Title: They Do it With Mirrors
Author: Agatha Christie
Page Count/Review Word Count: 288
This wasn’t Christie’s strongest novel, unfortunately, but it was still okay. I always say that Christie at her worst is better than most people at their best, and this book is the book which proves that. It’s fine, an adequate little murder mystery, but it just didn’t have the magic of some of her other books.
I’m not saying that because this is a Miss Marple book, either. In fact, I think I prefer Marple to Poirot, and the old pussy herself is in fine form here. I also liked the setting (it takes place in a “mental asylum“), but I thought it was almost wasted and that the characters weren’t so great. At the same time, I think she could have easily overdone it if she wasn’t careful.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re a cozy mystery fan or if you’ve read and enjoyed Christie’s books before then you’re going to enjoy this one too. It just feels a little more like a paint by numbers than an original creation, and perhaps that’s just because Christie’s style has been so widely imitated. I think the only reason that I was a little disappointed here was that my hopes were so high because of my favourable experiences of Christie in the past.
Ultimately, then, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend starting with this one, but if you’re reading the Marple books in order then I also wouldn’t skip it. As for me, I’m a completionist, so I was always going to read it. And despite my lukewarm review, I’m still glad I picked it up.