A Murder is Announced 2 (Pages 88 – 141)

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SPOILERS!!!

Miss Marple finally turns up. She was staying in the Royal Spa, and Rudy tried to cheat her by modifying the amount in the cheque she had paid with. She gets together with Craddock, Sir Henry Clithering and the constable, and she tells them that it doesn’t make sense that someone like him would get involved in a grand matter like the one in Little Cleghorn, and she believes that his friend, the waitress, knows more than she has let on. So Craddock talks to Myrna again, and she finally confesses that Rudy had told her that someone had hired him for some business, involving some kind of game. What Myrna doesn’t know is the person behind the business, and when she heard about Rudy’s death, she got scared and that is why she didn’t tell the police about what she knew.

Miss Marple then goes to stay with Bunch, the vicar’s wife, even though Craddock fears that she might be in danger, but Miss Marple doesn’t pay him any heed. Craddock continues investigating. He returns to Miss Letty’s house and he discovers that the dummy door leading to the living room actually opens, and it has been oiled and opened recently, which means that the person who was behind the matter could have get through it.

Craddock is positive that the intended victim is Letitia, and he tells her. Letty doesn’t know the reason why anyone would want her dead now as she doesn’t have much money. Then she tells him that there could be a reason soon as she might become a very rich woman. When she was younger, she used to be secretary to Randall Goedler, a very rich businessman, and at the beginning of his career Letty lent him some of her money, which made him very rich. Later Letty had to quit to look after her father and her sister, who died of consumption in a Swiss sanatorium. Randall died a few years later, and she learnt that if Randall’s wife should predeceased Letty, she would inherit his whole fortune, and she knows that Randall’s wife, who lives in Scotland, is very sick and has only a few weeks to live. Craddock asks her what would happen if Letty died before the wife, and Letty thinks that in that case the money would go to Randall’s sister’s offspring, Pip and Emma, who must be about twenty-five. So here is the motive that Craddock needed. Randall’s fortune is the reason why someone might want Letty dead.

Craddock then talks to Miss Marple, and in her opinion the difficulty in this matter is that nobody knows if the people who were in the house that night are really what they claim to be. According to Miss Marple, before the war everybody knew everybody, and if a stranger came to a village, they usually brought a card and an introduction from a common acquaintance. Yet, now with people coming from all parts after the war, nobody can be sure who is who for real. So she thinks that some of the people who were in that room that day weren’t the people who they claimed to be. Pip and Emma, Randal’s nephew and niece, could be in the village, and the most likely candidates are Julia and Patrick, Letty’s cousins.

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