Murder in Stained Glass by Margaret ArmstrongMeet Miss Trumbull, a stout talkative New Yorker with perfect manners and a passion for sleuthing.
When the remains of temperamental artist, Frederick Ullathorne, are found in his own fiery kiln it looks like a ghastly murder has been committed. But with only a few bones as evidence the local police are getting nowhere fast. Can Miss Trumbull pick up the clues that the police are missing? Or will her interfering get her into trouble in more ways that one?
Fast paced and a lot of fun
If you like Agatha Christie then youll love Miss Trumbull.
This delightful whodunnit by Margaret Armstrong was first published in 1939. It is the first in the American Queens of Crime series from Lost Crime Classics
Murder, Margaret and Me review at Theatre Royal, York – ‘well-crafted’
Murder, Margaret and Me. York Theatre Royal. Till Mar 4 7. More details and book. These films starred the redoubtable Margaret Rutherford in the title role, she of the wobbly jowls and steely, determined eye but with a twinkle and an air of the comical too. For me, Rutherford was, and still is, the Miss Marple in spite of other more recent and excellent television portrayals. This production is thoroughly entertaining.
Brought together partly by Pollock, the women are also drawn to one another by the mysterious Spinster. She wears many hats: the Spinster is simultaneously narrator and author insert, a higher authority, a ghost. Her involvement allows for scenes to segue seamlessly, and for the plot to be brought forward to the juicier narrative beats. That said, we never feel rushed through the story. Instead, it feels that everything pointed out to us is important in its own small way, like being guided through a garden by your granny.
York Theatre Royal, February 2017
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When libraries and bookshops, as well as television and films, are flooded with crime fiction, Agatha, it seems, is still as popular as ever. How did she do it? Fifty-two novels and nine short story collections? No digital voice recognition in those days either. The play opens with a set in which items of large furniture are covered in white sheeting. Now, both now well into their seventies, they have a shared history and we follow them through various locations, beginning and ending with a pleasant garden scene where they can enjoy the sunshine, sitting under a large laburnum tree, and then through a succession of interiors of varying grandeur. In reality, we discover that the much-loved comic actress Margaret also has some very dark shadows overhanging over childhood, both her parents having committed suicide, her father first murdering her grandfather by bludgeoning him over the head with a chamber pot.
Just a few great actors, a well tuned script and occasionally a clever set. So while she might not look like Rutherford, she captures the essence of the woman. A gloriously eccentric actress with a fondness for stuffed toys, haunted by her time in India. That Michael Apted movie is a must-see for the uninitiated and not a bad way for newcomers to ease into this story. Andrina Carroll might be less well-known, but her turn in locally shot movie The Knife That Killed Me , along with a wealth of York Theatre Royal performances, ensure there is exposition and colourful support where needs be.