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The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side

Narrated by: Joan Hickson
Series: Miss Marple, Book 9
Length: 7 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

Non-member price: $12.72

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Publisher's Summary

One minute, silly Heather Badcock had been gabbling on at her movie idol, the glamorous Marina Gregg. The next, Heather suffered a massive seizure. But for whom was the deadly poison really intended?

Marina's frozen expression suggested she had witnessed something horrific. But, while others searched for material evidence, Jane Marple conducted a very different investigation: into human nature.

©1962 Agatha Christie Limited, a Chorion Company. All rights reserved (P)2001 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London, UK

Critic Reviews

"The pieces finally drop into place with a satisfying click." ( Times Literary Supplement)

What listeners say about The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side

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  • Charlotte
  • 16-01-2012

Another twisted mystery from Christie

Another excellent Agatha Christie mystery, ably read by Joan Hickson. The to-be-expected whiplash moment is present, as just when you think you have it all solved, she turns everything on its head.

Joan Hickson delivers another solid performance, bringing her vocal range and subtlety to bear on a rather wide cast of characters. She manages to convey character with the pitch and pace she gives to the various members of the "cast", and makes each of them unique.

Very pleased with this purchase, always an excellent combination, this narrator and author.

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  • Linda J Wines
  • 18-05-2017

How did she do it ?

I've just finished listening to the wonderful reading by Joan Hickson of Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side. I am in awe of the Grand Madam of Mystery and Murders ability to have me totally enthralled and constantly wavering as to who committed which murder. Her characters are drawn so finely and yet with very little descriptive prose, the motive is not easily derived, the method is simple, and the denouement is so satisfactory that I can never get quite enough of her writing.
Miss Marple's uncanny ability to get at the truth using her experience of and understanding of people's frailties and nature, means that she doesn't even have to be at the scene to gain the insights and knowledge of who did it and why. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good mystery, and enjoys Joan Hickson's wonderful voice . You won't be disappointed !

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  • p
  • 13-02-2016

Exquisite narration for an exquisite tale

Joan Hickson is THE Miss Marple - her ability with spoken dialogue is fabulous. Id found the recording of her version of Nemesis slightly hard to hear; it was also wonderful but some of the sounds were a bit fuzzy and hard to make out. Not so with this. It was clear as a bell!

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  • Bangalorebabe
  • 20-08-2020

Riveting !

Loved it - an amazing performance by Joan Hickson. I was in tears at the end

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  • FictionFan
  • 18-07-2020

Starring Marina Gregg...

From the oldest inhabitants to the newest of newcomers in the new housing development, all of St Mary Mead is agog. Gossington Hall has been sold, and the buyer is the famous movie actress Marina Gregg and her fourth – or is it fifth? – husband, film producer Jason Rudd. The villagers’ first chance to see the star up close is when Marina hosts a charity event in support of the St John’s Ambulance Society. While most of the villagers are restricted to attending the fête in the grounds of the Hall, a select few are invited to join Miss Gregg inside for cocktails. One of these lucky people is Heather Badcock, local representative of the Ambulance Society and lifelong fan of Marina Gregg. In fact, it’s while she’s boring Marina with a long story about how they met once before long ago that Mrs Badcock is taken suddenly ill, and then dies. Mrs Bantry, the previous owner of the Hall, witnesses the whole thing and rushes off to relay the story to her old friend, Miss Jane Marple...

First published in 1962, this is one of the later Christie stories, at the tail end of her own golden age, just before the quality of her books began to show serious decline. There is a bit of rambling and repetitiveness in this one, but not too much, and the portrayal of the changes to the village and a very elderly Miss Marple coping with modern life are great. I always feel that in these later books especially, Christie used Miss Marple as a conduit through which to muse on her own reactions to ageing and the changes in society.

Marina Gregg was played by the beautiful and much-married Elizabeth Taylor in the 1980 film, opposite a marvellous performance from Kim Novak as Lola Brewster, her rival and now to be her co-star. This is a bit of a deviation from the plot of the book but the two women ham it up for all they’re worth and make the parts so much their own that now, when I read the book, it’s them I see in the roles. I always felt that Marina’s life mirrored Elizabeth Taylor’s own scandalous (for the time) life, and wondered if Agatha Christie had had her in mind while writing. However, wikipedia tells me Christie probably had a different actress in mind, but Marina will always be Elizabeth Taylor to me! (Do not look this up on wikipedia if you intend to read the book, as it is a major plot spoiler.)

Inspector Dermot Craddock is assigned to the case. He already knows Miss Marple from a previous case so has no hesitation in discussing this one with her and seeking her assistance in understanding the locals. It’s good to have Mrs Bantry back too – one of my favourite occasional characters. I find it a little sad to see Miss Marple quite so old and physically frail in this one, although her mind is still as sharp as ever. But the star is the star – Marina Gregg’s personality and presence dominate the book, and Christie gives an excellent and credible portrayal of the mixture of egocentricity and vulnerability of this woman, always on show, never able to be scruffy or rude, loved by so many but unable to find true happiness in her private life.

The plot is great, with one of Christie’s best motives at the root of it. It is fair play but I’d be amazed if anyone gets the whole thing – the who perhaps would be possible, but the why is brilliantly hidden in plain sight. One of my pleasures in re-reading these Christies is knowing the solution and so being able to spot how cleverly she conceals the real clues among the red herrings. She hardly ever cheats and it’s a joy to see a mistress of the craft at work. And, of course, Joan Hickson is, as always, the perfect narrator for the Miss Marple books. Great stuff! 4½ stars for me, so rounded up.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-06-2020

Insight into character as always

Incredibly clever
Deeply enjoyable

Later in Miss Marple's life, the earliest parts of the book have an edge of sadness and nostalgia to them, with reminiscences of the past

This reflects perhaps, the great expanse of years over which Agatha Christie wrote her books - the many different phases of her life reflected in the development of the literary world she created.

Over time the plot thickens so much this effect passes away, and takes on the powerful knack of whodunit puzzle Ms. Christie managed so well.

A favourite, with brilliant insight into people and characters as always

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  • Stu Young
  • 27-03-2020

Worth the credit

I do enjoy a good Agatha Christie novel and hearing
the wonderful Joan Hickson narrate a Miss Marple take is amazing

Brilliant performance to an a outstanding storyline

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  • Gordon Davis-Day
  • 11-11-2019

A classic Miss Marple

This one of many classic books of Miss Marple, and read so yet again by Joan Hickson. To know that these books were written for Joan Hickson to play when she got older makes them just as special, as always the book is very well written and it the poem by Lord Tennyson that I enjoy the most in the book.

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  • Bradders
  • 16-08-2019

A mystery

Needs a proper cast ,never sure who is which character from Joan Hickson.The story is good but characters clear as mud. Real shame.

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  • Sally
  • 06-06-2019

struggling

I'm really sad about this book, the story from what I can pick up would be entertaining but I have very much struggled with the lady reading it. her upper English accent as wonderful as it is is very difficult to follow and I have to concentrate so hard to understand her that I failed to enjoy the story. she has a beautiful accent but not grear for an audio book.

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  • Shelley
  • 12-04-2019

Wonderfully read by Joan Hickson

I loved listening. Absolutely wonderfully read by Joan Hickson. As always Agatha is a master of storytelling with a knack for great murder mysteries bit also capturing human nature brilliantly.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-06-2015

Another excellent Crime Story

Agatha knows intrege and Joan keeps the listener listening both a credit to their profession