Chapter 26

“Right, let’s get started,” Lucy said. Then Mrs McGillicuddy with Lucy’s help, went through all she had learned from the book and from observing life in St Mary Mead. She was so used to listening
to Miss Marple explaining the intricacies of a solved murder mystery that it felt odd to be explaining things to Miss Marple and to see, despite her acute observation of people’s  behaviour when she was ‘sleuthing’, how she had not seen things in the village that were right in front of her.

In particular, she had managed to avoid noticing Dolly’s use of prescribed drugs. Mrs McGillicuddy had just read the section of the book about ‘secondary drugs’, so she pursued this with Miss
Marple who had often got the doctor to prescribe a sedative to her when she found sleeping difficult. She went to fetch the book and they went through this section with Miss Marple, showing how reducing her drinking could easily lead her to use prescribed drugs more regularly.

“Oh dear,” said Miss Marple and she looked more miserable.

“Don’t despair, Miss Marple” said Lucy, “you will get through this. Let’s start thinking about a plan. You might like to use these mind maps to help you think about everything – we use them at work and people find it helps them to see the full picture, and to plan how to deal with each aspect of their problem.” “Let’s you and me go through them together later today”, said Mrs McGillicuddy.


(Mind maps are a crucial tool for many treatment approaches because they are visual. For people who are good with words they can give them a new way of looking at their lives, and since they don’t depend on good literacy skills, they can be liberating for people who struggle with written text based documents. They can be explored at


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