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

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  7,015 ratings  ·  300 reviews
Ladies disappearing from homes of rest, sinister empty houses, hints of gang-leaders mixed with black magic - mystery at the usual high Christie level.

Tommy and Tuppence Beresford visit an unpleasant aunt in a home. From this typically unlikely beginning, murder and all kinds of excitement develop, to the point when Mrs Beresford meets the mass killer in the secret room of
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Paperback, Ninth Impression, 191 pages
Published 1971 (first published 1968)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Hannah
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
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Laurel Young
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* book...so many of Christie ...more
Santiago
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
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Meave
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
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Lina
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
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Kavita
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
Cheryl
It is true of most of us that when the antagonist of a crime novel has psychological problems, our fear factor escalates. Perhaps it's because we have difficulty aligning our reality with an impaired person's fantasy world. When our effort fails, we realize the danger walking among us and the unpredictability of it all!

There is a part of us that wants to understand Mrs. Lancaster's question, "Was it your child?" Though completely out of context and foreboding as well, Tuppence tries to logically
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Chris
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)
Faa
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
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).

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Megan
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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Trapezio
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
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Blake
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.

GOOD THINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK:
- 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
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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
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Elsa
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
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Karen B.
I like Agatha Christie, can't say I I really "love" her mysteries, but I am so glad I tried this Tommy and Tuppence mystery. Tuppence reminds me a little of Miss Marple but her determination to go to many lengths to discover the truth drives this novel. She knows there are connections but is not always sure how to get them together. Christie delivers many clues that leave the reader twisting around many paths all to converge together with a wonderful ending. This book was delightful!
Lisa Findley
Several really creepy moments, lots of Tuppence-focused action, good stuff.
Robert Stewart
This book was a bit of a let down. Tommy and Tuppence, now comfortably into their sixties, visit a nursing home where Tommy's aged aunt is housed. She soon passes away and leaves behind a painting of a house that Tuppence becomes obsessed with. She trails all over the place in search of the house and in search of the rather dotty old woman that gave the picture to Tommy's aunt. The story is very long-winded and full of long, rambling dialogues, the purpose of which is to try and set the scene fo ...more
Library-KAT


"By the pricking of my thumbs...... Something wicked this way comes"

Well now that's odd, because the book does not have Miss Marple in it, but the movie does...... Sigh.

Tommy & Tuppence are a modern couple who have grown older and are retired..... Tommy worked for the spy network" and Tuppence would always insert herself into his business (nosy Parker).

In this story they are off to visit Tommy's acerbic Aunt Ada who is staying in a home for elderly women.... Aunt Ada can not stand Tuppence s
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Aries

L'amore per l'avventura e per il mistero è una di quelle passioni che non si affievoliscono con l'età. Ne sono una dimostrazione evidente gli ormai maturi coniugi Tommy e Tuppence Beresford, i due simpatici investigatori un tempo definiti "giovani avventurieri". Infatti ecco che la visita di cortesia all'anziana e petulante zia Ada, ospite di una casa di riposo, e il curioso incontro con la signora Lancaster, una premurosa e svampita vecchietta dai capelli candidi destinata a "partire" senza las

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Jules Goud
I've already said it. But I'll say it again. Tommy and Tuppence are my favorite!

I found that "By the Pricking of My Thumbs" (will now be known as BTPOMT) was a little bit more muddled then some of Christie's other works. It seemed to me that there weren't any clear connections between what Tuppence and Tommy were learning and what they were investigating. It really wasn't until the solution was revealed when everything that we learned made sense. It seemed so simple to me that I can't believe th
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P S Karr
By the Pricking of my Thumbs by Agatha Christie is a Tommy and Tuppence mystery. We first met this pair as The Young Adventurers in The Secret Adversary. I admit I developed a liking for these characters a bit late, but once I did, I couldn’t stop. This is yet another nursery rhyme type title like And Then There Were None and Hickory Dickory Dock.


Tommy and Tuppence are in the twilight of their life, enjoying a leisurely pace of life. They realize they haven’t visited their Aunt Ada in a while. S
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Ivana Azap
Good book, little creepy...
Recommend it in the docile times ;)
Jesus Ismael
I've wanted to read this one for a long time, but in my country it's difficult to get. It's the last one also from Tommy and Tuppence for me to read, since I've already read the 4 others.
I really enjoyed it and consider it excellent. I've read criticisms about the repetitiveness of information in dialogues and the un-focus style of the narrative. While I can see some validity in these points, I like to think about them as qualities in AC writing from the 60's and on that help to give the narrat
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Ana
Todos os meus livros de Agatha Christe foram comprados numa pequena livraria, administrada por um velhote britânico, que tinha por hábito ouvir a BBC 1 Radio - ou, pelo menos, era o que estava a tocar quando eu lá entrava. A livraria fica à beira do canal, numa rua paralela à rua principal de Gent, uma cidade a algumas dezenas de quilómetros de Bruxelas, na Bélgica.

Foi, portanto, nessa cidade que descobri a minha paixão por Agatha Christie - e, invariavelmente, por Tommy e Tuppence Beresford.

Não
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Carissa
I admit it, I'm now a die-hard Tommy and Tuppence fan. Ok, so my adoration actually started upon seeing Anthony Andrews play Tommy in a rather muddled interpretation of this story. But if I hadn't watched the episode, I would have never decided to read the book! A book which, as it turns out, is loads better than what the screenwriters pieced together. Who knew they created such a dreadful Frankenstein's monster?!

When Tommy's aged Aunt Ada dies in a home for elderly ladies, her belongings are di
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Shakespearesgirl
By the Pricking of My Thumbs stats out the way you'd expect an Agatha Christie novel to start. The background is established, and then things start happening more and more quickly. the problem with this particular novel is that the ending doesn't actually wrap up all the questions raised. This was disappointing because usually Christie does an excellent job explaining and resolving everything, and the lack of that sort of wrap-up was highly unsatisfying.

That said it was really quite good, and I
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Nd
Five stars for an Agatha Christie book. I haven't been doing goodreads long, but it's difficult to use the star system when comparing different types of books. So I just have to rate them within their own type. To my way of thinking, Agatha Christie is very nearly a type unto herself.

Generally, I don't read books by the same author back-to-back, but the last one was so enjoyable, and this is the last in a large collection I've been working on for a few years. Without my realizing it, this one wa
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Marlene Chabot
The title of this Agatha Christie book, By the Pricking of My Thumbs, is definitely not a clue what this Tommy and Tuppence novel is all about. The title comes from a verse in Macbeth. The story starts out slow with a visit to Tommy's Aunt Ada who resides at Sunny Ridge a nursing home for the elderly. It's after Aunt Ada dies that the mystery begins.

Tuppence recognizes a house in a painting Tommy's aunt left behind when she died, but she can't remember where she saw it at first. The painting ha
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Goodreads Librari...: By the Pricking of My Thumbs 5 24 Jan 01, 2015 04:28PM  
Agatha Christie L...: October 2016 - By the Pricking of My Thumbs 1 3 Aug 15, 2014 08:46PM  
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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 Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880
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More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Tommy and Tuppence Series (8 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)
  • The House of Lurking Death: A Short Story (Tommy & Tuppence)
  • The Case of the Missing Lady (Tommy & Tuppence Series Short)
  • The Adventure of the Sinister Stranger: A Short Story (Tommy & Tuppence)
And Then There Were None Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1) Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)

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