The Body in the Library

 by Agatha Christie is available to buy here.


Miss Marple's friend Dolly Bantry is stunned when her maid comes into her room in the morning, not with her tea, but to announce that there is a body lying on the floor of the library! Calling in her good friend Miss Marple to investigate, the two find themselves travelling to Danemouth where the girl was a dancer at the hotel and meeting the family of Conway Jefferson - a wealthy man who seems to have been the only person to miss the young girl. Who could have wanted to kill the young girl when did anyone have the opportunity? Miss Marple is sure to find out...


The 2nd Novel by Agatha Christie to feature Miss Jane Marple. Although only the second Miss Marple novel, it was actually Agatha Christie's 31st novel published.

when to read

Set in the seaside town of 'Danemouth' this is a lovely novel to read during the summer - ideally staying at a grand old hotel on the English coast - or just sat in a comfortable chair at home with your feet up...

Murder Mystery

A fun murder mystery with plenty of suspicious characters and intrigue to keep you turning the pages


Set initially in a classic country mansion complete with library before moving to the beautiful English coast.

Publishing info

This novel was published in 1942 just before 'Five Little Pigs' a Poirot novel and the 3rd Marple novel, 'The Moving Finger', all published in the same year

overall rating


On Screen

Watching Agatha Christie

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie was the first of the series to star Joan Hickson as Miss Marple being aired in a three part series in 1984. It was also filmed as part of the ITV feature-length episodes in 2004 and was also the first episode to star Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple. 

Dramatised and unabridged audiobooks are also available to listen to – click on the image to the right to review prices. 

The Body in the Library Character List

Adelaide JeffersonDaughter-in-law of Conway, Frank Conway’s widow, Peter’s mother
Albert BiggsA labourer who spotted the glow from the car fire
Alicea former maid of Miss Marple.
Amanda HartnellMiss Marple’s next-door neighbour
Basil BlakeA neighbour of the Bantry’s and married to Dinah
Beatrice HennikerGirl Guide and friend of Pamela Reeves
BriggsUsed to be head gardener at Old Hall in St Mary Mead’s (Colonel Protheroe’s house)
Caroline WeatherbyA resident of St Mary Mead who spreads the news of the body found in the library to Miss Hartnell
ClaraMrs Price-Ridley’s maid
Colonel Arthur BantryMarried to Dolly, owner of Gossington Hall
Colonel MelchettChief Constable of Danemouth
Constable Billy PalkConstable first notified of the body found in the library at Gossingdon Hall
Constable GreggThe police officer in Danemouth who interviews Albert Biggs
Conway JeffersonWealthy gentleman staying at The Majestic Hotel
David ClementThe baby son of Griselda and Leonard
Dinah LeeSecretly married to Basil Blake
Dolly BantryMarried to Colonel Bantry and mistress at Gossington Hall
Dr HaydockLocal doctor in St Mary Mead
Dr MetcalfDoctor in Danemouth who advises on Conway Jefferson’s health
Edie ChettyA young girl who used to bite her nails – used as an example by Miss Marple
EdwardsValet to Conway Jefferson
Florance SmallFriend of Pamela Reeves
Frank ConwayJefferson’s deceased son, husband of Adelaide
George BartlettYoung gentleman staying at the hotel
Griselda ClementThe vicar’s wife in St Mary Mead
Hugo McCleanFriend of Adelaide in love with her
Inspector SlackInvestigating officer
JanetA maid working for the Bantry’s
JanetUsed to be a maid of Miss Marples
Jesse DavisGirl Guide and friend of Pamela Reeves
Jessie GoldenHard-working daughter of the local baker Mr Golden, she trained as a governess
Josephine TurnerRuby Keep’s cousin and professional dancer at the Hotel, secretly married to Mark 
Leonard ClementLocal vicar at St Mary Mead
Lilian RidgewayGirl Guide and friend of Pamela Reeves
LorrimerButler for the Bantry’s
Major BuryUsed as an example by Miss Marple, he fell in love with a woman and pursued her for years but she ran off ten days before their wedding
Major ReevesFather of Pamela, the missing schoolgirl
Margaret ConwayJefferson’s deceased wife
Mark GaskellSon-in-law of Conway, widow of Jefferson’s daughter Margaret. Secretly married to Josie
Martha Price-RidleyA local resident of St Mary Mead and next-door neighbour to the vicarage
MaryMaid to the Bantry’s
Mary PriceGirl Guide and friend of Pamela Reeves
Miss HardbottleSpinster sister of Mr Hardbottle who used to keep house for him
Mr BadgerLocal chemist in St Mary Mead used in one of Miss Marple’s examples
Mr CargillA dishonest builder used as an example by Miss Marple
Mr GoldenLocal baker in St Mary Mead
Mr HardbottleAn example given by Miss Marple – he lived with his spinster sister but became very fond of his young maid who admired him and cheered him up.
Mr PrescottManager of the Majestic Hotel at Danemouth
Mrs BadgerWife of the local chemist who found out her husband was falling for their young dispenser 
Mrs EcclesCook to the Bantry’s
Mrs MartinThe new school teacher in St Mary Mead whom the child Tommy Bond pranked
Mrs PalkMarried to Chief Constable Palk
MuswellChauffer to the Bantry’s
Pamela Reevesyoung girl guide who goes missing
Peter CarmodyAdelaide’s son and grandson of Conway Jefferson
Rosamond GaskellJefferson’s deceased daughter, married to Mark Gaskell
Ruby Keene/ Rosy LeggeA younger cousin of Josephine Turner and also a dancer at the Majestic Hotel
Seargent HigginsPolice Officer in Danemouth
Selina BlakeMother of Basil Blake and old school friend of Dolly Bantry
Sir Henry ClitheringFriends with the Bantry’s and Conway Jefferson, a retired police commissioner
Superintendent HarperInvestigating officer
Thomas Ramon ‘Raymond’ StarDancer and tennis player at the Majestic Hotel
Tommy BondChild in St Mary Mead who put a frog in the new school teacher’s clock
William BookerBuilder in St Mary Mead who built the house Basil Blake lives in


Ruby Keene

Pamela Reeves

Mark Gaskell and Josie Turner

Conway Jefferson planned to disinherit Mark and Adelaide in favour of Ruby Keene, leaving her £50,000.

Mark (secretly married to Josie) killed her to secure the inheritance. 

Pamela Reeves is strangled by Mark

Ruby is killed by Josie but it is unclear exactly how – possibly by strangulation, poison or bludgeoned. 

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