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By the Pricking of My Thumbs (Tommy and Tuppence #4)

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  9,326 Ratings  ·  467 Reviews
Tommy y Tuppence son ahora una pareja madura que decide visitar a una anciana tía en la residencia donde pasa sus últimos años. Pero la visita se convierte en una intriga de cadáveres en chimeneas y ancianas que creen estar siendo envenenadas.
Hardcover, 235 pages
Published 2004 by Planet Three Publishing Network Ltd (first published November 1968)
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Greg Z Moriah, I've read 30+ books by this author, and to me they are all stand-alone, even the Poirot/Marple books. You never need to have read one to…moreMoriah, I've read 30+ books by this author, and to me they are all stand-alone, even the Poirot/Marple books. You never need to have read one to understand the next. But for me the Tommy/Tuppence efforts are among Christie's weakest. (less)
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Henry Avila
Agatha Christie's leisurely murder mystery, begins in an old ladies home.Tommy Beresford is visiting his Aunt Ada, at Sunny Ridge. The spinster is 80 and still tough,she likes tormenting Tuppence the nephew's wife, who has come along.(Ada needs some fun in her sedentary life)Tuppence befriends Mrs.Lancaster ,an inmate. This woman ,who seems slightly confused,always talking about a dead child!Miss Packard, who runs this peaceful establishment, doesn't take Mrs. Lancaster seriously.Three weeks lat ...more
Laurel Young
Dec 16, 2010 Laurel Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to go ahead and give this five stars, because it is fairly rare for Dame Agatha to go all-out creepy with her books and I'm amazed at how well she does it here! I read this book a very long time ago and never forgot the image of the old lady calmly saying that the milk is not poisoned TODAY and inquiring about the body walled up in the fireplace. Gave me shivers! So I had a sense of happy deja-vu when I read the first chapter and realized that this was *that* many of Christie ...more
Aug 12, 2010 Meave rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh Aggie, your mind really must have been going to have written this and considered it a complete novel. It doesn't make sense! It's terribly disappointing, especially because Tommy and Tuppence are usually so delightful. But in this mystery not only do they lack believable motivation for taking any action, they don't get to do much of anything together, and their chemistry is all wonky, which was the most depressing part.

I'll take some of the blame for not understanding the plot, as I did fall
Jun 20, 2009 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an incredibly chilling mystery; I had the cover image and the creepy, insane mutterings of the killer burnt into my mind and preventing me from falling asleep. Scary.

Agatha Christie has produced yet another brilliant mystery, one that is intense and possesses gripping tension throughout the entire novel as the detectives attempt to solve the puzzle. Tommy and Tuppence are back again, now very much advanced in age, but still as spirited as ever. The light romance between the two is very
The title comes from Shakespeare's Macbeth, "By the pricking of my thumbs,Something wicked this way comes". This is the first Tommy and Tuppence novel I have read but it won't be the last. Tommy and Tuppence Beresford visit Tommy’s Aunt Ada in a retirement home called Sunny Ridge. While Tommy is visiting with his Aunt, Tuppence goes to another room where she meets and has a conversation with another resident Mrs. Lancaster. Mrs. Lancaster unexpectedly says "Was it your poor child? There behind t ...more
Lina Mouloudj
sigh! i'm so disappointed..

well, this is a summary about how did the "adventure" started:

Tommy and Tuppence went to an old age home called Sunny Ridge to visit Tommy's ant, Ant Ada.. while Tommy was talking to his old ant, Tuppence sat with Mrs Lancaster who also resides at Sunny Ridge, suddenly Mrs Lancaster asked Tuppence "was it your poor child? there behind the fireplace", those words sticks in Tuppence's mind...

