What is this mystery book/movie I'm barely remembering?
June 13, 2015 3:53 PM   Subscribe

Help me remember this book or movie -- possibly from the mystery genre -- from the single plot point I recall?

It's either a book or a movie. If it's a book, it must have been a massive best-seller because I barely read any mysteries. Or maybe it's not a mystery at all and I'm just remembering this mysterious plot point.

Someone is dead. Some others are investigating. Among the suspects is someone who is deathly ill and was bedridden and on the brink of death when the murder went down. Since then, this person (I think it was a woman) has died. By the end of the book it becomes clear that this very sick woman managed to marshall her last remaining energy/intellectual powers to get out of bed, do the murderous acts which I think involved poison or something else that doesn't leave much mess, clean up the evidence and get back in bed, and then die. So, the perfect crime.

One hitch: this sick person may have committed suicide instead of murder -- like, rather than go through the horrors of dying of whatever it was she was dying of. And so that is the rueful solution for the people who are investigating this -- their entire investigation was wrong, beacuse this lady actually committed suicide.

Also, it could have been a man. Was definitely a woman or a man. :)

I know this is vague, but MeFites are so good at this. Solve my mystery?
posted by BlahLaLa to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This sounds so familiar to me. As I remember it, there was a wife who had slowly been building up a resistance to arsenic by administering it to herself in small doses, which of course made her very sick. But when the time came, she was able to prepare tea(?) for herself and her husband with the same dose in it (to avoid suspicion). Fatal to him, but not to her because of her precautionary measures. She lived, he died. She survived long enough to be prosecuted when someone finally figured it out. I want to say Agatha Christie? (I've been searching to no avail.)
posted by trip and a half at 4:15 PM on June 13, 2015

Response by poster: I don't think it's Agatha Christie. I believe it's much more contemporary, like late 80s or later.
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:51 PM on June 13, 2015

This sounds like the plot of

SPOILER for new readers/viewers

the first Phryne Fisher mystery by Kerry Greenwood.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:58 PM on June 13, 2015

Just in case it's somehow related to the poison plot I mentioned, I found this on TVTropes: Acquired Poison Immunity.

Maybe there's a clue in there?
posted by trip and a half at 5:14 PM on June 13, 2015

Response by poster: I know I don't have much to go on here, but i don't think it's an acquired poison immunity-type plot. All of the WOWZA plot twist is about the fact that the nearly-dead person got up and did this. Whether it was murdering someone else, or committing suicide.
posted by BlahLaLa at 5:37 PM on June 13, 2015

Christie's "Curtain: Poirot's Last Case" was published in 1975 but filmed for the long-running TV series a couple of years ago; both the murder and the suicide are surprising, for a host of reasons.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:48 PM on June 13, 2015

Best answer: Sounds like One True Thing, which is both a book and a movie and has pretty much exactly the scenario you described.
posted by stefanie at 5:53 PM on June 13, 2015

Response by poster: Will entertain other suggestions but after reading the description of One True Thing I think that's it. I don't actually remember seeing/reading it but it matches up perfectly.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:46 PM on June 13, 2015

Do you read graphic novels or manga? It sounds a lot like the plot of a manga I read once.
posted by patheral at 12:25 PM on June 14, 2015

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