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Nemesis by Agatha Christie | Book Review

“Nemesis” is the last adventure of Miss Marple written by Agatha Christie and first published in 1971, wherein she is charged with a task to set free an innocent son of a dead friend. The story starts when Miss Marple is informed that Mr. Rafiel, whom she had met in West Indies a year before, is dead. He has left instructions for Miss Marple to accomplish a task and if she does so, she will inherit £20,000. With no clues or idea of what the task might be, Miss Marple accepts the challenge.

Her first clue comes in form of a tour of famous Houses and Gardens of Great Britain, arranged and paid for her by Mr. Rafiel before her death. She starts her investigation by studying her co-passengers. During her conversation with a lady passenger called Elizabeth Temple, Miss Marple learns that Mr. Rafiel’s son was engaged to be married to one of her pupils but the girl had died.
Mr. Rafiel’s next arrangement for her is a stay at the house of three sisters: Clotilde, Lavinia and Anthea. While at their house, she finds the atmosphere of the house very gloomy and repressive. She also finds that Anthea is little scatterbrained. The next morning, the servant tells her the story about a girl adopted by Clotilde and her death.

While Miss Marple is staying with the sisters, Miss Temple is with the rest of the party and meets an accident in form of a rockslide. Miss Marple now meets Professor Wanstead, another co-passenger who turns out to be a pathologist and a psychologist and was acquainted with Mr. Rafiel. He provides Miss Marple with the information about Michael Rafiel’s case and his belief that the boy is innocent. Before dying, Miss Temple sends for Miss Marple, and asks her to search for Verity Hunt. Miss Marple visits the three sisters again and learns that Verity was none other than Clotilde’s adopted daughter.

The next bit of data comes in form of visit by Miss Temple’s friend Archdeacon Brabazon, who tells Miss Marple that he was going to marry Verity Hunt and Michael Rafiel, but had been sworn to secrecy by Verity. While he disapproved of the secrecy and of Verity marrying Michael, he agreed to marry them because he could see that they were in love. He was most surprised when neither turned up for the wedding. Miss Marple also learns that Verity’s body was found by police a few months later in a highly disfigured state and Michael who already had been charged with rape and abuse in past, was punished for the murder of Verity.

So, now the pieces of the mystery are in place. The task set by Mr. Rafiel for Miss Marple is to find out who actually killed Verity Hunt and free his son. Miss Marple continues with her inquiries and finds out the truth, but in the process her own life is threatened.

In the end, however, she is able to collect her fees and goes back to her quiet, private life to spend the money at her will and enjoy it to the fullest. Happy Reading……

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