstances. Soon there are other victims. Now, Miss Marple must take on the case before more are murdered.
A Caribbean mystery moves at a leisurely pace, and is quite entertaining- close attention is paid to the motley crew of suspects and when the murderer is unravelled you’re left satisfied.
After Helen Hayes’s comeback in Airport, she set off in the second half of her career as a delightful little old lady. Naturally, she made a couple of Miss Marple movies! In A Caribbean Mystery, Helen goes on a vacation, but trouble follows. Just when she’s starting to relax, a murder is committed and turns her vacation into a mystery. Sounds just like Agatha Christie’s specialty, doesn’t it?