By the Pricking of My Thumbs. 1968. Review
This is the first Agnatha Christie book I have ever read. I am not much of a reader. I started reading only a year or two back when I moved from my home to Bangalore for studies. Till then my sole reading were my prescribed syllabus and quiz books. We had a lot of them at home. I was participating in lots of Quiz competitions at that time, in school as well as in other cultural programs and was winning a few of them even. I am saying this to acquiesce the reader about my relative ignorance to fiction in general. So don’t get offended by my writing.
By the Pricking of My Thumbs, I didn’t like it!
The story seemed dull and dragging. Some characters popped out of nowhere and was in the storyline as if they were in it from the beginning. Albert, the house help cook appears in the middle of the story and he is having conversation with the man of the house, Thomas Beresford. But I never remember meeting him before. Then there is this friend of Mr.Beresford, Ivor Smith. He is a friend what sort of friend? Where did they met? I’ve no idea. Probably my shoddy reading.
Apparently it seems the lead characters are some sort of detectives. Now in retirement. But it is not directly emphasized.
The plot in itself was not interesting me to start with.
Ada Fanshawe, Thomas Beresford’s aunt is in a retirement-home, Sunny Ridge. On their visit to their, Tuppence Beresford talk with another room-mate of the aunt. She says something about a poor child behind the fireplace and asks Tuppence whether it was hers. After aunt Ada’s demise the Beresford’s inherits few of her belongings. A painting of aunt Ada, gifted by Mrs. Lancaster kindles Mrs. Beresford’s interest in a country house in the painting. Story progress with the mystery of a series of child murders long ago and suspected murders at Sunny Ridge where aunt Ada died.
I finished it for the sake of it. Not for the story. It wasn’t interesting to me. If it is bearable, I will try to finish the book I started. I will underline interesting usages, add words I don’t know to my vocabulary etc. No book is a wastage of time. But if the story is interesting that is of prime importance.
Christie introduces the sub-plots in a boring way also, it was a bit too hard to follow and keep track of people and what they did etc., like Tuppence herself says in the story!
It was a disappointment for me. But I will continue to read other Agatha Christie works. I have Why didn’t They ask Evans with me and I am sure this one was just an off the mark item, different from my taste.