Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

Schedule of Events:
Mon: Classic Mystery
Tues: Romantic Suspense
Wed: Urban Fantasy
Thurs: Thriller
Fri: Cozy Mystery
Sat: Paranormal Elements

The Moving Finger (Miss Marple) by Agatha Christie
Synopsis (Goodreads):
The placid village of Lymstock seems the perfect place for Jerry Burton to recuperate from his accident under the care of his sister, Joanna. But soon a series of vicious poison-pen letters destroys the village's quiet charm, eventually causing one recipient to commit suicide. The vicar, the doctor, the servants--all are on the verge of accusing one another when help arrives from an unexpected quarter. The vicar's houseguest happens to be none other than Jane Marple.
My Thoughts: This book manages to confound me every time I read it. This is besides the fact that I couldn't figure out who did it - in ANY mystery, really - to save my life. I think the reason it confuses me is that I really like the book despite the fact that Miss Marple doesn't show up until well past the halfway point. I get so tangled up in the lives of the residents of Lymstock that I don't even notice that she's not there until she appears. That is some damn good writing if you ask me.

The plot is tightly woven with nearly all the major characters in the town acting suspiciously at one point or another. Probably the only people that I never suspected were Jerry (our narrator) and Joanna (his sister) since they hadn't yet come to Lymstock when the nasty letters started. Other than that... everyone was fair game. I also enjoyed the odd friendship that springs up between Jerry and Megan, the mostly forgotten daughter of one of the town bigwigs. She's a strange, fey girl but it works for her and Jerry's anger at the way Megan was treated worked for me.

The writing is lyrical and it easily pulls you into a time when the "house girl" still came by the tidy up and lay out tea. Agatha Christie's ability to weave a convoluted tale set in the past and make it feel as if you'd be able to travel down a country road and find this little village just waiting for you boggles me. In my mind, she is undisputedly worthy of being one of the best selling authors of all time.

Books in this series
1. Murder at the Vicarage
2. The Thirteen Problems
3. The Body in the Library
4. The Moving Finger - Paperback | Kindle
5.A Murder is Announced
6. The Do It With Mirrors
7. A Pocket Full of Rye
8. 4:50 From Paddington
9. The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side
10. A Caribbean Mystery
11. At Bertram's Hotel
12. Nemesis
13. Sleeping Murder
14. Miss Marple's Final Case

Author Links
| Wikipedia | Amazon |


  1. I loved Agatha's writing and Murder at the Vicarage was the first that I have ever read by her. You get so caught up in these people's lives that gosh darn it---you kind of want to meet them! :)

    Great review! I will be continuing the Miss Marple Series!

    1. I told Amanda that Agatha Christie's writing is very straightforward. The mystery is twisted and the suspects are legion but her writing delivers.

  2. I think it's great y'all are doing a week of mysteries. I actually don't really seek mysteries out (oh, the horror!!). They just sometimes show up in my books and I'm like, "cool". So this will be my education... Agatha and Miss Marple are sounding pretty all-time bestselling worthy!!

    1. I don't normally actively seek out mysteries but while I was getting books together for this event I realized that SO many of the books I do read revolve around a mysterious event or a murder. So, a mystery is all in the eye of the beholder.

  3. Replies
    1. It's fun. Miss Marple is very different from Poirot. She's all "Aww, shucks! I'm just an old lady, you shouldn't listen to me. However, if you want to solve this mystery you should consider Mr. X as a suspect. He's been stepping out on his wife with the parlor maid and ..." and it's kinda hilarious!

  4. I tried to complete Thirteen Problems but couldn't, i'm not really a short story girl. I loved And Then There Were None though.

    1. Short stories are really hit or miss for me, too. However, I've enjoyed everything else I've read by her.

  5. This sounds like an interesting series! I had a laugh at the title of this book ... to me, it just came across as hilarious!

    I really need to give Agatha Christie a try ... she has some great-looking books!

    1. Lol! I know! The title always gives me pause. The phrase "poison pen" is used also and I think that's so delectably evocative.

  6. Great review! This sounds like a really interesting book.

    Ashley @ Dr. Pepper Diva

  7. Mrs Marple in the kitchen with a skillet. I need to meet this chicka.

    1. Miss Marple would never harm someone. She's a genteel Victorian busybody!

  8. The Moving Finger is one of my favorite Agatha Christies! I remember being shocked when I found out who the culprit was. To be honest, though, I think I read this one before I was much invested in Miss Marple, so I didn't care that she showed up so late. I love the period feel of all of Christies' books and I *so* need a house girl to come to my house.

    1. I'm always shocked by the who did it. I'm so terrible at sorting out the clues.