Christie masterfully blends murder and mystery and sets it to the backdrop of quintessential England in this charming and spellbinding story.
When Tuppence and Tommy decide to visit elderly Aunt Ada all either of them can imagine is stuffy rooms, sleepy old women and arthritic complaints. But from the moment they set foot in Sunny Ridge home for the elderley Tuppence has a funny feeling, wild rumours circulate about poisoned coco and a child lurking behind the fireplace but surely this is just hearsay? Sunny Ride is an innocent home for elderly ladies…isn’t it?
But when Aunt Ada suddenly dies a few weeks later Tommy and Tuppence are forced to return and collect her items, amongst them is an old picture of a beautiful house that was given to Ada by one of the residence, none other than Mrs Lancaster, the lady who talked so abundantly of murder and poison.
Tuppence is sure she recognises the house and wants to consult Mrs Lancaster, yet mysteriously she has being recently removed from the home by distant relatives. Her whereabouts are now unknown. Convinced that something more sinister is behind it all Tuppence, against Tommy’s wishes, sets out on the hunt for the missing Mrs Lancaster and the truth about the ominous rumours.
But visiting the old house in the painting in the hope of clues leads Tuppence into a world of trouble and a trail far more sinister and dangerous than she could ever have imagined. Very quickly it becomes clear that the secrets Tuppence desperately wants to uncover are being heavily guarded by someone who just as fiercely wishes to protect them.
Dangerous criminal masterminds and child killers. Is this what really happens in the peaceful village of Sutton Chancellor? The temp and pace of the novel quickly quickens reaching fever pitch in a plot line that had my hooked. In fact Christie had me so desperate to find out the ending that I was shocked to find myself very quickly at the last page. The time flew by, had I really finished it so quickly? But like all good crime thrillers should be By The Pricking Of My Thumbs is addictive to the last.
My only criticism with this book would be that the ending was a little hasty and rushed. I thought that many of the smaller mysteries of the book were left only vaguely explained. Christie seemed in such a rush to tie things up, I could have read much more.
This is the first Agatha Christie book I’ve read but it wont be the last. I had always put of reading her work. Why? Well thinking about it now there really was no good reason. What does everybody else think about Agatha Christie, are you a fan? Can you recommend anymore of her titles? I’d love to hear what you think.