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They do it with mirrors by Agatha Christie

They do it with mirrors (original 1952; edition 1956)

by Agatha Christie

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2,020363,315 (3.5)53
Title:They do it with mirrors
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:London ; Glasgow : Collins, 1956.
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie (1952)

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English (29)  Danish (2)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Miss Marple is visiting a old friend when a murder is committed. Each member of the household (naturally) falls under suspicion. I felt the truth, when finally revealed, a little forced and unlikely but the book was well-written and enjoyable anyway. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
A family running a psychiatric "Reform College" for juvenile offenders is thrown into a tizzy when a visiting trustee is murdered in his room, the head of the family & reform college is "attacked" by one of his "patients" behind closed doors with the family listening, and the matriarch is seemingly being poisoned.

Two more murders take place; one of the stepsons & a youthful offender who both seem to know something they shouldn't...

Before any of this happens Miss Marple is sent down by Ruth van Rydock (an former school chum) to make sure that their mutual former school chum, Carrie Louise (Matriarch) is safe... When Ruth last stayed w/ Carrie Louise there had been a sense of impending trouble brewing.

The family was a definitely odd group of people, being mostly adopted: with the natural daughter being a sour, jealous woman; the Italian dramatic granddaughter being from an adopted mother (whose grandmother was a convicted murderess) & her unhappy husband (a simple man from the mid-west u.s.); an older stepson by Carrie Louise's first marriage; two other stepsons from a second marriage both in love w/ the granddaughter and wanting to marry her; and the newly arrived out-of-place ranting young man suffering from persecution & delusional syndrome.

I liked the mystery and the story (a twist on the locked door conundrum), but I didn't take too much to the characters, so I knocked this down a star.

( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Jane Marple’s childhood friend and schoolmate, Ruth, expresses her concern about her sister, Carrie Louise, and asks Miss Marple to go for a visit and try to find out what is happening. Carrie Louise has always been rather idealistic and she hasn’t had much luck with her marriages, though she has been left with considerable wealth and a large country estate. Miss Marple arrives to find that Carrie Louise’s current husband has helped her turn the estate into a home for delinquent boys, with a large staff of doctors, therapists and teachers. Her daughter, granddaughter and two stepsons are also currently at the estate. Her former brother-in-law, Christian Gulbrandsen, who is a director of the trust that funds the estate, arrives unexpectedly to confer with her husband, Lewis Serrocold. Before they can meet with the other directors, however, Gulbrandsen is murdered and someone has tried to poison Carrie Louise. Just what is going on?

I love Agatha Christie and have enjoyed other Miss Marple mysteries, but this one misses the mark. It is far too convoluted, and yet very slow going despite everything that is happening. There is the central murder; the evidence of poisoning; a clearly unhinged paranoid patient who apparently is trusted enough to be Lewis Serrocold’s assistant; a possible love triangle between Carrie Louise’s granddaughter, her angry American husband, and at least one (if not both) of Carrie’s stepsons; and a juvenile delinquent who is a master lock picker and claims to have witnessed something important on one of his nocturnal jaunts away from the dormitory.

Christie has proved that she is more than capable of juggling many storylines to build suspense and thwart the reader’s efforts to figure out the solution before the author chooses to reveal it. But rather than tight plotting with twists and turns, this novel’s storyline seemed to just meander without purpose (other than to fill pages). The final reveal was done in the form of a letter, neatly tying up all loose ends in a couple of paragraphs rather than giving us the confrontation and reveal in real time. I had been bored for much of the book and was glad it was over, but I felt that I hadn’t read a Christie novel at all, but something written by a less-skilled author to imitate the Queen of Crime.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
An enjoyable Agatha Christie novel. ( )
  cazfrancis | Apr 10, 2015 |
I listened to this, so once or twice when it seemed to me that things had got out of sync, it might have been me and not being able to flick back, rather than Agatha Christie actually getting it wrong. At more than one point, I felt sure that at least a day had gone by, but maybe that was me.
It's possible I have either read this before or seen it on the TV, but I got the murderer correct. Right at the point the Police appear and Miss Marple says "I think they call it misdirection"; at that point I knew who, but not exactly the how of it. It's set in a large house, part of which is used by the philanthropic owners as an institute for reforming young criminals, there's a complex and somewhat unhealthy family dynamic, with a number of possible suspects for the crime. That, when coupled with a suspected poisoning, causes a long list of suspects. And the list seems to get longer, not shorter, as the murder progresses. As is usual the obvious suspect is not, the truth lies somewhere else and there's a certain amount of water muddying that goes on before it all gets sorted out. The end is slightly unexpected and mildly unsatisfactory, I do prefer the law to get their man. ( )
  Helenliz | Feb 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Agatha Christieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hickson, JoanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jaskari, LeenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jaskari, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leach, RosemaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
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Important places
Important events
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To Matthew Prichard
First words
Mrs. Van Rydock moved a little back from the mirror and sighed.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Issued under the titles: Murder with Mirrors; and They do it with Mirrors
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Inner Flap:


Jane Marple looked up at those words carved over the doorway.
"Isn't that splendid?" the doctor said. "Isn't that just the right note to strike for juvenile delinquents?"
"Like Edgar Lawson?" Miss Marple asked.
"He's been talking to me. I wonder if, perhaps, he isn't a little mad?"
The doctor laughed cheerfully, "We're all mad, dear lady," he said. "That's the secret of existence. We're all a little mad."

Three murders later, Jane Marple recalled the doctor's words. Mania, she knew, goes hand in hand with murder.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451199901, Mass Market Paperback)

A Gothic mansion, a band of delinquent boys, a squandered family fortune, and a brutal murder. Who can tie all this together? Miss Jane Marple and Agatha Christie.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:23 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A murder at her friend Carrie's Gothic estate draws Miss Marple to the sprawling mansion, only to learn that the place has been turned into a home for delinquent boys, a development that leaves Carrie's relatives livid.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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