2008: 190. By the Pricking of My Thumbs

“Mrs and Mrs Beresford were sitting at the breakfast table,  They were an ordinary couple.”

By the Pricking of My Thumbs, Agatha Christie

Another Tommy & Tuppence book, and this time Tommy and Tuppence are middle aged. They go to visit a great-aunt of Tommy’s who is quite elderly, and while there Tuppence meets a dotty old lady who asks her if the dead child behind the fireplace was her child.  Tuppence thinks the woman is mad - until she comes back after the aunt’s death and finds the woman has been bundled off under mysterious circumstances.  Being an inveterate meddler, Tuppence can’t help but try to figure out what happened (though she has nothing to go on) and who the dead child actually is.  The story is quite good for a while - how Tuppence gets on the right trail, how she tries to sift through various bits of gossip to figure out what might had happened (Christie is very good at capturing how one could possibly try to solve an ancient crime, a la Elephants Can Remember and Murder in Retrospect).  But then it all falls apart with a very unsatisfying solution - indeed, when they filmed the recent movie version (which they muddled up to make a Marple mystery), they totally changed the ending!  But, if you like Tommy and Tuppence, it’s pretty good for most of it.


Date/Place Completed: 11/16/08; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction, Re-Read, Agatha Christie Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017