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[288] A Murder is Announced – Agatha Christie

The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are agog with curiosity over an advertisement in the local gazette which reads: ‘A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6:30pm.’ A childish practical joke? Or a hoax intended to terrify poor Letitia Blacklock?

Thus begins a subtly humorous and mind-bending tale. In a partial third-person narrative that allows one to follow Miss Marple’s thought process, she develops a small pool of likable characters that one can keep track of—but never really trust. Money is usually at stake and contributes to a motive, no matter how convoluted the murderous plan is. Christie throws out red herrings galore and keeps you on your toes as you try to fit together the random jig saw piece clues handed to you. Of course, the elderly but perspicacious Miss Marple is on to things fairly early—even with the fake identities—but not I. Christie includes myriad details that I had no idea about, making the story more and more intriguing and revealing specifics of the murder that only the most astute reader will deduce. The audio cassettes I found by chance are excellent companion. Now I’m on to watch the PBS adaptation. The Guardian Christie list doesn’t disappoint.

225 pp. Signet Mystery by Penguin. [Read/Skim/Toss] [Buy/Borrow]

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15 Responses

  1. First, I must confess, I haven’t read this particular one yet, but I’ve seen the 1985 and 2005 TV adaptations both several times. While I really like Geraldine McEwan, the adaptations starring Joan Hickson seem to me to be closer in style and spirit to the originals; the earlier 1985 versions, while retaining the red herrings etc, I find are more tightly put together and I think intended for a more sophisticated, mystery-savvy audience.

    • I’ve been watching the 1985 version, which is highly addictive. I didn’t know about the 2005 rendition. I guess I’ll be busy for a while!

  2. I have just started on my journey with Christie and am totally enjoying her books!

  3. Can you believe I’ve never read anything by Agatha Christie?? I think it’s about time…

  4. One of my favorite Miss Marple books. Glad to know you liked it.

  5. I’ve been reading an Agatha a month – I think I’ll move this to June so I can read it next!

  6. Believe it or not, I’ve never read an Agatha Christie mystery.

  7. My little sister says this is her favorite Christie novel, because (unlike normally, she said) she picked out who she thought the murderer was very early on and stuck to it, and she turned out to be right. It’s not one of my favorites, though. I prefer Poirot usually.

    • Your sister is very mystery-savvy, but I just enjoy reading all the red herrings and still not knowing “whosdunit”! I enjoy reading how the different suspicions arise.

  8. […] mattviews.wordpress.com […]

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