2007: 38. The Moving Finger

“I have often recalled the morning when the first of the anonymous letters came.

It arrived at breakfast, and I turned it over in the idle way one does when time goes slowly and every event must be spun out to its full extent.  It was, I saw, a local letter with a typewritten address.”

The Moving Finger, Agatha Christie

This one is a Jane Marple mystery, and, in fact, Mystery! just recently ran a nice version from the BBC, in their new Geraldine McEwan Marple series.  Very well done - I highly recommend it.  The story is about two siblings, Jerry and Joanna Burton, who move to the small town of Lymstock in order to help Jerry (a WWII pilot) recover from a crash.  They are quite enjoying their time in small town Britain, until they learn about a nasty rash of poison-pen letters (and are themselves recipients of one).  The letters turn to murder, and then another murder, and then almost a third, except that Jane Marple comes to visit and solves the terrible crime.

Good stuff, and I quite liked it, except for the character of Megan.  Megan is the daughter of the first victim, a twenty-year old girl who has nothing to do and no one to pay attention to her (her mother is consumed by her new second family), and drifts around town, at loose ends and acting completely dim-witted.  I found the ultimate relationship between Megan and the narrator, Jerry Burton to be condescending and creepy.  I mean, before he (SPOILER) falls in love with her, he thinks of her as being sweet and reliable like a dog or a pony.  BARF.  I’m pleased to say that such things are the exception, rather than the rule in Christie, but it was a black mark on an otherwise pretty solid mystery.

Recommended for: Poisen-pen letter writers; mystery lovers; little old ladies who know too much about the evil in the world

Date/Place Completed:  3/19/07. D.C.

Categories:  Fiction; Re-Read; Agatha Christie Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017