And we’re back for the last book review of October 2017! I’m almost caught up on them all, but for now, here are my thoughts on The Mirror Crack’d From Side To Side – the 9th Miss Marple story written by Agatha Christie.
For as long as I can remember, my perfect Sunday has involved a fire roaring in the fireplace, warm fluffy socks, a mug of hot chocolate, a good book, and a murder mystery on the TV.
Unfortunately, my current flat doesn’t have a fireplace for me to light a fire, I’ve run out of hot chocolate, and I’m reading the murder mystery instead of watching it. But the sentiment is there!
As I joined Miss Marple for her 9th investigation, I felt like someone had wrapped a big wooly blanket around me and I was home. There has always been a certain element of comfort in reading an Agatha Christie novel, and even though Poirot is my favourite, I actually started off reading Miss Marples.
This installment saw our favourite sleuth intrigued by the death of a villager in the home of the famous film star, Marina Gregg. After it appears the poor woman was murdered accidentally, and the poison was intended for another, Miss Marple takes her doctor’s advice and tries unravelling for a change, instead of knitting. While she herself wasn’t there for the incident, her good friend Dolly Bantry was, and Dolly is able to relay what she saw. One thing that stuck out to Mrs Bantry, however, was a certain ‘look’ that passed over Marina’s face at one stage. The only way she can describe it is to quote a line from Alfred Tennyson’s The Lady Of Shalott –
“Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack’d from side to side:
‘The curse is come upon me,’ cried
The Lady of Shalott.”
Now, I’ve seen the dramatised version on TV several times, and yet I still couldn’t remember who the murderer was. I curled up into my corner of the sofa and set to reading straight away.
One thing that surprised me was the language in the book. It’s been so long since I read an Agatha Christie, and it reminded me that I love love love the older style of writing. I also adored the fact that Miss Marple was able to solve the mystery before she even met any of the suspects!
The character development was good, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading through each of the scenes and trying to discover who the murderer was. I felt the same exhaustion with Miss Knight as our detective, and the excitement whenever Inspector Craddock arrived to give her a little more information.
As always, the suspects range from the husband, to the butler, to a stalker, but the real enticement of an Agatha Christie is which character really did it? It’s nearly always someone you never expected, and even when you expect the unexpected you can sometimes miss the clues.
I would highly recommend this book for a quiet Sunday in – especially now the weather is turning!
What’s your favourite Agatha Christie novel?