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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 The Mirror Crack d from Side to Side Miss Marple, 9 , Agatha ChristieAbstract Original publication year 1962 While recovering from an illness, Jane Marple goes out for a walk in St Mary Mead and takes a fall She encounters Heather Badcock, who brings her to her home and relates a story of meeting American actress Marina Gregg, who has moved to England to star in a film about Elisabeth of Austria and purchased Gossington Hall from Marple s friend Dolly Bantry Characters Chief Inspector Craddock, Miss Jane Marple, Mrs Cherry Baker, Jim Baker, Miss Knight, Dolly Bantry, Dr Haydock, Marina Gregg, Jason Rudd, Giuseppe, Dr Gilchrist, Ella Zielinsky, and 2011 1389 301 11 19 9789643636487 . I really thought I had this one figured out It begins to look like a famous actress has a murderer after her Luckily the main detective on the case has this sweet little old aunt who is really nosy Miss Marple finds clues no one else does and has a line of gossipy friends Gotta love Agatha Christie The Mirror Cracked from Side to Side is an English Village mystery of the first order The title comes from Alfred Lord Tennyson s poem the Lady of Shalott All the Christie touches are here This is a classic Christie mystery told firmly in her inimitable style with a most interesting true to life motive for murder There is an interesting aside about the plot of this convoluted tale It seems that Christie based her story on a real life tragedy This story was related to Ms Christie in some fashion regarding the then film actress Gene Tierney of Laura and The Ghost and Mrs Muir fame A warning to the reader, the rest of this review contains spoilers.In 1943 Ms Tierney was happily married to Oleg Cassini and expecting her first child She was scheduled to appear at the Hollywood Canteen It was there that she was approached by an excited fan, a woman Marine, who claimed to be Gene Tierney s greatest fan for an autograph Always willing to accommodate Ms Tierny granted the delighted young woman s wish Shortly after her appearance, Ms Tierney contracted Rubella and as a result her daughter Daria was born prematurely with severe mental retardation and birth defects Her marriage to Cassini after a long difficult struggle broke apart due in greater part to the pressure of caring for Daria At a later post war party Tierney was apparently approached by the woman she had met at The Hollywood Canteen years before and told how she had sneaked out of quarantine for measles to see her favorite star at the Hollywood Canteen In her own words, I just silently looked at her and then walked away After that I didn t care whether ever again I was anyone s favorite actress It was from this moment that Ms Tierney s mental spiral downward began She had a major mental breakdown in the 1950s It was some years later, after a suicide attempt, shock treatments, and much time in institutions including a time at the famed Menninger Clinic that Ms Tierney finally beat her demons back and emerged a whole person onceBut the damage had been done Large portions of her memory were lost as a result of the Shock Treatments Her life and the lives of those dearest to her were changed forever by a careless moment and a selfish fan.He said, She has a lovely face God in his mercy lend her grace, The Lady of Shalott Tennyson The Lady of Shalott Christie undoubtedly read of this heartbreaking incident in Tierney s autobiography and made use of the tragedy as a plot device for her excellent story. Do you remember the Lady of Shalott The mirror crack d from side to side The doom has come upon me, cried the Lady of Shalott Well, that s what she looked like.I very much enjoyed re reading this Christie mystery, not for the murder as such the identity of the culprit and reason branded in my mind which was very well crafted, but for Miss Marple s growing loss of patience with her situation Our famous spinster is driven to exasperation at the administrations of the kind but infuriating Miss Knight, oblivious of her effect around her I must admit I also hate people using the plural personal pronoun when talking to someone, i.e How are we today I d be crawling up the wall like Miss Marple, but it was a surprise to see her dealing with it, and yes, funny, which was very much needed since this is a rather sad story. Book 8 for the Miss Marple Challenge This one takes us back to St Mary Mead but what a different St Mary Mead it is No long the quiet, quaint country village, many changes have taken place The old country homes sold, a new development with new inhabitants, a department store, and even a film studio close by The older residents of St Mary Mead Miss Marple among them try to come to terms with and adapt to the changes, thankful for what is left of the old life But Miss Marple soon realises, however much things might change, human beings and human nature remain pretty much the same Her skills and knowledge are once again put to the test when Mrs Badcock, literally falls down dead at Gossington Hall the former residence of the Bantrys where the body in the library was found But Heather Badcock was a nice though talkative woman to whom no one could