Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Moving Finger

Sunday, October 23, 2022

The Moving Finger (1942) Agatha Christie (Miss Marple)

The Moving FingerThis is the third Miss Marple mystery, and one I’ve reread multiple times, yet this time through I picked up some things I’d not noticed before.

Which isn’t unusual, but is fascinating, as things I have learned elsewhere shine a different light upon things I’ve read before.

In novels, I have noticed, anonymous letters of a foul and disgusting character are never shown, if possible, to women. It is implied that women must at all cost be shielded from the shock it might give their delicate nervous systems.

I am sorry to say it never occurred to me not to show the letter to Joanna. I handed it to her at once.

She vindicated my belief in her toughness by displaying no emotion but that of amusement.

‘I loved Maths. But it wasn’t awfully well taught. I’d like to be taught Maths really well. It’s heavenly. I think there’s something heavenly about numbers, anyway, don’t you?’

‘Won’t you have one?’

‘No, I don’t think I will, but it was very nice of you to offer it to me— just as though I was a real person.’

‘Aren’t you a real person?’ I said amused.

Megan shook her head, then, changing the subject.

‘By the way, Megan is coming to lunch.’

‘Is she? Good.’

‘You like her?’ I asked.

‘I think she’s a changeling,’ said Joanna. ‘Something left on a doorstep, you know, while the fairies take the right one away. It’s very interesting to meet a changeling.

It was curious that one could never gauge what Megan would think or feel.

Joanna nodded and said:

‘No, one never does know with changelings.’

‘Megan?’ she said doubtfully. ‘I don’t know, I’m sure. I mean, it’s ever so kind of you, but she’s such a queer girl. One never knows what she’s going to say or feel about things.’

She seems to want to get away from everyone.

Something very silly about Caleb and the school-mistress, I think. Quite absurd, because Caleb has absolutely no taste for fornication. He never has had. So lucky, being a clergyman.’

‘No,’ I said. ‘There’s too much tendency to attribute to God the evils that man does of his own free will. I might concede you the Devil. God doesn’t really need to punish us, Miss Barton. We’re so very busy punishing ourselves.’

Publisher: William Morrow

Rating: 8.5/10


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