Miss Marple is recovering from bronchitis. The doctor has ordered her to have round the clock care bringing the over zealous Miss Knight to take care of her. Miss Marple’s sarcasm is lost on the uptight Miss Knight. As old Dr. Haydock says, the only thing needed to cheer up Miss Marple is a nice juicy murder. Little does he know one is just around the corner.
Marina Gregg is a famous movie star. She has been suffering mental illness for some years but has bought Gossington Hall. She is working on a new picture and is all optimistic about living in an English village in her old fashioned Victorian mansion. She invites Dolly Bantry to a fete that is organized for some charity. St. Mary Mead has grown a lot and there is a new development near the village, with semi detatched houses and a host of new residents. The Badcocks are just such a couple and Heather Badcock is a devoted worker for the charities.
The mirror crack’d from side to side
The curse is come upon me
Cried The Lady of Shallot
The day of the fete dawns. The Hall is crowded with people hoping to catch a glimpse of the great film star. Heather heads the charity committee and is invited up among some exclusive guests to meet Marina Gregg is person. So is Mrs. Bantry. Heather Badcock is very excited and tells some story about how she had got Marina’s autograph as a child. Dolly Bantry is astounded to see a frozen look on Marina’s face but the attention soon shifts to Mrs. Badcock when she drops dead. The investigation begins and murder is announced.
Inspector Craddock consults Miss Marple. Although she cannot do any leg work, she has all the information at hand. It turns out that Mrs. Badcock was killed instead of the film star. Many things about her past come to light. As always, people panic and others try to take advantage of the situation. There are more murders and the police and Miss Marple are both stumped.
In the end, it is going to take some deep sleuthing from Miss Marple before she can solve the murder. But will she be in time? There are red herrings aplenty. Jason Rudd, Marina’s husband could just be tired of her. Ella Zelinski, her assistant has a crush on Jason and may want her out of the way. There are a few ex husbands, and some adopted children in the mix, not to mention a jilted lover. There is page after page of excitement in The Mirror Crack’d as Miss Marple and the police examine and discard clues. The Lady of Shallot is the real clue here and Miss Marple tries really hard to make sense of it.
I loved reading this book and it is one the best Miss Marple books out there. I actually began reading Miss Marple a bit late in life, only after I had exhausted Poirot and other well known books at the time. I had a friend who loved Miss Marple even in high school and I remember we always argued about it. But now I know.
The Mirror Crack’d is another masterpiece from Agatha Christie and a must read.