The Mirror Crack’d back and forth is really a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first printed within the United kingdom through the Collins Crime Club on 12 November 1962 and in america by Dodd, Mead and Company in September 1963 underneath the shorter title from the Mirror Crack’d with a copyright date of 1962. The United kingdom edition retailed at 15 shillings (15/-) and also the US edition at $3.75.
It’s occur the imaginary British village of St. Mary Mead featuring Miss Marple. It had been dedicated by Christie: “To Margaret Rutherford, in admiration.”
The novel received good reviews on publication, for “the shrewd exposition of why is a female film star tick”, and being readable, although the plot wasn’t as “taut” as a number of Christie’s novels. A later review thought it was “among the best of her later books” and loved the way in which “the alterations in village existence and sophistication structure because the war are detailed”.
While dealing with a disease, Jane Marple is out for any walk-in St. Mary Mead and requires a fall. She encounters Louise Badcock, who brings her to her home and relates a tale of meeting American actress Marina Gregg, that has gone to live in England to star inside a film about Elisabeth of Austria and purchased Gossington Hall from Marple’s friend Dolly Bantry.
Gregg and her latest husband, producer Jason Rudd, host a fete at Gossington Hall in recognition of St John Ambulance. One of the visitors attending are Mrs. Bantry, actress Lola Brewster, Gregg’s personal friend Ardwyck Fenn, and Louise Badcock and her husband Arthur. All five are asked to some private room to satisfy Marina and also have their picture taken.
Upon meeting Gregg, Louise shares the storyline of meeting her in Bermuda and receiving her autograph, where Mrs. Bantry notices an unusual look mix Gregg’s face. Mrs. Bantry then takes other women to determine the renovations designed to the home simply to be interrupted upon finding Louise has collapsed without explanation. Despite all tries to revive her, Louise is pronounced dead.
Mrs. Bantry informs Marple concerning the occasions all around the fete and also the frozen check out Marina’s face, evaluating it to some phrase from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem The Woman of Shalott. Detective-Inspector Dermot Craddock spearheads the analysis, learning that Louise died because of ingesting six occasions the suggested dose from the tranquilizer Calmo. The drug have been tucked right into a daiquiri that initially belonged to Gregg but was provided to Louise after someone jogged her arm and caused her to spill it.
Operating around the assumption that Gregg was the intended target, Craddock proceeds to explore her complicated past. Desperate to possess a child of her very own, she married several occasions but was not able to get pregnant. She then adopted three children but grew to become pregnant and delivered a psychologically disabled boy before suffering an anxious breakdown. Among the children, Margot Bence, is revealed to possess been present at Gossington Hall at the time from the fete but she denies killing Gregg despite her hate towards her adoptive mother.
Because the analysis continues, two more and more people are wiped out during the period of twenty-four hrs. Rudd’s social secretary, Ella Zielinsky, dies first from cyanide poisoning following the atomizer she ways to use her hay fever is tainted with prussic acidity. Later that night, Gregg’s butler, Giuseppe, is shot two times within the in his bed room after working your day working in london and depositing £500 into his banking account. Ardwyck Fenn informs Craddock he received an appointment a few days before, accusing him of killing Louise, and that he recognized the anonymous caller as Ella when she sneezed.
Marple’s house cleaner, Cherry Baker, reveals her friend Gladys, who had been a web server at Gossington Hall at the time from the fete, informed her she believes Louise deliberately spilled the cocktail which she would meet Giuseppe before he died. After delivering Gladys on a holiday in Bournemouth and phoning the vicar, she travels to Gossington Hall simply to uncover Gregg died in her own sleep from your overdose.
With Craddock and Rudd present, Marple reconstructs as soon as when Louise recounted the storyline of her meeting Gregg in Bermuda, ultimately revealing that Gregg was the killer all along. Louise, who had been struggling with German measles at that time, was not directly accountable for Gregg’s boy being born disabled as well as for Gregg herself suffering an anxious breakdown. Overcome with rage, Gregg doctored her very own daiquiri prior to making it to ensure that Louise drank it. She then attempted to convince everybody the poisoned drink was intended for her and wiped out Ella and Giuseppe once they deduced she was the killer. Marple sent Gladys off to safeguard her from becoming Gregg’s next victim.
Marple then implies Rudd administered the overdose to safeguard her and also to prevent her from taking another existence. Rudd neither confirms nor denies her accusations, rather commenting on his wife’s beauty and also the suffering she suffered.
The title from the novel originates from the poem The Woman of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The Woman of Shalott resides in a tower near Camelot, and sees it just reflected inside a glass. She’ll be condemned if she looks directly when Lancelot seems, she looks directly at him and Camelot and also the searching glass cracks. This poem is known by name several occasions within the novel, using these lines quoted:
In the finish, Miss Marple quotes the final three lines in talking about the dead actress:
Francis Iles (Anthony Berkeley Cox) was somewhat muted in the praise in the review within the Protector of seven December 1962 as he stated,
“she’s obviously thought up yet another brilliant little peg which to hold her plot, however the chief interest in my experience from the Mirror Crack’d back and forth was the shrewd exposition of why is a female film star tick the way in which she does tick. Despite the fact that you could pay a single coincidence concerning that husband and wife, the 2nd and quite extremely improbable one has a tendency to destroy belief within the story – still much more because it leads nowhere whatsoever.”
Maurice Richardson from the Observer of 11 November 1962 summarized, “An average Christie bit diffuse and never so taut as some still fairly readable, though.”
