Classic Corner Review: The Moving Finger – Agatha Christie

The Moving Finger
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062073621
ISBN-13: 978-0062073624
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In a small English town, a visitor is drawn into a mystery as residents of the town begin getting a letter pointing out their sins. The letters seem harmless, until people start dying. Jerry Burton, a visitor to the town is determined to get to the end of it.


Miss Marple – Amateur Detective
Jerry Burton – A man recuperating from an illness in a small English country town.
Joanna Burton – Jerry’s sister, and caretaker


First of all, let me say I was pretty disappointed in this novel. It’s categorized as a Miss Marple mystery, so I was expecting the main character of the title to be Miss Marple. However, she doesn’t even make an appearance until about 40 pages from the end. It’s as if she’s only thrown in there to solve the mystery, after it seems Jerry has done all the work.

Now saying that, I wasn’t all that put off by Jerry being the main investigator. He was rather interesting, it just felt a bit deceiving. The characters are pretty stock and cardboard cutout characters for this genre. Ms. Christie never seemed to do a lot of work on characters outside of her main characters. This leaves all the border characters as rather forgettable.

The plot is simple enough to follow, and the solution in the end does make sense. I think above the character development, Ms. Christie’s strong suit is in designing a plot that keeps you guessing. So far I haven’t been successful in solving one of her mysteries.

Overall though, for fans of Miss Marple, Ms. Christie, or of the cozy mystery in general, I think this would fit into your reading pleasures. For others, it may not be their cup of tea. The language can be a bit off putting, as it’s early twentieth century and British.

Overall, a pleasant mystery, and a good way to spend a few hours, but no the most memorable of the Christy books I’ve read. Check it out, if you like mysteries, and be sure to drop back by and let us know what you thought.

About the Author
Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920).

She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.

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