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The Moving Finger

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The Moving Finger is a detective novel by British writer Agatha Christie, first published in the USA by Dodd, Mead and Company in July 1942 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in June 1943. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6).The Burtons, brother and sister, arrive in the small town (or village) of Lymstock in Devon, and soon receive an anonymous letter accusing them of being lovers, not siblings. They are not the only ones in the village to receive such letters. A prominent resident is found dead with one such letter found next to her. This novel features the elderly detective Miss Marple in a relatively minor role, "a little old lady sleuth who doesn't seem to do much". She enters the story in the final quarter of the book, in a handful of scenes, after the police have failed to solve the crime. The novel was well received when it was published: "Agatha Christie is at it again, lifting the lid off delphiniums and weaving the scarlet warp all over the pastel pouffe." One reviewer noted that Miss Marple "sets the stage for the final exposure of the murderer." Another said this was "One of the few times Christie gives short measure, and none the worse for that." The male narrator was both praised and panned.
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original title: The Moving Finger
language: English
date of publication: 1942
genre: crime novel
characters: Miss Marple
follows: Five Little Pigs
followed by: Towards Zero

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