Kirkus Reviews gave a brief review, noting Miss Marple’s complaints concerning the limits enforced on her behalf through getting old, yet nothing stops her mind from working well. The novel is summarized with this upbeat remark: “It had been her prying curiosity – her gift of putting odd bits together to create a picture that gave the locals and Scotland Yard the correct solution. Lengthy existence to her.”
Robert Barnard, writing in 1990, stated this novel was “All of the the real British village mysteries in Christie’s output, and among the best of her later books. Film milieu superimposed around the familiar St Mary Mead background.” He continued to remark that “Like the majority of Marples this isn’t wealthy in clueing, however the alterations in village existence and sophistication structure because the war are detailed inside a knowledgeable and fairly supportive way.”
The novel was on Anthony Boucher’s list for 1963 of Best Crime Fiction of the season. It had been one amongst 14 indexed by 1963.
The actual-existence tragedy from the birth from the first child of yankee actress Gene Tierney and her husband Oleg Cassini seems is the foundation of one plot point for that superstar character, although not the murder plot, though Christie never stated this about her novel. Tierney described her event in her own life story, years after Christie authored this novel Tierney’s story have been well publicised for a long time before novel was written. The state website of Agatha Christie, shows that Gene Tierney’s experience influenced Christie in developing the film star character within this novel. Tierney hadn’t adopted children prior to the birth of her first child and Tierney bore a proper daughter 5 years later, and therefore Christie didn’t copy Tierney’s existence within this novel.
In June 1943, during pregnancy together with her first child, Tierney came lower with German measles, contracted during her only appearance in the Hollywood Canteen. Hereditary rubella syndrome was forwarded to the infant. Little Daria was created prematurely, weighing only 3 pounds, 2 ounces, and requiring a complete bloodstream transfusion. The newborn was deaf, partly blind with cataracts, and seriously developmentally disabled. The kid ultimately was institutionalised inside a psychological hospital.
About 2 yrs following the child was created, Tierney was contacted with a female fan to have an autograph in a garden party. The fan says during The Second World War, she’d sneaked from quarantine while sick with German measles to go to the Hollywood Canteen and meet Tierney. This incident, along with the conditions to which the data was imparted towards the actress, is comparable to the very first pregnancy of Marina Gregg within the story.
Christie made interesting clue within the surname of Marina Gregg for any lady who’d a young child suffering from hereditary rubella syndrome. This is actually the same surname as Mister Norman Gregg, the Australian ophthalmologist who first described cataracts in hereditary rubella syndrome in 1941. Professor David Mackey pointed out this in the 2005 Gregg lecture towards the Royal Australian and Nz College of Ophthalmologists meeting.
The novel was serialised within the Star Weekly Novel, a Toronto newspaper supplement, in 2 abridged instalments from 9-16 March 1963 underneath the title The Mirror Crack’d with every issue that contains a protective cover illustration by Gerry Sevier.
The novel was adapted for any 1980 feature film with Angela Lansbury becoming Miss Marple. The film’s co-stars were Bette Davis as Marina and Kim Novak as Lola Brewster, and also the cast also incorporated Rock Hudson and Tony Curtis. The show was launched because the Mirror Crack’d, the shortened US book title. The show altered numerous elements within the novel, including Marina’s surname (she uses Rudd, not Gregg), her associates, taking out the character of Giuseppe, adding dying threats, among other modifications, including shifting the setting to 1953, nine years prior to the book’s publication.
Another adaptation from the novel is made by BBC television in 1992 included in its series Miss Marple using the title role performed by Joan Hickson (in her own final performance as Jane Marple), and starring Claire Blossom as Marina Gregg and Glynis Barber as Lola Brewster. The only real major changes were that Giuseppe isn’t wiped out, Alfred Badcock isn’t a former husband of Mariana Gregg, Superintendent Slack and Sergeant Lake are designed in and also the character of Hailey Preston is taken away. The novel was the ultimate adaptation for that BBC series Miss Marple. Margaret Courtenay made an appearance within this adaptation as Miss Dark night, getting formerly portrayed Dolly Bantry within the 1980 feature film version.
ITV Studios and WGBH Boston created another adaptation for that Marple tv series starring Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple, with Joanna Lumley reprising her role as Dolly Bantry, Lindsay Duncan as Marina Gregg and Hannah Waddingham as Lola Brewster. Investigating the murder together with Miss Marple is Inspector Hewitt, performed by Hugh Bonneville. This version, while ultimately faithful to Christie’s original text, incorporated numerous notable changes. A few of these changes were affected by the alterations which were produced in the 1980 film adaptation:
Film director and screenwriter Rituparno Ghosh produced a Bengali language form of Christie’s story as Shubho Mahurat, which reset the storyline within the film industry of Kolkata. Within this version, Sharmila Tagore plays the ageing star Padmini, the counterpart to Christie’s Marina Gregg. The film features Rakhi Gulzar becoming the same as Miss Marple.
TV Asahi adapted the novel in 2018 starring Ikki Sawamura and Hitomi Kuroki, using the title Two Nights Drama Special: Murder from the Great Actress – The Mirror Crack’d Back and forth (Japanese: アガサ・クリスティ 二夜連続ドラマスペシャル 大女優殺人事件～鏡は横にひび割れて～) because the second night, and also the first night was 4.50 from Paddington. This drama altered the primary role to some chief inspector from Tokyo, japan Metropolitan Police Department.