Book 22 of 52: "The Mirror Crack’d" by Agatha Christie

Sometimes, I pick up a book because it has an amazing tagline or introduction, but I soon find that the author has failed to deliver on the potential of his or her plot premise.

For Agatha Christie’s novels, on the other hand, I find that the opposite is what tends to be true.  Take this mystery, for instance.  This is a Miss Marple story, and already I’m less than interested – it’s tough for me to see eye to eye with an elderly woman who has never even left her village, and tends to rely mostly on gossip to solve her murders.  And in this story, obviously written later in Christie’s career, Marple is getting up in years, to the point where she is nearly house-ridden, and must rely on a nurse for much help.

If that was all I knew about this story, I would have put it down.

But I kept reading – and I’m glad that I did.
Although the story begins with the elderly and confined Marple, we soon leave her behind as we follow an older, but still beautiful, actress.  She has just moved into the large mansion in the town, and throws a party – where one of the guests winds up poisoned!

Soon, however, it becomes clear that although the guest, a rather disagreeable middle-aged woman, was the one who ended up dead, the poison was actually meant for the actress herself!  Who has it out for this woman?  And will she end up dead before Marple (helped out by a much younger relative in the police) can pin down the killer?
I won’t give away more, but once again, I couldn’t guess the killer.  In fact, this time, I thought I had the right individual chosen – but then changed my mind.  If I had just stuck with my initial assumption, I would have finally gotten it right!  Damn you, Christie, and your slippery little mind!
Time to read: a little under 3 hours, as is typical for her stories.  I wonder how long it would take me if I sat down with all her books and refused to budge?

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