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4.2 out of 5 stars
They Do It With Mirrors (Miss Marple)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2014
Jane Marple is the original Jack Reacher. Unlike Poirot, who often relied on the police to key him into cases, Miss Marple turned up where she liked, carried out her own investigation and delivered her particular brand of justice before moving on without looking back. True, she has yet to headbutt anyone, but I've still 6 novels and one short story collection to go so, y'know, here's hoping.

They Do It with Mirrors finds Reacher, uh, Marple travelling to a young offenders' reform home to discover what nebulous threat a childhood friend is living under. Tensions, tempers and seemingly-blameless types abound and - before she's even unpacked her knuckle-dusters (just cos you don't see 'em doesn't mean she doesn't have 'em) - there's soon murder in the mix...

I can't shake the feeling that I may have seen the best of Agatha Christie, and the remaining books in her oeuvre will be, like this, agilely-constructed and eminently readable but still a shade rudimentary in the plotting. She plagiarises herself at least four times, and in playing fair with the solution recycles a trick Edmund Crispin used to similarly-underwhelming effect, but it seems a little harsh to hold that against her in her 52nd published work of crime fiction.

I read this in a day and still enjoyed it immensely - she expounds some remarkably modern attitudes towards offenders, relationships, young women exploiting their beauty and the nature of family - and for anyone new to this type of fiction this is a fabulous introduction. Hardier souls have seen better, though, and would expect more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Miss Marple received a request for help from an old school friend. Ruth is worried about her sister, Carrie Louise and she feels she may be in danger. Miss Marple goes to stay with Carrie Louise to try and find out what is going on and hopefully stop anything happening to her.

The redoubtable Miss Marple finds herself in the middle of a very odd collection of people. Lewis Serrocold is a rich philanthropist who has set up a home for delinquent teenage boys in the grounds of his home but Miss Marple does not feel that any danger lies with them.

When a visitor is found shot dead the police are called and Miss Marple comes into her element. With plenty of suspects and clues a-plenty this is a marvellously well constructed country house crime novel. It shows Miss Marple at her inimitable best as she looks for the little pieces of information which other people overlook.

I really enjoyed this book and found I had to keep reading to find out who the murderer was. The characters are well drawn and the motivations believable. I liked Inspector Curry as well and he does not overlook the value of Miss Marple's knowledge of human nature and her powers of observation. If you like your crime novels in the classic mould then there is no one who can beat Agatha Christie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2005
Agatha Christie was a prolific crime writer and for that reason some of her books tend to have a similar theme to them. In the case of 'They do it with Mirrors' I was able to discern the culprit with chapters to spare.
Miss Marple has been sent by a friend to investigate an eerie feeling she has had about another of their childhood friends who love in a run down mansion which is attached to a juvenile delinquent centre. After a disturbance by one of the students a crime is committed and it is up to Miss Marple to discover what is real and what is smoke and mirrors.
I enjoyed the book while it lasted and unlike other Christie novels I was able to follow who all the characters were and understand their emotions. However, the way in which the crime is committed has been done before (even though this was one of the originals!) and if you have ever watched a Midsommer Murders you will have no problem knowing before Miss Marple who committed the crime.
Better luck next by Miss M!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2013
I've read this story a couple of times, and I have to say that whilst it's okay, I didn't enjoy it as much as the others. This story doesn't involve a village that Miss Marple often finds herself in. Instead she is staying at a friends house of which there is a reform centre for wayward young boys, which is run by Miss Marple's friend (Carrie Louise) husband Lewis.

Carrie Louise is supossedly in danger from someone who is trying to kill her. Carrie Louise disagrees with that suggestion whilst other family members are being murdered. Can Miss Marple get to the bottom of this case?

For me this story seemed a bit contrived, but on the whole not bad. Would recommend
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on 3 August 2015
They Do It With Mirrors, while reading feedback of this title I felt prompted to respond even though I haven't read this title; but wonder if it is worth the read still. I have read so far The 4.50 from Paddington, Sleeping Murders, The Clocks, Destination Unknown, Death In the Clouds, Passenger to Frankfurt, on the strength of this some of these later titles are probably worth the read. Having said this I have firm faves' in The 4.50 from Paddington and Sleeping Murders. I have read the others mentioned but haven't had the same impact from them but still an experience from the Queen of crime.
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on 31 October 2001
If you like Agatha Christie, well, all the normal ingredients are here, and you'll love it. There's a fixed list of suspects for you to choose from - and you're bound to pick the wrong one. Miss Marple's a smashing sleuth, and there are lots of Christie one liners to make you laugh out loud on the train. A good one to read in one or two sittings - and a lovely slice of life from the early part of last century to feast upon.
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on 29 May 2013
I recently re-read it and enjoyed it. I vaguely remembered the killer so no real surprise at the end, but still the plot is quite well-made, well-balanced and relatively quick paced - was not bored at all. I did not feel perfectly satisfied with the motive and the psychosynthesis of the killer and generally the final explanation of the story, but overall a 90% satisfactory read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I don't know if the first edition was so badly proof read, but this facsimile has three versions of Miss Marple's name in just a few pages. It's otherwise a very nice edition. These little hard cover editions are perfect in the the hand, unlike giant modern ones.

This isn't the best, or cleverest, Miss Marple I've read, but it's not bad. It's unusual because the setting is a boys' institution, or at least the mansion attached to it where the 'visionary' who runs the place lives. For once, Miss Marple very nearly gets mixed up with the common people.

And for once, I guessed the whole thing long before the end. For me, there are a few too many dead bodies, and the denoument is rather unsatisfying.

But, it's pretty much as well written as usual, and it holds your interest well.

This one's not set in St Mary Mead, so Miss M is a little out of her environment. Really, she takes a back seat and it's only by chance that she guesses what really happened when another character also guesses.
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on 12 May 2015
Another Miss Marple classic keeping you on your toes all the way through. It was change to find Miss Marple in it all the way through. If you have never read Agatha Christie I completely recommend this book very easy to follow and understand.
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on 3 January 2014
Nother of the less common novels by Christie. This book I have read before and it is always a good read I really enjoy Agatha Christie's books and with the Kindle it just makes it so convenient to read anywhere
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