10th February 2021.
I’m working my way through the Miss Marple series and thoroughly enjoying myself. All the stories so far have been smoothly written in a direct style that takes you to the heart of the story and plot. Each story is distinctive and They Do It with Mirrors is no exception.
This time Miss Marple’s asked to help an old friend, Carrie Louise, who may be in danger. She’s living in an old mansion which now has a rehabilitation centre for criminals. Due to her history of marriages, Carrie Louise has accumulated a number of family members, who live with her. Add the staff needed to run the rehab centre and you have plenty of suspects.
When her stepson visits unexpectedly, no one expects him to be murdered in his room. Most of the suspects are in the dark, thanks to the lights failing, while her husband, Lewis, is arguing with a troubled young man in the office next door.
Then it looks like someone’s trying to poison Carrie Louise.
The author handles the large cast well, with her usual skilful characterisation, providing plenty of suspects and motives for the murder, as the police soon discover. Miss Marple’s not thrown by the red herrings as she slowly makes sense of everything that happens in a detached, almost clinical manner that belies her humanity and understanding of human nature.
It’s all over a little quickly, but that doesn’t diminish what is another fine example of the author’s ability to weave a complex, gripping story that keeps you guessing to the end.
A man is shot at in a juvenile reform home – but someone else dies…
Miss Marple senses danger when she visits a friend living in a Victorian mansion which doubles as a rehabilitation centre for delinquents. Her fears are confirmed when a youth fires a revolver at the administrator, Lewis Serrocold. Neither is injured. But a mysterious visitor, Mr Gilbrandsen, is less fortunate – shot dead simultaneously in another part of the building.
Pure coincidence? Miss Marple thinks not, and vows to discover the real reason for Mr Gilbrandsen’s visit.