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The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side
A Miss Marple Mystery
By Agatha Christie

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The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side
By Agatha Christie
MacMillan Publishing Company, (1992)
Large Print Edition
ISBN: 0-8161-4559-8
Genre: Mystery

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - July 16, 2002

The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side is a Miss Marple mystery by the outstanding mystery writer, Agatha Christie. This tale of intrigue takes place in St. Mary Mead, the longtime home Jane Marple. Miss Marple is an unusual character for a detective. She is an older woman of indeterminate years, but most likely to be at least in her 60's. She has no formal training in police or investigative work. Rather, she uses her intelligence and innate ability to get to the 'bottom of things.' In short, she is a grandmotherly, keen-eyed busy body who has a knack for putting the pieces of a puzzling mystery together.

Miss Marple 'starred' in a number of Christie mysteries, and is as famous, if not more so, than her other well-known detective Hercule Poirot. In The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side, the mystery doesn't start out as much of a mystery. St. Mary Mead is awash in rumors about Marian Gregg, a film star that recently bought and moved into a nearby manner house. Miss Marple hears the rumors, but doesn't really get involved in deciding if they are true or not until one of Gregg's most ardent fans is murdered, seemingly in front of her own eyes. At that point, Miss Marple begins to take a very keen interest in Marian Gregg...

The murdered in question occurred in Gregg's new house, while she and her husband, Jason Rudd, were having a sort of house warming party. The cause of death is quickly known - poison. But who was the murderer, and why was this particular person chosen as victim - or was he? Could the real target have been Gregg herself? This question has everyone on edge.

This quick moving mystery is ripe with red herrings, and Christie provides a nice twist at the end that will surprise you. To solve this intriguing mystery, Miss Marple must use all of her snooping abilities to the max. Were the police alone on their hunt for the killer, the perpetrator would have gotten away. This is because they do not have the skill or the ability to ferret out clues the way Miss Marple does!

Besides enjoying the mystery involved in this case, I also found that Christie had taken pains to show us just how much St. Mary Mead has changed over the years. Gone are its days as a quaint, quiet village. Miss Marple is growing old, and her beloved village is becoming more 'modern' as are its inhabitants. This juxtaposition of the old and the new gives this story an added sense of realism that makes it impossible to think of Miss Marple as being anything else but 'real'.

Click Here for a complete list of all the books written by Agatha Christie.

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