Miss Marple finds herself on a bit of a holiday and staying at the very posh Bertram’s Hotel, where she stayed as a child and for which she has very fond memories. Things take a sinister turn when a hotel maid, Tilly Rice, is found strangled on the roof. Miss Marple can’t help but investigate but is assisted by Jane Cooper, also a hotel maid, who is in fact a younger version of Miss Marple. When an attempt is made on the life of a hotel guest, Elvira Blake the two Janes work together to find the motive and the identity of the killer.
Full Metal Marple!
Many of my fellow reviewers seemingly hated this film and gave incredibly low scores. Even more people/IMDb-users liked it and gave favorable ratings, but apparently didn’t write a comment. Shame. Of the eight TV-movies I’ve seen in the “Agatha Christie’s Marple” series thus far, “At Bertram’s Hotel” is by far my favorite! This is partially because it’s based on one of the sole novels by my idol-author that I haven’t read yet (so, I also couldn’t get annoyed by the changes in the script versus the book), and partially because it’s the first instalment where Miss Marple is the genuine heroine of the story. She’s the star of the series, no doubt about that, and she always flawlessly resolves the mystery, but in a few of the previous films (notably “The Moving Finger” and “The Sittaford Mystery”) she wasn’t much more than a supportive character.
Here, in “At Bertram’s Hotel”, Miss Marple doesn’t just solve an ingenious and convoluted murder plot, she also clears up another handful of vile crimes that are secretly taking place within the walls of a prestigious London hotel, and – en passant – tutors a bright chamber maid to become a genius sleuth like herself. There isn’t a dull moment in this film, the finale is downright head-spinning and recreation of the post-WWII era is very impressive. The acting performances are excellent, although there aren’t any really big names in the cast this time.
Don’t read any of the reviews from beforehand (except mine, of course) since they might discourage you to see this massively entertaining whodunit, and I guarantee you will miss out!