Whenever Miss Marple returned from a vacation away from the little hamlet of St. Mary Mead, in southern England, she always enjoyed catching up on the local news. A great deal of gossip was available at the Martin Tea Shop, and much of it was of good value, setting the stage for Miss Marple’s later, amazing deductions. That is why a fortnight away from home required her to catch up on what had happened during her absence. She could never tell when some tiny detail might later provide the evidence to solve a local mystery. Her visit in Shropshire had been interesting, and it was fun to see old friends, but now she was home again.
Surprisingly, the local news was so exciting that she didn’t even have to ask. Friends and neighbors sort of blurted out their versions of what had happened during her absence. She had no sooner settled in at her usual table at Martin’s Tea Shop and ordered some tasty buttered scones with jam and a pot of tea, when she first heard the news.