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

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  7,611 ratings  ·  338 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
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
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* many of Christie ...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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).

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
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)
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
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
Annie Hawthorne
Well, that was quite creepy. O.o
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
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
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
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!
Creepy. I don't like murder mysteries, which is why I have liked the earlier Tommy and Tuppence chronicles. Those two are adorable. However, this was a creepy crawley and I didn't like it much despite the fun main characters. Going to finish out the series, but that's it for Christie after that.
Lisa Findley
Several really creepy moments, lots of Tuppence-focused action, good stuff.
Julia Cummings
Tommy and Tuppence are undoubtedly my favorite Christie detectives. I love how Tuppence is always going off on her own and doing something so completely different from anyone else. Very few people, if any, would worry so much for a woman they met once, then learned the woman had left with a family member. If anyone had been inclined to track down Mrs. Lancaster as Tuppence was, I highly doubt anyone would have had the skills to find the hidden mystery, then solve it no less. Tuppence is most def ...more
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

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

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
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
Ivana Azap
Good book, little creepy...
Recommend it in the docile times ;)
Murder mystery, copyright 1968. My copy is from 1986. This is a Tommy & Tuppence mystery. 27 years from the last book. Technically, T&T should be 72 years old, but I get the impression from this story that they're in their mid 60s.

I really wanted to like this book. Although it's a reread for me, I didn't remember much about it. Vaguely about the house Tuppence saw from the train & trying to find it without Tommy. I guess that's why I really didn't like it much. Tuppence goes off b
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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 (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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