The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (Miss Marple) Hardcover – Facsimile, 6 Mar 2006
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‘The pieces finally drop into place with a satisfying click.’
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‘Agatha Christie deserves her fame.’
Times Literary Supplement
Agatha Christie is the most popular mystery writer of all time. With over two billion books published, her genius for detective fiction is unparalleled. She is truly the one and only Queen of Crime… --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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One day, having slipped away from Miss Knight’s careful ministrations, she ventures into the Development and has fall, being gathered up and taken in by the voluble Heather Badcock. Mrs Badcock tells her a long story about when she met the movie actress, Marine Gregg, who is now living at Gossington Hall. The story revolves around an escapade when she was younger and left her sick bed to go to a fete where Miss Gregg was presiding in order to get her autograph. She tells this story again some days later to Miss Gregg herself at another fete, this time at Gossington Hall. To everyone’s surprise, shortly after meeting Miss Gregg, Heather Badcock collapses and dies. Mrs Bantry is quick to inform Miss Marple, telling her that, while she unfolded her story, Marina Gregg looked frozen in shock – much like the Lady of Shalott…
It is obvious that Miss Marple needs an interest and so she is keen to learn all she can about the murder; even going as far as gathering up an armful of gossipy film magazines from the hairdresser. When her godson, Dermot Craddock, arrives to investigate, he keeps her informed and it is, of course, Miss Marple who untangles the mystery. For who should murder a perfectly innocent, well meaning, if somewhat nosy, middle-aged woman? Was the real victim meant to be Marina Gregg and, if so, is she in danger? This is a really enjoyable mystery. There is an excellent cast of characters, including the glamorous Marina Gregg, who both takes to her bed and has hysterics with enjoyable frequency. You feel that Agatha Christie really enjoyed writing this and she combines the changing, more modern landscape (this was published in 1962) with the traditional, village mystery, very cleverly.
One of the locals is poisoned at the reception Marina Gregg holds for the local pillars of the community and it seems clear to many that the film star herself could have been the intended target. Miss Marple has to rely on the excellent testimony of her friend Mrs Bantry as she was not present at the time.
The death results in Scotland Yard being called in to investigate and Miss Marple is one of the first people that Desmond Craddock consults. In this story we see Miss Marple in another guise. She is getting older and her nephew has paid for the annoying Miss Knight to keep her company. But Miss Marple does not react very well to having her freedom curtailed however well meaning the intention. It seems at one point that the next murder might be committed by Miss Marple herself.
This is a well constructed plot and the clues are there for the observant reader. I felt there were many tragic elements to the story and the motivations are well drawn as are the characters. If you want crime novels in the classic mould then there is no one better than Agatha Christie in my opinion.
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