Cover detail of The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side by Agatha Christie

The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side by Agatha Christie

Coffee, Books and Cake is one year old today!

If you could see me now, please note I am eating a lemon fairy cake, drinking a mug of coffee and feeling very happy! The whole purpose of my blog was to review the books I had read during the pandemic. It quickly became a way of tracking the books I had enjoyed and in some cases loved. I have read and reviewed

  • 106 Books
  • #12 Books of Christmas
  • Awarded 19 Novels a 5 Star rating
  • Read 13 novels from the BBC Big Read Challenge
  • Read books by 75 Authors
  • Been obsessed with all things Christmas, Rules for Perfect Murders and had a spate of books about Russia
  • My most reviewed authors have been (no surprise) Agatha Christie, Miss Read and Nancy Revell

And I've loved every minute of it! Chris and I are celebrating tonight with a takeaway and maybe something fizzy. In the meantime, it's still a review post! so let's get to it shall we.

I do love my Agatha Christie novels and I do believe that I have now read all of the Miss Marple novels. If I'm honest I had been holding back on reading this one as it was the last one I had left, but it felt like the right time. And it was a good one!

Read a list of Agatha Christie Books' by Detective

The Plot

Glamorous movie star, Marina Gregg has moved to Gossington Hall previously featured in The Body in the Library novel. Whilst hosting a garden fete there, Marina meets a number of local dignitaries. Whilst meeting Heather Babcock, a local charity worker, Heather suffers a sudden seizure and dies. She has been poisoned by a deadly cocktail. But was this meant for Marina? Luckily Miss Marple is on hand and as the police bumble about, Miss Marple investigates using her insightful knowledge about human nature.

My Thoughts

I don't know if it was the place I was in, but this novel actually felt slightly joyous. At the start of the novel Miss Marple, after a period of ill-health, has a live-in helper who seems determined to patronise, her much to Miss Marple's chagrin. On visiting her, the Doctor notices that Miss Marple seems a little down and jokingly suggests that Miss Marple would benefit from investigating a juicy murder. And indeed Miss Marple certainly perks up when she hears about the murder at Gossington Hall.

As always Miss Marple relies on two things; peoples' assumption that she is merely 'an old pussy' and her keen insights into human nature. On meeting Heather Babcock prior to the murder, she. quickly recognises her as a kind woman but who is completely oblivious to other people's needs and wants.

I also love these novels as they are a comment on the changing face of society. The novel was first published in 1962 and we can see the shoots of a more modern Britain. There is a housing development on the outskirts of St Mary Meade where Miss Marple lives, reflecting people achieving home ownership for the first time. London is starting to feel vibrant and 'swinging'. A hip photographer and a model are both interviewed by the police. Miss Marple reads a celebrity gossip magazine to understand more about the world of Marina Gregg. It is a lovely social comment about a changing time.

The crime is ingenuous as always, the motive fascinating and I really enjoyed this. Especially as Miss Marple seemed to be having such a great time herself!

Have a great day, I'll be back on Monday with another review. We are going back in time again and it's a hoot!