Do you ever doubt if things are really true or not? Or do you just assume everything to be what it looks to be? In the short story Miss Marple Tells a Story by Agatha Christie, the author believes that the truth is not as obvious as it seems, and can be hidden in plain sight. In the passage, Miss Marple tells the story of when Mr. Petherick asked her for her professional opinion on the murder of Mrs. Rhodes. Mr. Petherick believed Mr. Rhodes did not murder his wife, Mrs. Rhodes at the hotel they were staying at. After asking several questions, Miss Marple had already figured it out. A woman dressed as a chambermaid was the person responsible for killing Mrs. Rhodes, and she was one of the two women staying alone at the hotel.
Mr. Petherick assumes the chambermaid is innocent when trying to figure out who killed Mrs. Rhodes, and says “’There seems absolutely no reason why she should commit a sudden assault on a guest…’” (Christie 3). Mr. Petherick can’t seem to figure out what happened, as he not only believes that Mr. Rhodes did not kill his wife, but also believes that it couldn’t have been the chambermaid. Here, he is completely eliminating the possibility of the chambermaid having killed Mrs. Rhodes. He turns out to be wrong because although the real chambermaid did not murder Mrs. Rhodes, a woman staying at the hotel dressed as a chambermaid did. Mr. Petherick was assuming seemingly obviously true things to be automatically true.
After Mr. Petherick states he doesn’t believe the chambermaid or her husband killed the woman, Miss Marple notes that “On the face of it, it seems that Mr. Rhodes must have murdered his wife. But I could see that Mr. Petherick was quite convinced of his client’s innocence… ”. Much of the very little evidence available may lead many to believe that Mr. Rhodes killed his wife because no-one other than him and the chambermaid had gone in her room that night. However, Miss Marple knows not to be fooled by the seemingly obvious. She trusts Mr. Petherick’s judgment about the husband not having killed Mrs. Rhodes, which is not necessarily the most obvious choice and continues to inquire further about the case and possible suspects. Miss Marple Tells a Story shows readers that the truth is often not what it seems, and requires some creative thinking to find that it’s often hiding in plain sight, much like how in the story, Miss Carruthers wears a chambermaid’s uniform to enter Mrs. Rhodes’ room without suspicion.