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By the Pricking of My Thumbs Paperback – 1971
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Tommy and Tuppence Beresford decide to pay a visit to Tommy's elderly and unpleasant aunt in her nursing home. That visit results in a strange inheritance, black magic and danger for the redoubtable Tuppence.
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In By the Pricking of My Thumbs, we have less the espionage element that might have characterized their earlier adventures, The Secret Adversary, N or M?, or even possibly Partners in Crime. Instead, this novel represents a novel later in Christie's career in which she began to explore alternative reasons for murder. I am reminded of the sort of ingenuity that Christie utilizes in a late Miss Marple Mystery, Nemesis, written around this same period.
The reader should be aware that this even-paced thriller belongs to the brand of mystery in which the reader will have to sit back and enjoy Tuppence's wanderings with only a mysterious painting as an initial clue. The couple is older and their concerns focus little on employment but on the reasons why a woman has disappeared from a nursing home.
I recommend By the Pricking of Thumbs to people who are looking for something a little different from the genre which ordinarily belongs to Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. While By the Pricking of My Thumbs is not as odd as Endless Night, I would place this work among her works which emphasize subtle yet insistent menace, drawing on the ordinary as a means of hiding past crimes.
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This 1968 book was written to tell us about the current life of Tommy and Tuppence.Read more