By the Pricking of my Thumbs by Agatha Christie is a Tommy and Tuppence mystery. We first met this pair as The Young Adventurers in The Secret Adversary. I admit I developed a liking for these characters a bit late, but once I did, I couldn’t stop. This is yet another nursery rhyme type title like And Then There Were None and Hickory Dickory Dock.
Tommy and Tuppence are in the twilight of their life, enjoying a leisurely pace of life. They realize they haven’t visited their Aunt Ada in a while. She lives in a home for the aged. Sunny Ridge has every comfort for the elderly. On their visit, they encounter a lot of eccentric old inmates. One swallows things for fun, the other thinks she is being killed, Aunt Ada refuses to recognize them and old Mrs. Lancaster asks Tuppence if it is her child buried behind the fireplace. Aunt Ada is dead soon after and when Tommy and Tuppence go to collect her belongings, they find an intriguing painting. It somehow seems familiar to Tuppence. They also find that Mrs. Lancaster has been taken away by some relative. A few of the elderly inmates have passed away for different reasons.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes. MACBETH
Tuppence tries to write to Mrs. Lancaster but does not succeed. She continues to have a déjà vu type feeling about the painting. Tuppence sets out to hunt for the house and even finds it. There are people living there and everything looks normal. But Tuppence Beresford can’t let go! Her persistence and meddling leads her into an old mystery that puts her life in immediate danger.
By The Pricking of my Thumbs is probably the fastest paced and most thrilling of the Tommy and Tuppence mysteries. It was quite a treat reading this again. There is a sinister feeling throughout the book that will give you goose bumps. This is one mystery that should be read leisurely, maybe with a green vista or beach in front of you, so that you see something positive and cheerful as you glance up while reading this sordid tale.