after a few weeks And Ada died, so Tommy and Tuppence went to Sunny Ridge to get
Greg Z
Nov 02, 2016 Greg Z rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I'm working my way through all of Dame Christie's works (she's my favorite author in a comfort book/food way) and thought I'd try one presented to us rather late in her career (the 1960s). Forty years after Christie first presented that dynamic spy duo, Tommy and Tuppence, to us in the 1920s, they are back at it, this time investigating a murder at a "home for old ladies." (Let's all just get it over with, roll our eyes at this sad cliché - two old detectives at an old folks home, which thankful ...more
Jan 01, 2015 Kavita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Tommy and Tuppence pay a visit to Tommy's Aunt Ada at her old age home, and fall headlong into a superb mystery. I am a little surprised that this book is rated so low by AC fans. It is one of Christie's creepiest books and there are several heart-stopping scenes, and the book is worth reading for these alone. Admittedly, the plot is a little convoluted, but it is not fully unbelievable and the story unfolds in a decent manner. It does not confuse you, but I guess fans find it tough to reconcile ...more
Aug 03, 2015 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
My goodness I loved this book. It is without a doubt this is my favorite Tommy and Tuppence story. It is brilliantly creepy and perfectly engaging. Tuppence gets caught up in a mystery that is about the old, the young, what time can do to a person, and how you never quite know if your perception of something is the right one. It has nothing to do with war (which I prefer as I'm not big on their wartime stories) and everything to do with the pasts of people you wouldn't think had things to hide. ...more
I always enjoyed a good Agatha Christie’s book, unfortunately “by the pricking of my thumbs” is not a “good” Agatha Christie’s!

The story is so weak! Tommy and Tuppence are not my favorite characters (that would be Poirot) but I already read some books about their adventures and they were quite good and interesting, but this…. is…I’ll have to say it even if it breaks my heart…. is a bad book!

The reason they start to investigate is ridiculous (Tuppence meets an old lady in a nursing home, and deci
A recipe for one of Agatha Christie's most creepy, atmospheric thrillers:

A senile old lady's mysterious words.

A sudden disappearance.

An oil painting of a house which invokes an unexpected sense of déja vu.

A dead body walled off behind a fireplace.

A stuffed, glassy-eyed, broken doll.

A string of unsolved child murders.

A missing grave.

A killer in a home for elderly ladies.

A cache of precious stones.

All these set in a picturesque setting, along with a sprinkling of gossipy middle aged villagers, shi
Feb 26, 2013 Santiago rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picture Tuppence sitting infront of a fireplace at Sunny Ridge, as Tommy is upstairs visiting his old aunt. Beside her sits an old and kind woman drinking hot milk. Then she asks Tuppence, lost in thought: 'Was it your poor child?'

Tommy and Tuppence books are somewhat more of adventure than Poirot's and Mrs.Marple's. This one is great. They inherit a picture of a house from an old aunt of Tommy and Tuppence decides she has seen that house somewhere in England and goes looking for it. This crazy
Mar 30, 2016 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, 2016-reads
Nothing give me more comfort than reading an Agatha Christie book while traveling. Not sure why, but she's been my go to for probably 20 years or more. And I was introduce to Tommy and Tuppence! I had no idea she had characters other than Poirot and Miss Marple!
Dec 10, 2016 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This has some really creepy moments, but it's also really scattered, plot-wise, and kind of completely insane. It doesn't hold together at all: there are remnants of three different stories crammed together, and none of them feel properly resolved.
Oct 29, 2016 Lucia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think this is a memorable novel by AC. I found the central idea good, but I did not quite  like  the plot. However, this mystery  is enjoyable thanks to Tommy and Tuppence. She gives us the most important help, that is "to tie up everything" and leave aside  the elements which are not relevant. A method dear to Poirot and Miss Marple. But they use reasoning and logic for their deductions, she doesn't. She uses intuition. Mrs Boscowan made the point asking: "Who's the one who got the imag ...more
Dec 23, 2014 Faa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apart from Poirot and Miss Marple, Tommy and Tuppence are my other distraction from the real world. It is strange to read this book and realized they had grow old together. However, as vigilant as Miss Marple herself; both Tommy and Tuppence never show signs of old ages. They grow old together amazingly and their ability to discern ramblings, gossips and real mysteries was as sharp and witty as ever. When Tuppence left behind by Tommy who attended the league of old men, she found her footsteps a ...more
Masterful Agatha Christie classic. A Tommy and Tuppence mystery in which the intrepid Tuppence takes center stage. Subtle, multi-layered mystery that shows all of Dame Agatha's plotting and character creation skills. One of my all time favorites.

