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A Murder is Announced (Marple, Book 5) (Miss Marple Series) Kindle Edition
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|Kindle Edition, 14 Oct. 2010|| |
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An ordinary village
A shocking announcement
One morning the villagers of Chipping Cleghorn wake to find a strange notice in their papers:
‘A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30pm.’
Suspecting this is just a joke, they gather for some evening entertainment.
Then a gunshot is heard.
In desperation, the police turn to an old lady whose hobbies are gardening, gossiping – and solving murders.
After all, old ladies know better than anyone exactly what goes on in quiet English villages…
Never underestimate Miss Marple
‘The queen of jaw-dropping, heart-stopping twists.’
Karen M. McManus
‘Establishes firmly her claim to the throne of detection. The plot is as ingenious as ever… the dialogue both wise and witty; while the suspense is maintained very skilfully until the final revelation.’
‘Joan Hickson – you can’t beat her, you know. So enjoy this not-so-fluffy old lady doing her Marple thing. Genius.’ Time Out
‘Establishes firmly her claim to the throne of detection. The plot is as ingenious as ever… the dialogue both wise and witty; while the suspense is maintained very skilfully until the final revelation.’ A.A. Milne
‘As good as Agatha Christie ever wrote.’ Robert Barnard
‘In her own sphere there is no one to touch her, and her millions of readers are going to buy A Murder is Announced and like it.’
‘A super-smooth Christie – three neat murders in an English village, [and] an assortment of her famous red herrings, all beautifully marinaded.’ New York Times Book Review--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
From the Inside Flap
The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are agog with curiosity when the Gazette advertises "A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m."
A childish practical joke? Or a spiteful hoax? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, the locals arrive at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out and a gun is fired. When they come back on, a gruesome scene is revealed. An impossible crime? Only Miss Marple can unravel it.--Jacqueline Winspear, New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs novels --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B004APA52O
- Publisher : HarperCollins; Masterpiece Ed edition (14 Oct. 2010)
- Language : English
- File size : 1665 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 321 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,925 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer reviews:
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Two were aimed at Miss Blacklock herself, nicking her ear but no worse. But with the third shot kills himself.
When the lights come back on the astonished gathering see a bleeding Miss Blacklock and the body of a dubious looking young man; a man who worked at a local hotel who has a shady past.
Inspector Craddock is sure something isn't right about the case and when his uncle, Sir Henry, ex-comissioner of Scotland Yard, invites Miss Marple to look over the case she agrees. Craddock and Miss Marple piece together the snippets and discard the red herrings that Christie dexterously slips into her narrative.
As always it's possible to work it out, which is one of the best things about her novels, or at least have a good guess at who but when the denouement arrives you'll see just how many tiny clues you missed!
So reads the announcement in the Chipping Cleghorn Gazette that morning. That evening, the local neighbours all dutifully turn up at Little Paddocks, all with their different excuses for being there. At 6.30 p.m., without warning, all the lights go out and…
This is the beginning of one of Agatha Christie’s most intriguing novels that is firmly rooted in post-war Britain. She chose to set it in the classic, golden age of crime setting of an English country village. But this is a place very changed by the Second World War. No longer is it a place where everyone knows everyone else. This is a place of strangers. The war caused such upheaval; many people left the village, many never to return, and newcomers have moved in, people whom everyone else has to accept are who they claim to be without “knowing their people”. Christie uses this as a strong thread to her plot, are these people even who they say they are?
Her intriguing plot is served well by the tone Christie creates in this novel. At first it is light-hearted and almost comic, the surprise and speculation in the characters’ reactions to the announcement of a murder, none of them believing it is anything sinister. Even after the first murder, she maintains this light tone; the victim is a stranger and certainly not a “good type” of person. But slowly the novel darkens; the second murder is too close to home and casts a dark shadow over the story. Christie handles this well; the grief of some of the characters is uncomfortable to read.
This novel uses several plots trails that will be familiar to Christie readers, but here she certainly plays around with them. The village setting but with a cast of characters very different from her pre-war novels, her use of sexism to aid her plot and having the detective gather all the suspects together in one place to announce who the murderer is. Christie created this convention with her first novel, though she used it sparingly in her subsequent works nowhere near as much as the film adaptions of her works would lead us to believe. Here, though, it is the police inspector who gathers together the suspects, not Miss Marple, and it is not to unmask the killer but to lay a trap for them.
This novel also benefits from having Miss Marple as its detective, rather than Poirot. Poirot was always the star of the novels featuring him, while Miss Marple was so often one of the supporting characters, watching the events from the sidelines. Here Christie uses her to her best, aiding the plot but also giving the other characters chance to breathe by not being in every scene.
In the centre of all this is a portrait of a lesbian couple, whom all the other characters except without question. Only at the end, after tragedy has struck, do we see the depth of their love.
Agatha Christie might not have been the greatest of literary writers, but what she did do she did so well. She knew how to plot her novels; she created twists that never left the reader feeling cheated. She laid just enough clues so that once the twist occurs you can feel, “Oh that makes sense now.” She also knew the characters she wrote about, the upper middle-class English, though her novels also chronicle the changes in English society. She might not have been the finest descriptive writer but she knew how to create characters with dialog and used that effectively.
This certainly is a classic Christie, plot, characters and setting all come together to make a fascinating read. I challenge you to work out who the murderer is, until they are revealed and then it all makes horrible sense.
Set in the fictional village of Chipping Cleghom in England, there is a furore and excitement when the following appears in the local newspaper:
“A Murder is Announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th at Little Paddocks at 6:30pm. Friends please accept this the only intimation.”
Well of course, you can imagine what happens next. The entire village turns up and of course, there is a murder. The characters in this novel leap from the page and there are so many red herrings, relationships, secrets, resentments and anger bubbling under the surface, it’s hard to decide where the novel will go.
It takes you along for the ride, and what a ride it is!
A classic Christie setting not just in location but in time and place - this is a world after WW2 that is changing and this time Christie really goes into that world, the historical context and the fact that people travel, move around, disappear and move away like never before.
Recommended and then some!
It's the same with Jane Austen, I can't read this old stuff any more...
apart from Jane Eyre, which is still worth reading, all RF Delderfield books, Nevil Shute books... Ray Bradbury... OK, so I'm wrong, I can read old stuff but it has to be relevant and these authors are still relevant today. On the Beach could be talking about Covid-19
Add to which the first murder which actually is complete overkill (pardon the pun) and serves only to direct attention where the murderer wouldn’t want it.
Silly and predictable and highly unconvincing.