have intended any harm It soon turns out that the intended victim may have been the actress Marina Gregg who with her husband Jason Rudd, now live at Gossington Hall The case once again finds its way to Craddock, now Chief Inspector, who reports straight to headquarters as he calls it Aunt Jane s home With him undertaking theactive parts of the investigation, and with help from her current domestic, Cherry Baker, Miss Marple tries to put together what really happened, at the same time trying to contend with Miss Knight, a nurse companion placed in her home by her nephew Raymond West who insists on treating poor Miss Marple as an old dear who mustn t have any excitement This was a Marple book I hadn t read before but I had seen an adaptation with Elizabeth Taylor long ago so did remember whodunit But still, the puzzle is once again complicated though an element of it is similar to what one has seen in AC s books at least two others, with Miss Marple in one of them Despite this, she would have had I not remembered the answer thrown me off track quite successfully There are unexpected coincidences anddeaths along the way I did find myself thinking of Midsomer Murders and how there seemed bodies aplenty there, always But nothing can mislead Miss Marple for long, for though she may be older and frailer, her mind is as sharp as ever This was an enjoyable read for me both for the puzzle itself as well as the social commentary that it includes Four and a half stars. Well, there I was all happy that I had all the Agatha Christie books, courtesy of my mother, so participating in the Miss Marple Challenge was going to be fun Then we got to July and all of sudden I found my mother didn t actually leave me all the Agatha Christie books, so I had to go hunting for the matching volumes i was missing 4 missing out of 39 I think Anyway courtesy of Abe books I now DO have all Agatha Christie books.Ok here we go.You know its strange, I knew there was a big clue right at the start as I was reading, but for the life of me, I couldn t see how it tied in, until the denouement.That said, It was to me one of the most enjoyable of the Miss Marples so far Jane dare I call her that , because of her increasing age, doing virtually all of her investigation from her house, with the odd sortie to the Development Its great to see the re appearance of Mrs Bantry and to know that Miss Marple I had to revert to her full title, slapped wrists for being too casual is still going strong Bring on the next, which I definitely do have This Miss Marple novel is set in St Mary Mead, but it is a village that has seen changes Miss Marple s old friend, Dolly Bantry, has sold Gossington Hall and moved into the East Lodge, while the Development a new housing estate, encroaches on the very outskirts of the village There is even a supermarket, which is viewed with suspicion by elderly ladies, who enjoy shopping as a form of social interaction and are not necessarily in a rush to hurl items into a basket Miss Marple iselderly in this novel and has a daily in young Cherry Baker, from the Development, and has the bossy Miss Knight staying in the house as she has been unwell Although Miss Marple knows that Miss Knight is meant as a kindness by her ever supportive nephew, Raymond West, she bristles under her attentions and is always finding errands to send her on to regain her freedom.One day, having slipped away from Miss Knight s careful ministrations, she ventures into the Development and has fall, being gathered up and taken in by the voluble Heather Badcock Mrs Badcock tells her a long story about when she met the movie actress, Marine Gregg, who is now living at Gossington Hall The story revolves around an escapade when she was younger and left her sick bed to go to a fete where Miss Gregg was presiding in order to get her autograph She tells this story again some days later to Miss Gregg herself at another fete, this time at Gossington Hall To everyone s surprise, shortly after meeting Miss Gregg, Heather Badcock collapses and dies Mrs Bantry is quick to inform Miss Marple, telling her that, while she unfolded her story, Marina Gregg looked frozen in shock much like the Lady of Shalott It is obvious that Miss Marple needs an interest and so she is keen to learn all she can about the murder even going as far as gathering up an armful of gossipy film magazines from the hairdresser When her godson, Dermot Craddock, arrives to investigate, he keeps her informed and it is, of course, Miss Marple who untangles the mystery For who should murder a perfectly innocent, well meaning, if somewhat nosy, middle aged woman Was the real victim meant to be Marina Gregg and, if so, is she in danger This is a really enjoyable mystery There is an excellent cast of characters, including the glamorous Marina Gregg, who both takes to her bed and has hysterics with enjoyable frequency You feel that Agatha Christie really enjoyed writing this and she combines the changing,modern landscape this was published in 1962 with the traditional, village mystery, very cleverly.
Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name
- 351 pages
- The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side
- Agatha Christie
- 22 May 2019 Agatha Christie