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They Do It with Mirrors

(Miss Marple #6)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  24,959 ratings  ·  1,285 reviews
A man is shot at in a juvenile reform home – but someone else dies…

Miss Marple senses danger when she visits a friend living in a Victorian mansion which doubles as a rehabilitation centre for delinquents. Her fears are confirmed when a youth fires a revolver at the administrator, Lewis Serrocold. Neither is injured. But a mysterious visitor, Mr Gilbrandsen, is less fortun
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 1st 2000 by Signet (first published 1952)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) No. This was written long before the novel series behemoths took over cosy fiction in the 1980s. Each Christie novel is a stand-alone, though characte…moreNo. This was written long before the novel series behemoths took over cosy fiction in the 1980s. Each Christie novel is a stand-alone, though characters may reappear.(less)

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Average rating 3.77  · 
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Ahmad Sharabiani
They Do It with Mirrors (Miss Marple, #6), Agatha Christie

They Do It with Mirrors is a detective fiction novel by Agatha Christie, first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1952 under the title of "Murder with Mirrors" and in UK by the Collins Crime Club on 17 November that year under Christie's original title Murder with Mirrors.

Abstract: Miss Jane Marple helps pal Carrie Louise, invited by worried Sister Ruth to Stonygates, where arrested boys rehabilitate. Foundation trustee Chri
I love Miss Marple!

One of the few of her books, I figured out before the ending, They Do It With Mirrors, is a satisfying mystery, but I couldn't like any of the characters very well. I usually like at least a few, but this set were not so congenial somehow.
Miss Marple and the Magic Trick!


But not really.
The point of this one is that not everything is what it seems. Like an illusionist's trick - they do it with mirrors.

I really did like getting more of a glimpse of Jane as a person, instead of just as the fluffy little old lady who solves mysteries. Unlike some of the other Miss Marple mysteries, though, this one doesn't have any other likable characters in it. Even the friend she goes to check up on (and potentially save) is a weird-o that's all
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I was certain that I had read all of the Miss Marple novels, I really cannot recall having read this before. This novel sees Miss Marple meeting up with an old friend. Ruth Van Rydock and her sister, Carrie Louise, knew Jane Marple as a young girl, when they were visiting Florence. Now Ruth is returning to America, but she confesses that she is concerned about her sister. Carrie Louise, like Ruth, has been married several times. Her latest husband is Lewis Serrocold, an idealist who run ...more
Jason Koivu
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, crime, fiction, play
This is a very strong 3 stars as I quite enjoyed this Agatha Christie quickie!

Having said that, They Do It with Mirrors reads like a Christie-by-numbers novel, written by rote like a facsimile of previous work with just a few of the words rearranged. The characters, the setting, the plot and the outcome, it's all been done before.

I haven't read too many Miss Marple's. The old dear and the settings/situations she's placed in are quite quaint and not entirely my cup of tea. Having said that, I wo
Mar 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Miss Marple, Christie completionists
Shelves: female-lead, mystery
Sure, they do it with mirrors. Apparently in 1952, they could even do it by telephone. By which I refer to phoning it in, because this isn’t Christie at her best. It isn’t even Marple at her best. Still, They Do It with Mirrors is a diverting read, a quick Christie satisfier.

We begin with Miss Marple enjoying a few moments with a dear friend from boarding school days. Ruth now lives in America, but her sister lives in England, and after visiting her, Ruth has a suspicion something isn’t right–so
David Schaafsma
Well, you can't say this book is not well done, written by Dame Agatha at the height of her career, about her preferred crime-solver, Jane Marple. Its very tightly constructed and the dialogue is well-written, but it's not particularly memorable. It touches on Christie themes/interests. The crime takes place next to a home for what used to be called "juvenile delinquents," one of whom is the assumed killer, but this gives Christie an opportunity to help us reflect on issues of rehabilitation vs. ...more
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“We’re all mad, dear lady,” he said as he ushered her in through the door. “That’s the secret of existence. We’re all a little mad.”

