In They Do It With Mirrors, Miss Marple meets up with an old school friend, Ruth Van Rydock. Ruth tells Miss Marple that she is worried about her sister, Carrie Louise, who also attended the same pensionnat in Paris many years previously.
Carrie Louise is living with her husband in a large house, part of which has been converted into a hostel for young offenders.
With this in mind, it may well be supposed that the source of her unease is the prospect of one of the inmates becoming violent; but it is not as simple as that.
Mrs Van Rydock is unable to put her fears into words, but on her last visit to her sister’s house found the atmosphere distinctly disturbing – something in that house is wrong, but Mrs Van Rydock does not know what. And Mrs Van Rydock is not a fanciful woman she is deeply concerned for her sister’s well being but has to return to her home in America. She asks Miss Marple to pay a visit to Stoneygates, the house in question, to see what she makes of the situation and Miss Marple agrees.
It is not long before Mrs Van Rydock’s fears are confirmed and the first of several violent deaths occurs.
They Do It With Mirrors is a wonderful title for this novel, because at the heart of the plot is a brilliantly concealed conjuring trick. I have used the expression ‘sleight of hand’ several times on this website, and Agatha Christie employs it to magnificent effect in this story.
Miss Marple requires all her ingenuity to solve this particular puzzle but as always is quietly triumphant in the end.
This is a most enjoyable, satisfying Agatha Christie novel and the reader gets a very brief, and very rare, peep into Miss Marple’s personal life.
Definitely ten out of ten for this one!
You can get hold of They Do It With Mirrors via the following links.They Do It with Mirrors