At Bertram’s Hotel 3 (Pages 110 – 140)



Mrs McRae and Archdecon Simmons report the canon’s disappearance. When Chief Inspector Fred Davy, who people call Father, learns that the man was staying at Bertram’s Hotel, he decides to go with Inspector Maxwell. The two men question the receptionist, Miss Gorringe, and the manager Mr Humfries. They tell them that they only know that the man was supposed to go to the conference in Lucerne, and then he never returned. When Father tells them that he would like to question some of the staff and the guests that Canon Pennyfather might have known, they are not very welcoming, claiming that they don’t need any bad press. When the two policemen leave, the conversation between Miss Gorringe and Mr Humfries makes me think that they have something to hide. Miss Gorringe says she will talk to Rose, the maid, before the police question her. I wonder why the robberies seem to have a link with the hotel, and is the canon’s disappearance also related?

Then Davy talks to Miss Marple, and he is surprised to learn that the canon returned to the hotel the day he supposedly went missing. Apparently, Miss Marple couldn’t sleep and it was 3 a.m when she heard some steps outside. Opening the door a crack, she saw the man leaving his room, which means that he returned to the hotel that night, but apart from Miss Marple, nobody saw him. So what happened afterwards? Is Miss Marple sure that the man was the canon, or she simply assumed it was him because she saw a man leaving his room? We know that something happened in his room, and I had the impression he had been hit in the head. So what has happened to the poor man?

Apart from Canon Pennyfather’s disappearance, Miss Marple also learns something else about some of the guests by pure chance. Once he goes shopping and then decides to have her lunch in a department store. There she recognises Bess Sedgwick, and the woman is with a man who I think is Ladislaus Malinowski, who is a motor racing driver. Then some days later she has some tea in another establishment, and this time she sees Elvira Blake with the same man, and she is certain that the girl is in love with him. Miss Marple knows that Bess and Elvira are mother and daughter, and she thinks that there is something wrong here. I wonder who this man is and why he is toying with these two women.

I have read almost half the book, and I am starting to realise that the TV film has little to do with the plot of the novel. There are some characters that are the same like Elvira, Bess, or Canon Pennyfather, but the plot so far has nothing to do with the film.


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