Title: By the Pricking of My Thumbs
Author: Agatha Christie
First published November 1, 1968
212 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780451200525 (ISBN10: 0451200527)
During her visit to Sunny Ridge Nursing Home with her husband Tommy, Tuppence finds herself drawn to the eccentric residents, especially Mrs. Lancaster who speaks of a dark secret behind the fireplace and a mysterious child.
When Tommy’s Aunt Ada passes away, she leaves them a painting that triggers a memory in Tuppence’s mind. As she sets out to unravel the truth behind the painting, she stumbles upon a web of deceit that involves diamond smuggling, a missing grave and a shocking revelation about the dark past of Sunny Ridge Nursing Home.
Join Tuppence in her perilous journey as she uncovers the truth in By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie.
About the Author
Agatha Christie, the famous author, is known for her crime novels featuring iconic detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. She also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott and occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.
Born in Torquay, Devon, England as the youngest of three, Christie worked at a hospital during both World Wars and gained knowledge of poisons that influenced her writing. She published her first novel in 1920 and went on to write 66 crime novels and story collections, 14 plays, and six romance novels.
Her books have sold over a billion copies in English and in translation, and she remains the most-translated individual author, with works translated into at least 103 languages.
In 1926, Christie’s husband revealed his affair and asked for a divorce. The same evening, Christie disappeared for eleven days, causing public outcry.
She later married archaeologist Max Mallowan and frequently used their travels as inspiration for her novels. Her love for country-house life inspired her stories set in Abney Hall in Cheshire.
For her literary contributions, Christie was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire and became the President of the Detection Club. She remains the best-selling author of all time and continues to inspire readers and writers alike.
By the Pricking of My Thumbs, written by Agatha Christie, is a masterpiece of crime fiction that offers an engrossing, suspenseful, and captivating narrative that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the last page. First published in 1968, the book is a classic example of Christie’s extraordinary talent for weaving together intricate plots, intricate characters, and cliffhanger-punctuated suspense to produce smartly paced stories that are both thought-provoking and dazzling.
Christie is one of the most celebrated writers of her time, having penned more than eighty novels and numerous short stories throughout her career. Her books are known for their clever and complex plots, brilliantly drawn characters, and unforgettable settings, all of which are on full display in By the Pricking of My Thumbs.
The book is a standout in her oeuvre, as it deviates from her usual format of featuring her iconic detective, Hercule Poirot. The book’s plot revolves around the search for a missing woman, after her husband, whom she met at a nursing home visited by Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, is found murdered.
Tommy and Tuppence’s investigation uncovers a far-reaching conspiracy involving a sinister old woman, a devious man with a wooden leg, and the threat of a nuclear missile that could destroy London. As the mysteries pile up and the danger grows ever more imminent, the Beresfords must use all their wits and sleuthing skills to solve the puzzle before it’s too late.
One of the strengths of the book is the way Christie expertly builds suspense and tension. Every chapter offers new twists, turns, and revelations, leaving the reader guessing until the final resolution.
The sense of threat is palpable, and Christie keeps her readers engaged throughout with her masterful storytelling skills. The character development in the book is also noteworthy.
The Beresfords are well-drawn, with unique voices and personalities that make them endearing and relatable to readers. The supporting cast is also well-rounded, and there are several memorable characters who play important roles.
The villains are appropriately creepy, and their schemes are both logical and chilling. The pacing of the book is also well-done, with a good balance between action, tension, and exposition.
The narrative flows smoothly, and the reader never feels bogged down by excessive detail or exposition. The writing is straightforward but engaging, with a crisp and clear style that keeps the story moving forward at a brisk pace.
Christie’s themes in the book are also significant, addressing the anxieties of the Cold War era, as well as issues of aging, death, and societal decay. She masterfully weaves these themes into the plot, creating a deep and thought-provoking work that elevates the book beyond a mere whodunit.
While the books minor flaw is its timelessness, it is a minor flaw, and the overall product remains almost as good as it was when first published in 1968. The social commentary can be a bit dated, but that is to be expected as it reflects the societal concerns of its time.
Overall, By the Pricking of My Thumbs is a superb addition to Christie’s canon and stands on its own as an engaging, suspenseful, and thoroughly entertaining read. It is a must-read for fans of the mystery genre and a great introduction to Christie’s work for those who have yet to experience it.
I recommend this book and rate it 4.5 out of 5.