The Moving Finger: A Miss Marple Mystery

The Moving Finger: A Miss Marple Mystery

by Agatha Christie


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The indomitable sleuth Miss Marple is led to a small town with shameful secrets in Agatha Christie’s classic detective story, The Moving Finger

Lymstock is a town with more than its share of scandalous secrets—a town where even a sudden outbreak of anonymous hate mail causes only a minor stir.

But all that changes when one of the recipients, Mrs. Symmington, commits suicide. Her final note says “I can’t go on,” but Miss Marple questions the coroner’s verdict of suicide. Soon nobody is sure of anyone—as secrets stop being shameful and start becoming deadly.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062073624
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/12/2011
Series: Miss Marple Mysteries , #4
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 41,464
Product dimensions: 7.82(w) x 5.36(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976, after a prolific career spanning six decades.

Date of Birth:

September 15, 1890

Date of Death:

January 12, 1976

Place of Birth:

Torquay, Devon, England


Home schooling

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

Mary Jane Clark

“Agatha Christie is in a class by herself. For those of us who write mysteries, there’s no better muse, and for those of us who read them, no deeper pleasure.”

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The Moving Finger, A Miss Marple Mystery 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
Good mystery story. However, you see and hear very little about or from Miss Marple. She isn't even mentioned until page 116. Then disappears for a chapter or two. She makes another brief appearance and once again disappears until the very end when she completely explains the entire mystery. Miss Marple really wasn't part of this story. It was as if she was just an add-on to explain the murders. It just seemed to fall a bit flat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
agatha christie at her best. Liked the idea of the mysterious letters showing up at people's houses and the secret cloak room hiding place. You don't know who the killer is til the end.
davidabrams on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pointing FingersAgatha Christie's swift, slim 1942 novel The Moving Finger is a Miss Marple mystery which very nearly does not have Miss Marple.In my version (the spiffy new Black Dog & Leventhal edition), the grandmotherly detective makes her first appearance on page 144 of the book's 201 pages. That's like Bruce Willis making his first appearance in a Bruce Willis movie twenty minutes before the end credits roll. Fifty-seven pages do not allow very much time for a detective to solve a case.However, even though she has what can best be described as an extended cameo role in The Moving Finger, Miss Jane Marple pulls it off in grand fashion, as always.The story is told through the eyes of Jerry Burton who has come to the little village of Lymstock with his younger sister Joanna after he's been injured in a wartime plane crash. His doctor has advised him to "lead the life of a vegetable" in a place where he can find peace and quiet.At first, Lymstock seems like the perfect haven. Sure, the residents are a little eccentric-&#151but who isn't when they live in Agatha Christie Land, right? From the first page of the novel, we're told that something is amiss and it centers around a series of anonymous letters which have been sent to several people living in the village.As Jerry tells us after he receives the first crude message, It seems odd, now, to remember that Joanna and I were more amused by the letter than anything else. We hadn't, then, the faintest inkling of what was to come&#151-the trail of blood and violence and suspicion and fear.That first letter accuses Jerry and Joanna of engaging in sexual activity most unbecoming of a brother and sister. Agatha never discloses the contents of the letters, but lets our imagination dance around the possibilities of what it says. I have a feeling that what we imagine is much more graphic than how readers in 1942 would have filled in the blanks. Whatever we guess the letters to say, the language would not have been suitable for World War Two era readers.During a visit to the local doctor, Jerry happens to mention the letter (which he impetuously burned in the fireplace). Dr. Griffith drops his bag and exclaims, "Do you mean to say that you've had one of them?"The epidemic of anonymous poison letters has been spreading around Lymstock for some time, Griffith tells Jerry, all of them "harping on the sex theme." The local solicitor Symmington was accused of illicit relations with his secretary ("Miss Ginch, who's forty at least, with pince-nez and teeth like a rabbit"), and even the doctor himself has received a letter which claims to have knowledge of him sleeping with some of his lady patients."What is this place?" Joanna wonders. "It looks the most innocent, sleepy harmless little bit of England you can imagine."That is Agatha's forte, of course-&#151ripping away the thin skin of gentility and good manners to reveal the gory, pestilential truth beneath. What reader hasn't known a two-faced, scheming liar who gets his or her jollies out of seeing innocent people suffer? Agatha knew how to craft a clever, often outlandish plot around an ordinary truth.Eventually, the venomous accusations become too much to bear and one character commits suicide-&#151ah, but was it really suicide? Perhaps there's something deeper, darker at work in Lymstock than just flooding the mail with wicked letters. Maybe there's more to it than just "sex and spite." Soon, paranoia is gripping the town: There was a half-scared, half-avid gleam in almost everybody's eye. Neighbor looked at neighbor.The police are called in as more bodies begin to pile up and while the investigators do their best to sort through the psychological patterns they find in the letters, it isn't until Miss Marple makes her late entrance in the novel that we know the village residents can breathe a sigh of relief. It won't be long before this "tame elde
NellieMc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Classic Ms. Marple -- what's not to love?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont know why one of the reviewers said this story was too romantic, I am so glad there is something I can read that isn't in your face sex, and Ms Christie never disappoints.
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