By the Pricking of my Thumbs

By the Pricking of my Thumbs

, Book # 4
William Morrow Paperbacks
November 1968
October 26, 2019 October 26, 2019

When Tommy and Tuppence visit an elderly aunt in her gothic nursing home, they think nothing of her mistrust of the doctors; after all, Ada is a very difficult old lady.

But when Mrs. Lockett mentions a poisoned mushroom stew and Mrs. Lancaster talks about "something behind the fireplace," Tommy and Tuppence find themselves caught up in a spine-chilling adventure that could spell death for either of them . . .

A duty visit to Tommy's elderly and unpleasant aunt results in a strange inheritance, black magic--and danger for Tommy and Tuppence Beresford.

About the book

This is a different reading for me , because I didn’t know that Agatha wrote books other that Poirot and Miss Marple series. The main characters here are Tommy and Tuppence Berefords, an old couple that in the past were spies or this is what I gathered by the book. In fact this is the fourth book in the series and it is one of the last books written by Agatha.

The book starts with the couple’s visit to their aunt who is living in an hospice and here Tuppence meets Mrs. Lancaster who seems crazy and who tells her about a girl in a chimney. Some weeks later, the aunt dies and the couple goes back to the hospice to collect her personal belongings and they find a picture that Mrs. Lancaster gave to the aunt before she left. Tuppence thinks that her “leaving” is hiding something different and she starts an investigation because, among other things, she believes she recognises the house drown in the picture.

I read this book in a day… I don’t know why I can read Christie’s book so quickly. Anyway, I found this book quite nice, a classic thriller in which there is a mystery, an investigation and a resolution. Sometimes I like when there aren’t big bad twists and cliffhangers. And I don’t mind the fact that Tuppence is in danger, something that it usually does make me mad.

The plot is easy, what happened to Mrs. Lancaster is easy to understand but it is still a nice reading to pass an afternoon reading (yes it can be read in an afternoon).

Why I give 3 stars if I like it so much? Because they are old books for my taste. The topics are too old for me and I can’t make me like them. And I knew this fact, so it isn’t a book problem, but mine alone. For example at the end Tommy says to his wife “You must obey me” (I read it in Italian so I just translated it, I don’t know if those are the correct words) and I can’t accept it. But that’s my 20 century mind, I know that in the past it was a common thing. And that’s why I gave 3 stars and not less because if that were a concept in a contemporary book I would have DNFed it or gave 1 star.

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