Friday, August 05, 2011

They Do It With Mirrors

They Do It With Mirrors. (Miss Marple). Agatha Christie. 1952/2011. HarperCollins 224 pages.

Mrs. Van Rydock moved a little back from the mirror and sighed. 

Ruth Van Rydock wants her good friend, Jane Marple, to do her a favor. She's worried about their mutual friend Carrie Louise Serrocold. She has a feeling that Carrie Louise is in trouble or in danger. And so she's arranged a visit for Miss Marple. After a few small lies are told to smooth the way, Carrie Louise is happy to welcome her old friend into her home. Miss Marple is introduced to the STRANGE, STRANGE bunch of folks living or working on the estate. Her husband, Lewis. Her daughter, Mildred. Her granddaughter, Gina, and her husband, Walter. Her stepsons from her second marriage, Stephen and Alex Restarick. Her companion-caretaker, Juliet Bellever. Her husband's assistant, Edgar Lawson. (Carrie Louise has been married three times--and it shows. She's carried over wealth and property, but, also children and grandchildren, etc.) Her husband's pet project has him working with juvenile delinquents with part of the estate being converted into a school of sorts. I won't lie, it was a bit confusing at first to see how these characters connect to one another--if they connect to one another. It helps that almost every character seeks out Miss Marple in the days after her arrival. One by one they "unburden" themselves and complain freely about anything and everything.

Of course, it turns out that Ruth had VERY good reason to worry about her friend. And Miss Marple it seems arrived just in time for the drama. Soon there's a murder to be solved...can she solve it in time before more lives are lost?

I enjoy Miss Marple. I do. There is just something satisfying about reading Agatha Christie. While They Do It With Murders isn't my new favorite or anything, it is an enjoyable mystery. Not perfect. But definitely enjoyable enough to recommend.

Ruth to Miss Marple:
"You've always been a sweet innocent looking creature, Jane, and all the time underneath nothing has ever surprised you, you always believe the worst."
"The worst is so often true," murmured Miss Marple.
"Why you have such a poor idea of human nature, I can't think--living in that sweet peaceful village of yours, so old world and pure."
"You have never lived in a village, Ruth. The things that go on in a pure peaceful village would probably surprise you."
"Oh I daresay. My point is that they don't surprise you." (9)

Inspector Curry and Miss Marple:
"This is all very distressing I know. But we've just got to get the facts clear. Get it all clear."
"Oh yes, I know," said Miss Marple. "So difficult, isn't it? To be clear about anything, I mean. Because if you're looking at one thing, you can't be looking at another. And one so often looks at the wrong thing, though whether because one happens to do so or because you're meant to, it's very hard to say. Misdirection, the conjurers call it. So clever, aren't they?" (90)

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Chrisbookarama said...

I've been on a Christie kick lately. I have this one on my shelf too. Glad you recommend it!