August 22, 2011

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie: Review

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In The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie, Jerry is recovering from a plane crash in a quiet little village. His vivacious sister Joanna is helping him during his recovery. Both expect to be bored to tears by country life. How wrong they are!

Not long after arriving, Jerry receives an anonymous letter suggesting that Joanna is not his sister. The siblings laugh it off, figuring it's just a mean prank, but soon they find out other villagers have received similar letters insinuating a lot of *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* going on. Most of the letter recipients' reactions are the same as Jerry and Joanna's: a nasty prank, burn it and move on. However, it appears that one of the letters hits too close to the mark, when the lawyer's wife commits suicide after receiving one.

The villagers start getting skittish. Who is sending the letters? The police suspect an angry spinster with a dirty mind. Things get even darker when someone is murdered. Did the victim know who the anonymous letter writer was? As the police narrow down the suspects, one person with the ability to see the wickedness in others is on the case: Miss Marple.

It's funny, the cover of The Moving Finger says A Miss Marple Mystery but the lady is barely in it. She appears so late in the story that I thought the publisher must have made a mistake. Then she's only in the book for a dozen pages or so.  Oh well. Jerry is the narrator of the story. I really enjoyed his voice and the teasing he gives Joanna. They have a close brother-sister relationship. He thinks she's a bit of a maneater though.

For most of the book, I thought I knew who the killer was. I was positive I knew who it was. Positive! I wasn't happy about it either because 1) I didn't want that person to have done it and 2) I didn't want to have figured it out so soon. Where's the fun in that? I was sure Christie dropped the ball on this one. Luckily, I was wrong. It's amazing what a magician she was. She knew how to distract readers with some smoke and mirrors. I tip my tiny hat to you, Ms Christie!

The anonymous letter was an interesting device. I get plenty of anonymous spam but no malicious messages regarding shenanigans. I wonder what my reaction would be if I did. I hope I could be like Jerry and Joanna and make a joke out of it.

So yes, I recommend The Moving Finger. I'm enjoying nearly all of the Agatha Christie books as I make my way through them.

Ratings:
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6 comments :

  1. I have never heard of this Christie, but it sounds great! I've added it to my TBR.

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  2. I really loved this one. I know Miss Marple isn't in it all that much--but it was such a great story :)

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  3. I haven't read a Miss Marple mystery yet - this sounds like a good one to start with.

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  4. This one looks really good. Adding it to my GR's list now!

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  5. I love Agatha Christie novels. It's been awhile since I've read one. I haven't heard of this series, do I will keep an eye out. Thanks for the review.

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  6. Col- I hadn't either until I picked it up for my mom.

    Becky- It really was a great story. I loved the voice.

    Kathy- This is my first Miss Marple, so it is a good place to start!

    Ti- Great!

    Lena- I've been reading a lot of Christie lately.

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