Strange Jest is a short story written by Agatha Christie and first appeared in This Week magazine under the title A Case of Buried Treasure on 2 November 1941 in the US. In the UK, the story was published in The Strand Magazine in 1944, again as A Case of Buried Treasure. It is the fifth short story of the Tuesday Night Club story arc.

By 1950, the story was gathered and published as Strange Jest in the short story collection Three Blind Mice and Other Stories.


Miss Marple is accosted at a party by a pair of lovebirds who think that a lately deceased uncle has buried their inheritance. The naïve pair expects Miss Marple to instantaneously summon forth where the buried treasure is. But, this careful observer of human nature—the consequence of living in a small English village—knows that a little examination is needed. Invited to Ansteys, the ransacked family seat, Miss Marple ensconces herself in a household that has perhaps been too thoroughly investigated. She regales its members with what appear to be meaningless, infuriating anecdotes, but little do they know their importance and worth...


Publication history

  • 1941, This Week magazine, 2 November 1941 (Under the title A Case of Buried Treasure)
  • 1944, The Strand Magazine, 1944 (Under the title A Case of Buried Treasure)
  • 1950, Three Blind Mice and Other Stories
    • 1950, Dodd, Mead and Company (New York), Hardback, 250 pp
    • 1952, Dell Books, Paperback, 224 pp, (Dell number 633)
    • 1960, Dell Books, Paperback, as The Mousetrap and other stories, (Dell number D354)
    • 1984, Berkley Books, Paperback, 212 pp, (Berkley number 06806-4)
  • 1978, Miss Marple's Final Cases and Two Other Stories
    • 1978, Ulverscroft Large-print Edition, Hardcover, ISBN 0-7089-2346-1
    • 1979, Collins Crime Club (London), October 1979, Hardcover, 140 pp ISBN 0-00-231596-3
    • 1980, Fontana Books (Imprint of HarperCollins), Paperback


Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple

NHK produced an anime adaptation of the story as the third episode of their Japanese anime series Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple under the title Strange Will. The episode was broadcast in 2004 and features Miss Marple and her great niece Mabel West.

International titles

  • Czech: Podivný šprým (Strange Jest)

Worldwide covers

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