Another very good murder mystery. This one was perhaps a little light on the plot but on the other hand focused a lot more on the characters and their motivations. It also felt very much like theatre, which in light of the context made perfect sense. We have our cast of suspects all gathered in one setting, an old English family country home, and more secrets stashe
samantha  (books-are-my-life20)
Agatha Christie the Queen of mystery! Can't wait to read the next story.
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
Book 11 for the Miss Marple challenge. Miss Marple finds herself in a very different setting, a juvenile delinquents home/college when she is asked by old friend Ruth Van Rydock to look into the situation of her sister Carrie Louise. Carrie Louise, also Miss Marple’s friend from her school days in Italy, lives in an old Victorian mansion and her husband Lewis Serrocold runs a centre for juveniles focusing on rehabilitation. Carrie Louise has been married twice before and her relations, children, ...more
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jane Marple yet again proves why she’s one of the great literary detectives and is sometimes overlooked by Poirot.

Whilst this mystery feels more in keeping with a story featuring the Belgium detective, it works so much better as a Miss Marple adventure.

As the amateur detective is asked to visit a home for delinquent boys by an old school friend, it’s not surprising that the intuition of something a foot leads to murder.
With a whole host of interesting side characters it’s a matter of whodunnit r
Nandakishore Varma
The title is the only clue to the mystery you need - if you read it correctly, that is.

"They do it with mirrors" is what magicians do, figuratively speaking - misdirection. This is what murderers do, too.

And mystery writers.
A book I just don't remember reading and another great example of Miss Marple's expertise.

Again a great story by Agatha Christie, with some wonderful characters and an intricate plot that I certainly never guessed.
Well worth reading if one has never read a Miss Marple before. Lets be honest they have all been good so far, and only 3 to go, (sad face).
Vikas Singh
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
Another blockbuster of a Miss Marple novel. However in this novel, Miss Marple does not relapse so frequently into the past or her beloved village. Strangely mirror is used as a metaphor here with the actual mirror having nothing to do with the plot. The end is as always quite a twist.
Simona B

A thing about Christie's Miss Marple novels that I don't like is that some of them (though not many) give an impression of laziness that I find particularly unpleasant, and I usually end up not knowing what to make of such cases. This is precisely what happened with They Do It With Mirrors: I found it lazy, and I was disappointed. Not one of Christie's best.
* 3.5/5 stars! (I listened to this on audiobook.)
Rating: Good

Classic + Mystery

A new adventure for Miss Marple, upon the request of her friend Ruth she goes to stay with Carrie Louise in her Victorian mansion because Ruth sensed some danger coming. She meets the complex family of Carrie Louise and of course in that mansion a murder is committed. Miss Marple being the sharp old lady she is will be able to solve this mystery.

The title of this book is odd a bit, not sure why it was used. I liked how Agatha introduced all these complex famil
Ms. Marple spends some time with an old friend of hers, and stumbles on a murder. There wasn't a lot of extraneous stuff going on in this story (unlike Nemesis) and you get a sense of the various characters around Ms. Marple's friend. In retrospect, I realized that Christie had laid out some pretty big clues pointing to the baddie.
Stephanie Anze
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"That's the secret of existance. We're all a little mad."

