Agatha Christie's Marple continued tonight with Greenshaw's Folly. This title may be unfamiliar to many readers. In fact, "Greenshaw's Folly" is a short story, and the screenplay, by Tim Whitnall, welded plot elements from that story with some from another called "The Thumb Mark of St Peter". This might seem like a recipe for a rather disjointed show, but it began well, I thought, before becoming bogged down in excessive convolutions.
Julia Mackenzie held the story together. She may not be Joan Hickson, but she is more akin to my idea of Miss Marple than, say, Margaret Rutherford or Geraldine McEwan. She has identified the strength in Jane Marple's character, a combination of inquisitiveness and a determination not to be rebuffed, coupled with a firm moral sense and a genuine compassion. I tend to think that Christie would have approved her portrayal of the sage of St Mary Mead.
Miss Marple finds a position for a young woman, played by Kimberley Nixon, who seeks her help, but life at her new home, Greenshaw's Folly, proves far from straightforward, and before long the butler is found dead. Miss Marple crosses swords with a detective played by the always enjoyable John Gordon Snclair, and the usual excellent cast included such notables as Fiona Shaw, Julia Sawalha, Joanna David and Judy Parfitt.
I found watching the show a relaxing way to build up to Publication Day (in the UK, at any rate) of The Frozen Shroud. This is not an event likely to stop traffic anywhere, but it's a book that I'm very glad to have written. Tomorrow I'll talk about that eternally tense subject for a writer - the experience of waiting for reviews of one's latest effort. Even Agatha Christie, I suspect, must have been a bit nervous about how people would react to her latest book, and I'm no different.