(view spoiler)
Tami (synchro from BL)
Tommy and Tuppence grown a little old, but still fabulous. I just like those two.
The crime story was a little weaker than most of Christie's in my opinion, but still good.
Also in my edition were some annoying typos (mrs instead of mr).
Annie Hawthorne
Mar 01, 2015 Annie Hawthorne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tales-of-mystery
Well, that was quite creepy. O.o
Feb 22, 2017 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Tommy and Tuppence book, and I should say this book blew me away! I was instantly riveted from the first page. The plot was good and very exciting. This would not definitely be the last Tommy and Tuppence book I'll be picking up!
Feb 02, 2017 Vessy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this Tuppence and Tommy story and would look for more of their adventures
Oct 15, 2016 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-goodreads
Good, but not as good as some of her other books.
Geert Daelemans
The weakest Tommy and Tuppence novel

While Tommy Beresford visits his feeble old Aunt Ada at Sunny Ridge rest home, his wife Tuppence meets old Mrs. Lancaster in the sitting room. The solitary woman is drinking a glass of milk because "It is not poisoned today." Suddenly she looks at the fireplace and asks: "Was it your poor child? That is where it is, you know." When three weeks later Aunt Ada dies, Tommy and Tuppence revisit the rest house. Intrigued by the fact that old Mrs. Lancaster has sudd
Ed Evans
Dec 22, 2016 Ed Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this! The late Christies all have a little macabre spin, sometimes making them less enjoyable than the traditional whodunnits. This tale, however, is spun ingeniously. The Beresfords are always a delight, and never more so than here. An unexpected treat
Admittedly I have not read many novels by Agatha Christie. It seems like in her novels the plot often changes and evolves as the story progresses. Prudence Cowley (Tuppence) with the support of Thomas Beresford (Tommy) is chasing a wild comment by an inmate in Aunt Ada’s old age home – Sunny Ridge.

Despite a weak start and the author manages to seize our attention and intrigue with its fast pace and unconventional characterisation. The question, “was it your poor child”, from one of the character
Jul 14, 2016 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
I like to read a mystery on occasion. Can't go wrong with Agatha Christie.{ At least in my opinion}This is a "Tommy and Tuppence" mystery. I have not read one of these books but from what i can gather, Tommy And Tuppence, a husband and wife team take it upon their selves to be detectives. "By the Pricking of My Thumbs" starts out with Tommy and Tuppence visiting their elderly aunt in a nursing home. While there, Tuppence meets another resident of the home named Mrs. Lancaster. while talking Mrs. ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Blake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Agatha Christie book, I know "Blake, why didn't you read her best, And Then There Were None." Well, I am not quite sure why I chose this one mainly because they cover was enticing and I just wanted to check it out. And I know I gave it 3 stars but she really is a great writer.

- The ending was phenomenal! Everything an ending for a mystery should be: thrilling, heart wrenching and heart pumping.
- Her writing style is obviously great
- I loved the ch
Sep 01, 2015 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-reads
Disclaimer: I tried to like it. It's Agatha Christie for goodness sake! I hope this is not representative of her other works. Maybe it's just me. Lots of people gave it four or five stars and said that it was "chilling". That said:

WARNING: May cause marked drowsiness, confusion of thoughts due to mind-wandering, slight headache and a severe case of "get-on-with-it-already!"

It started out promising. I enjoyed the obvious "Britishness" of it. The dialogue between Tommy and Tuppence was playful and
Jan 15, 2016 Ria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Tommy and Tuppence go to visit Tommy's Aunt Ada in an old peoples home they get more than they bargained for and are plunged headfirst into another thrilling mystery.
Aunt Ada is given a beautiful picture of a house by a canal with a boat tied up near a bridge by another home resident, Mrs. Lancaster and Tuppence feels she has seen it somewhere before.
When Aunt Ada dies the picture passes into their possession and Tuppence resolves to enquire whether Mrs. Lancaster would now like it back but
Feb 08, 2015 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only thing keeping me from giving this book five stars is simply that I didn't completely understand it. It could be my fault, so I'm just going to accept it!
I am a fan of Christie's Poirot novels, but I don't like Marple as much, so I wasn't sure if I would like Tommy and Tuppence. I do! They complement each other so well, and I love the way Tuppence thinks. All of the (many) characters were vivid and really set up a menacing atmosphere set behind a charming English country village. There w
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  • Agatha Christie: A Biography
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Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is t
More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Tommy and Tuppence (5 books)
  • The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence #1)
  • Partners in Crime (Tommy and Tuppence #2)
  • N or M? (Tommy and Tuppence, #3)
  • Postern of Fate (Tommy and Tuppence, #5)

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“I don’t particularly want to think of your funeral because I’d much prefer to die before you do. But I mean, if I were going to your funeral, at any rate it would be an orgy of grief. I should take a lot of handkerchiefs.” 3 likes
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