The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Reading an Agatha Christie novel is such a fun experience and comfortable place for me. I enjoy these classic mysteries so, so much. They never get old!
One of my 2023-Reading Goals is to read all of the full-length novels in the Miss Marple series in order.
Even though I am a little behind my initial ‘one-per-month’ goal, I still think I stand a great chance of completing these all this year. The Moving Finger is the third novel in the series and I found it an absolute delight!
In this story we follow Jerry Burton, who after an unfortunate accident relocates himself, along with his sister, Joanna, to the little village of Lymstock to recuperate from his injuries.
The idea is that the quiet village life will be the perfect setting for him to relax and heal. Little do the siblings know that quiet villages often hold the most sinister secrets and dastardly deeds.
Not long after their arrival, the Burtons receive a poison pen letter; basically, the troll comments of their time.
The letter accuses them of terrible things, of living together and not actually being brother and sister…
It’s not true of course and they’re quite curious as to who would hold such vitriol against them. They just moved to Lymstock, after all, they hardly know anybody. Who would be so crass?
Soon it becomes clear that Jerry and Joanna were not the only victims. People throughout the village received similar vicious letters, all accusing the recipients of different horrible things.
At first, it seems more a nuisance than anything else, but then one goes a step too far and a woman ends up taking her own life after receiving one of the letters.
The village is in shock. The letters have to be coming from one of their own, but who?
As the Reader, you follow along as Jerry and Joanna become more ingrained in the town and the families living there. Jerry is determined to weed out the culprit.
This was so much fun. I loved getting to know the people in the town, hearing their stories and watching how they were all connected.
Village life is so interesting to me. There is a deep history in such places and many of the families living there are connected in ways that might not be apparent upon first glance. I love parsing all that out.
It was interesting to me that Miss Marple doesn’t appear until about 75% of the way through this novel. Yet she still plays a major role in the solving of the crime.
It felt like more of a cameo than a starring role, but somehow, Christie made it work. Not only that, she made this feel like a true part of the series. We’re just watching Marple’s crime-solving resume grow and I’m here for it.
Christie fooled me in this one. I had a few different theories, but I actually didn’t guess who was actually behind it all.
It all made sense once she laid it out, but yeah, I definitely didn’t see it coming. I wasn’t working super hard to try to figure it out, but she definitely successfully distracted me while the truth was hiding right under my nose.
I also really loved Jerry as a character. He got more than he bargained for during his period of recuperation, but it certainly turned out well for him in the end.
I am so looking forward to starting the next book in the series, A Murder is Announced. I’ve heard incredible things about it and can’t wait to see what new mystery awaits!!