Friday, 1 January 2010

By the Pricking of my Thumbs by Agatha Christie - Book 81, 2009

Title: By the Pricking of my Thumbs by Agatha Christie
Rating: 7/10
Comments: Not my favourite Agatha Christie book but very well written (as all her novels are). Tommy and Tuppence Beresford visit Tommy's elderly aunt in a nursing home, where another patient, Mrs Lancaster, poses a cryptic question to Tuppence about a child buried behind a fireplace. Three months later Tommy's aunt is dead, Mrs Lancaster has been whisked away by relatives, and Tommy and Tuppence have inherited a painting that was apparently given to Tommy's aunt by Mrs Lancaster. The pair try to track down Mrs Lancaster to return the picture to her but she seems to have vanished into thin air. Tuppence becomes obsessed with the painting and is determined to track down the house featured in it. In the process she finds a village with more than its fair share of past mysteries including a history of child murders and the suspicious disappearance of the local landowner's wife.

What annoyed me most about the book was the very thin premise and coincidences used to lead into the main story. I found it too hard to suspend disbelief about how Tuppence could recognise the significance of a common landscape painting, not to mention identify the house in it from her past.

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