Title: The Moving Finger
Author: Agatha Christie
Opening lines: “…When at last I was taken out of plaster, and the doctors had pulled me about to their heart’s content, and the nurses had wheedled me into cautiously using my limbs, and I had been nauseated by their practically using baby talk at me, Marcus Kent told me I was to go and live in the country…”
Blurb: Lymstock is a town with more than its share of shameful secrets – a town where even a sudden outbreak of anonymous hate-mail causes only a minor stir. But all that changes when one of the recipients, Mrs Symmington, commits suicide. Her final note said ‘I can’t go on’. Only Miss Marple questions the coroner’s verdict of suicide. Was this the work of a poison-pen? Or of a poisoner? And why was the maid murdered a few days later?
My Thoughts: Jerry Burton is the narrator of this wonderful little cosy mystery. After surviving a plane crash he is advised by his doctor to find a quiet little country village in order to finish recuperating. Lymstock seems to fit the bill so Jerry and his thoroughly modern miss of a sister move in to the village, only to learn that appearances can be deceptive.
“…Such a peaceful smiling happy countryside – and down underneath something evil….It’s full of festering poison and it looks as peaceful and innocent as the Garden of Eden…”
I enjoyed reading how the two city folk slowly adjusted to country life. THE MOVING FINGER was interesting and the narrative style was light, the story had tension, humour and a touch of romance.
“…Caleb has absolutely no taste for fornication. He never has had. So lucky being a clergyman…”
I don’t understand why The Moving Finger is promoted as a Miss Marple book. She did appear but not until the very end of the book and then only to tell the policeman why he had arrested the wrong person. I really think the story would have worked just as well if she had not entered into the tale at all.
Rating: C – Above average. Was very readable and I really liked it but was easily able to put it down and walk away for a while.
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