Afternoon mystery lovers! It’s time for another Monday with Marple, a time to sit back, relax and find out what’s going on in the world of Jane Marple – knitter, spinster, murder-solver. Today’s pick is The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side. I selected this one to be second in the MwM review series for the simple reason that it happened to be on the shelf at a second-hand bookstore I happened to wander into. And I quite liked the title. So join me as I delve into the world of …
Marina Gregg, famous actress and possessor of a nervous temperament, buys the big house at St Mary Mead hoping that it will be her “forever” home. At a fete for the St John Ambulance hosted at the house, Heather Badcock – local chatterbox and ardent fan of Marina Gregg – dies suddenly after drinking a cocktail offered at an exclusive soiree in the house. After initial inquiries from the police, it appears unlikely that anyone would intentionally wish to do away with Mrs Badcock and the hottest tip is that the poisoned cocktail was actually meant for Marina. Miss Marple, although largely housebound and under the ever-watchful eye of housekeeper Mrs Knight, nevertheless has some suspicions of her own. But will she be able to unravel the mystery before others meet an untimely end?? Well, no she won’t. But that’s part of the fun really, isn’t it?
The Usual Suspects:
The charming and unstable actress, her ugly but nice-personality-ed fourth husband, the gossipy fan, the henpecked husband of the gossipy fan, the dark, brooding American and famous actress number two, the foreign butler, the previous owner of the big house, the servants, the producer, the fussy and efficient social secretary….there’s thousands and thousands….Well, not quite that many. But there’s no elderly, blustering military man retired from service in India, which I thought was a bit of a shame.
Level of Carnage:
There are multiple murders. Satisfying.
Level of Wiley-Tricksy-ness of the Plot:
This was a landmark book for me. I actually picked the important elements of the ending very early on in the book. This is the first time that has ever happened, which indicates to me that either I have suddenly become significantly more intelligent, or that Agatha didn’t really try her hardest in this one. Nevertheless, the plot twist and reveal is pretty tricky. *smug expression*
Three out of five knitting needles. It was a fun read, but I really felt the lack of a Colonel. Or a Major. Or a Captain.
Until next time,