56. The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie
Publication: Signet (November 7, 2000), Paperback, 224pp / ISBN 0451201167
Read: March 6, 2010
Summary from Amazon:
When small-town gossip spreads as fast–and deadly–as venom, someone’s bound to end up dead. And, of course, they do. Calling Miss Marple…
One of my favorite things about Agatha Christie’s books is that she’s so freaking funny with her characters and the upper class lifestyle– especially when she combines the two. This one had some great protagonists in it, who I’m sure would have figured out the mystery themselves if they hadn’t been so wrapped up in their love life. They were witty and friendly and I really liked them, and even the secondary characters were great. I also thought that the small town it’s set in was actually charming and even maybe a place I’d like to live, which is quite a feat as I normally abhor small towns.
However, I keep getting stuck on this one plot point: Miss Marple doesn’t show up until nearly the end of the book and she has barely any screen time, but somehow she still solves the mystery in, like, two seconds. The people who had already been involved in the mystery and were halfway into solving it could have feasibly actually solved it. Now, is it that she’s just a super fantastic detective who can kick everyone’s butts in detecting, or is it that Christie needed to stick her in there for some reason and so made Marple into a deus ex machina? Hell, even MISS MARPLE says that Jerry could have solved the crime. Why did Christie bother putting her in at all?
So that was annoying, but the rest of the book was quite fun. Jerry’s romance was borderline creepy, what with his love interest being a young 20-something woman who acts more like a 14-year-old, but I think that would have been less weird in the 1940’s than it is now. Maybe? I don’t know.
Other reviews: Felice’s Log