The Mirror Crack’d From Side To Side by Agatha Christie #ClassicCrime #Mystery #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Agatha Christie

First published in 1962

Category: Classic Crime, Murder, Mystery, Book Review


One minute, silly Heather Badcock had been gabbling on at her movie idol, the glamorous Marina Gregg. The next, Heather suffered a massive seizure. But for whom was the deadly poison really intended?

Marina’s frozen expression suggested she had witnessed something horrific. But, while others searched for material evidence, Jane Marple conducted a very different investigation – into human nature.

Having veered more towards the books featuring Hercule Poirot, I don’t think I read this one. Although I did see and enjoy the film adaptation with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson the outcome escaped me, and I enjoyed the book more even more.

St Mary Mead, the once quiet village home of Miss Jane Marple, is changing and moving with the times. A new housing development has been built, the local shops have changed hands and appearance, and a supermarket has appeared where once the basket shop stood, to the horror of the older generation of ladies. One was expected to take a basket and go round themselves, looking for things! The ladies preferred to be served and enjoy as gossip at the same time. Even Miss Marple’s old friend, Mrs Bantry, has sold off Gossington Hall to movie star Marina Gregg and her husband, producer Jason Rudd, and moved into the lodge in the grounds.

Miss Marple is feeling the effects of age as, after a bout of bronchitis, her nephew has arranged for her to have a live-in help, in the form of the over attentive Miss Knight, which Miss Marple finds a tad intrusive and annoying.

She helped Miss Marple off with her wraps.

‘And now, I expect, we’re tired out,’ she said, accusingly.

You may be,’ said Miss Marple. ‘I am not.’

‘You come and sit cosy by the fire,’ said Miss Knight, as usual paying no attention. (‘you don’t need to take much notice of what the old dears say. I just humour them.’) ‘And how would we fancy a nice cup of Ovaltine? Or Horlicks for a change?’

Miss Marple thanked her and said said she would like a small glass of dry sherry. Miss Knight looked disapproving.

Heather Badcock had been looking forward to attending the reception being held at Gossington Hall, to raise money for a charity. She had met her idol, Marina, years ago and chatters on exuberantly to her hostess. Shortly afterwards she suffers some sort of seizure, collapses and dies within minutes. Scotland Yard are called in when it transpires poison was found in the drink she was given.

Miss Marple had made the acquaintance of Heather Badcock when she took a tumble while walking round ‘The Development’ as the older residents had named the new housing estate. When Mrs Bantry gave Miss Marple the news there’d been a murder at Gossington Hall, and that of someone she had met, it affords her the mental stimulation she needs and she puts her knowledge and experience of human nature to work.

Even though Miss Marple is older, more restricted and frustrated with age related issues, she’s still as smart and hasn’t lost any of her perceptiveness. Nevertheless, there’s a sense of wistfulness and slight sadness at the beginning for times past. But as more deaths occur and the mystery deepens we see the Miss Marple of old piece together the clues. There are any number of suspects, unclear motives, a well constructed plot and easily visualised characters. I think more books featuring Miss Marple are called for.

Out flew the web and floated wide

The mirror crack’d from side to side;

“The curse is come upon me,” cried

The Lady of Shalott

Alfred Tennyson

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | Hive Books

About the Author

Born in Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie began writing during the First World War and wrote over 100 novels, plays and short story collections. She was still writing to great acclaim until her death, and her books have now sold over a billion copies in English and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. Yet Agatha Christie was always a very private person, and though Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple became household names, the Queen of Crime was a complete enigma to all but her closest friends.

10 thoughts on “The Mirror Crack’d From Side To Side by Agatha Christie #ClassicCrime #Mystery #TuesdayBookBlog

  1. I read Miss Marple and Monsieur Poirot equally when I was reading Agatha Christie, CAthy. I remember liking Miss Marple more. That being said, it is years since I read any books featuring Miss Marple and this one sounds good. I must see if I have this one in my collection.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How I loved this story!

    Of course, I watched the movie first and Angela Landsbury was amazing opposite Liz Taylor ‘personifying’ an actress who can’t leave the stage lights behind 🙂 Reading the book only later, Angela Landsbury still portrayed Miss Marple in my mind… And to this day she is the perfect Marple to me 🙂

    A beautiful review, for a top shelf book. Oh, and that little rhyme in the end, still gives me goosebumps! 😉


  3. I’ve seen so many adaptations of the Christie books but read very few of them. I do prefer the Miss Marple ones however – she exhibits more understanding of human nature whereas Poirot seems to just leap to a conclusion

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha! I drafted my own review for this one earlier today – we must have been reading at roughly the same time! I love this one too, partly because I always see Elizabeth Taylor in my mind’s eye as Marina – the film is so much fun despite them taking a few liberties with the book. Miss Marple rocks! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great minds…. 😄 Yes, I saw Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson the whole time I was reading and I did enjoy the film. Reading this sent me to Amazon to buy more Marple books 😆

      Liked by 1 person

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