Miss Jane Marple goes to visit her childhood friend Carrie Louise at the juvenile reform house she runs with her husband. Stonygates is a grand and spacious Victorian mansion that functions as the family home as well. Upon arrival Miss Marple is introduced to the rest of the family, staff and some of the residents. After dinner one night, one of Stonygates residents points a gun at Lewis Serrocold, Carrie's husband, and fires but its anoth
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This is the 1st book of agatha christie where I was able to guess the culprit from the start. Only the why of the crime was a surprise.
Katie Lumsden
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. Very good fun, well written and engaging. The only Agatha Christie I've figured out before the end!
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: uk, mystery
This is one of my least favourite Marples. An old school friend of Miss Marple (Ruth) shows up on one of her flying trips from the US and asks our detective to see what's wrong with her sister's family. The three of them had grown up together and were quite close. Ruth was able to detect something was wrong but could not put her finger on it. She obviously had more faith in her old friend to get things sorted. Miss Marple agreed to help out and planned a visit to her other old friend, Carrie Lou ...more
Jack Heath
3 Stars. At least this time the police, led by Inspector Curry, know of Jane Marple and her reputation as an astute snoop when it comes to murder. So when one does occur, they consult with her, although they are certain she has now lost her marbles - too old and scattered; how could she be of any assistance in their efforts? Jane's childhood friend is Carrie Louise Serrocold who resides with her third husband Lewis at Stonygates on the grounds of a home for juvenile delinquent boys. Lewis is som ...more
Karen ⊰✿
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: towerteamsvi
One of my favourite Miss Marple books so far.
Here, Jane goes to visit a friend she hasn't seen in decades - Carrie Louise - who lives in a huge Victorian mansion ; and because she is so philanthropic and empathetic it also serves as a rehab centre for juvenile criminals. There are attempted murders, and an actual one, and Miss Marple has to employ some lateral thinking to uncover the truth.
I think I've come to the conclusion that I prefer Poirot books to Marple ones, but this one started off really well! One of the reasons I usually like Poirot better is that he's usually more involved in the narrative. Miss Marple usually sidles in at the last moment and mostly does her work off page. But here, she was present from page one. Unfortunately, I just lost my motivation about halfway through as the mystery itself didn't really hold my attention.

Miss Marple's childhood friend Ruth Van
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
An exciting and absorbing Miss Marple mystery!

Miss Marple is tipped off that an old friend might be in fact she may be being poisoned. It's time for a visit to the country! (Cue huge country house in fog and everyone is bonkers yeah!)
But then someone gets shot and Miss Marple has to unravel all the clues through the smoke and mirrors.

Highly recommended for cosy mystery fans everywhere.
I just loved this from beginning to end. As someone else said, I love it when Christie provides a diagram to show where a murder is. It's like you have your own game of Clue to play. Miss Marple is still the sharpest knife in the drawer. I can't say that I saw the ending at all. I was leaning towards one way and then found out I was wrong. The ending leaves things on a nice note for several of the characters.

Miss Marple is asked to go visit an old school friend, Carrie Louise Serrocold. Carrie'
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-owned
A very enjoyable combo of Christie-isms for me... slowed down in the back half, but this was an enjoyable first read
Ririn Aziz
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
How ironic. When I have finally settled with myself that it's quite a useless thing to secondguess Agatha Christie's mysteries, it does come as a big surprised that I did guess it right this time. Even though so many smokescreens were thrown in the way, I just can't shake off my suspicion of the suspect.

Does this means that I am getting better at reading the clues? ;-)
Ana Vicente
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
I generally love Agatha Christie, and I tend to read her books in one sitting, but that didn't happen with this one.

It's a Marple novel, and I generally do prefer other detectives (it just frustrates me that part of the solution is based on those comparisons with someone on St. Mary Mead), but I don't think that's enough to explain why this book failed to captivate me the way others have.

I think part of it was that I just didn't care about the characters all that much. I especially didn't care a
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Mission Marple Bo...: General Discussion 8 30 Apr 30, 2019 03:05AM  
Agatha Christie L...: April 2015 - They Do It with Mirrors 17 82 Jun 28, 2016 01:52PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Correct info 2 16 Mar 11, 2016 11:14PM  

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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 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in t

Other books in the series

Miss Marple (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1)
  • The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple, #2)
  • The Body in the Library (Miss Marple, #3)
  • The Moving Finger (Miss Marple, #4)
  • A Murder Is Announced (Miss Marple, #5)
  • A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple, #7)
  • 4:50 from Paddington (Miss Marple, #8)
  • The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (Miss Marple, #9)
  • A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple, #10)
  • At Bertram's Hotel (Miss Marple, #11)

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