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The Mirror Crack'd (Miss Marple Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2000

66 customer reviews
Book 9 of 13 in the Miss Marple Mysteries Series

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Editorial Reviews


Agatha Christie deserves her incomparably...skillful and amusing detective story. -- Times Literary Supplement

Entertaining and enlightening...a faultless puzzle plot. --New York Times

From the Back Cover

One minute, silly Heather Babcock had been babblingon at her movie idol, the glamorous MarinaGregg. The next, Heather suffered a massive seizure,poisoned by a deadly cocktail.

It seems likely that the cocktail was intended for thebeautiful actress. But while the police fumble to findclues, Miss Marple begins to ask her own questions,because as she knows—even the most peacefulvillage can hide dark secrets.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451199898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451199898
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,420,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Faye on July 12, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book has the best murder motive of any mystery I've read. The characterizations are strong, and I like Miss Marple here as I always do, but it is the motive, as well as the ingenuity of the murder itself, that makes this book memorable. The motive isn't revealed until the end, and when I found out what it was, I was dazzled.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on June 14, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Agatha Christie returns us to St. Mary Mead, Miss Marple's quiet village where much has changed. A new subdivision, young marrieds who buy on the installment plan, and even a supermarket have have invaded the quiet village. Only Miss Marple and her friend Miss Hartnell remain the same, still living in their same homes. Even Col. and Mrs. Bantry's lavish Gossington Hall (the scene of the crime in "The Body in the Library") has changed. After the Colonel's death, Mrs. Bantry put the house up for sale and it has now been purchased by the American film star Marina Gregg and her husband Jason Rudd. The Rudds host a grand reopening of the home to show the villagers the many changes they have made. At the party, a guest dies after drinking a poisoned cocktail. Since the coctail had actually been intended for Marina Gregg, an investigation begins as to why anyone would want to kill her. A frozen stare and facts Miss Marple gathers from movie magazines at the hairdresser's are clues that lead her to solve yet another mystery.
In 1980 this novel was transferred to the big screen with Angela Lansbury in the role of Miss Marple. Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and Kim Novak had the other lead roles in this excellent recreation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AntiochAndy on September 21, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
THE MIRROR CRACK'D finds the quaint village of St. Mary Mead undergoing changes. Besides the charming old village, there is now a supermarket and a modern neighborhood of tract homes. Despite the physical changes taking place in the area, however, human nature remains a constant.

Having taken up residence in the local manor house, movie star Marina Gregg hosts a cocktail party. When one of the neighbor ladies suddenly dies from poison, it appears the fatal concoction might have been meant for Marina.

Aside from Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple is probably my favorite fictional detective. Her quiet way of getting at the truth is always clever and insightful. She's a delightful character, and Christie can be relied on to create a fascinating plot. Despite the seemingly unconnected details, the clues are there if you can just decipher what they mean. The outcome always ties up the loose ends very satisfactorily.

If there's anything to criticize here, it's that our dear old Miss Marple has become so decrepit that she must have a somewhat annoying companion and, since she rarely gets out of her house, her actual presence in the story is more limited than usual. Christie relys on other characters for most of the legwork in this tale and they aren't quite as engaging as Jane Marple. We just don't get the usual clicking knitting needles to the extent that Miss Marple fans have become accustomed.

That minor criticism aside, this is another first-rate Christie whodunit. It isn't my favorite Miss Marple mystery, but it's pretty darn good just the same. If an entertaining muder mystery is what you seek, THE MIRROR CRACK'D will fill the bill. I recommend it highly.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By K. Hill VINE VOICE on March 30, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel features Miss Marple in her very late years. The world around her is changing. This is one of only two Christie novels where I was able to guess the identity of the murderer. It's a very good murder mystery, but it could have been a better Miss Marple mystery. The best parts of the book are when Miss Marple is on the spot. Unfortunately, I almost began to wonder if Miss Marple would be in this novel at all. She left her house no more than three times and was therefore decidedly shoved into the background. The parts without her were rather dull, dry, and far too abundant. I found myself rushing more to see if I'd solved the mystery correctly rather than out of any sense of real enjoyment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Geert Daelemans on January 18, 2004
Format: Library Binding
Having more than enough of the patronizing attentions of her live-in companion, Miss Knight, Jane Marple decides to go out for a stroll. While exploring the newest intrusion of suburban expansion called "The Development," the old spinster slips on some loose stones and takes a tumble. Heather Badcock, one of the new residents, helps Miss Marple and invites in her for a nice cup of tea to recover from the shock. There she learns that Mrs. Badcock is a big fan of film diva Marina Gregg and that therefore overjoyed to be invited to Gossington Hall in St. Mary Mead, the new residence of her idol. Big is Jane's surprise when she learns a few days later that Heather got killed during a benefit for a local hospital at Gossington Hall.
The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side was written in 1962 and is a great example of the ingenuity of Agatha Christie. Without the burden of numerous side stories, Agatha succeeds is drawing the setting of a murder mystery that not only quite convincing, but also extremely fair. For the experienced detective reader it is possible to catch the killer before a third of the story is told, there is even a very clear hint on the first few pages. It is just the challenge to not let Agatha change your mind before Mrs. Marple explains what at the end is so terribly obvious.
Trivia: the motive of the murder is based upon a tragic accident in the life of actress Gene Tierney (I cannot explain further, because that would ruin the story).
This story is clearly one of the reasons why Agatha Christie is still rightfully known as the Queen of Crime.
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