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A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

A Murder Is Announced (1950)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Miss Marple (4), Miss Marple: Chronological (13)

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3,201642,578 (3.77)172



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English (58)  Danish (2)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (63)
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
The whole village is aflutter when a murder announcement is placed in the local paper—and local residents can’t resist coming to watch!

At first, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish this one. The first few chapters introducing all the characters were just boring. Then, the “murder attempt” was so ridiculous I was almost embarrassed for the characters! “How can this book be on so many top lists?!” I wondered. But once you get past the “setting the stage” portion of the book, it gets really good.

This one also features plenty of Miss Marple, and I never saw the ending coming! Highly recommend.

Read more Agatha Christie reviews on my blog at bigdipperbooks.com ( )
  melissa_faith | Mar 16, 2019 |
Guests fill an English home when word spreads there will be a murder there. And there is…

A gem amongst the Marple canon, "A Murder is Announced" takes a delightful premise – the announcement in a village newspaper that there will be a murder, at a specific time and place – and runs with it. From the opening scenes, as the entire village feigns disinterest while actually gearing up for the big event, to the slowly discombobulating aftermath in which her array of characters can’t quite fathom what is happening within the confines of their safe little hamlet, it’s solid Christie fun.

The net of suspects is a little wider than usual, including some slightly “racy” characters in the lesbian pair, although their sexual nature is mentioned only in asides and implications, rather than made explicit. The novel is a perfectly contrived locked-room mystery, which we can’t put together but where every clue seems to expose one person and exonerate another. While the solution is (as usual) a bit far-fetched, there is a strong emotional resonance from both the murderer’s actions, and the unwittingly tragic actions of the other characters.

Not everything is perfect. The multiple mistaken identities are excessive for any situation, let alone a quaint village, but I’ll forgive it on this occasion as the stakes are high. And one element at the climax - namely a sudden skill of legerdemain developed by Miss Marple – is pointedly silly. But in spite of this, Christie clearly enjoyed this novel, and that enjoyment comes across to the reader, making this Christie’s best novel of the 1950s, and a source of solid adaptations for both Joan Hickson and Geraldine McEwan.

Along with the characterisations, clever plotting, and delightful premise, one of the reasons that "A Murder is Announced" ranks so high is because it exemplifies a classic Christie formula, a formula which – sadly – is often altered in the ’90s and ’00s TV films to accommodate deeper portrayals of the characters. Now, I’m one of the biggest supporters of these deeper, slightly more tragic adaptations, but it can prove very frustrating. In a 90-minute film, you get 20 minutes of exposition and 20 minutes of increasing character tensions before the murder even happens. This is followed by each suspect getting one short scene (except the biggest star, who might get two), a second murder, a few scenes to tie up loose ends, and then a denouement. In short, the screenwriter gives us the same information, just that much of it comes before the murder. Not inherently a problem, no, but I often yearn for the ‘classic’ formula in which the murder occurs very, very early on. Seeing the process of Poirot or Marple putting together the clues through extensive interviews and twists is much more interesting, but perhaps it comes across stronger in a novel than on film. Either way, it’s the standard for many of my utter favourites, such as "Hercule Poirot’s Christmas", "Death in the Clouds", "Cards on the Table" and this.

Marple ranking: 1st of 14 ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Good old Agatha is always fun. This time I have guessed! But only because I have read her before and exoected the unexpected.

It was the Spanish Inquisition. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
This is the second Miss Marple book I have read, but it won't be the last. I loved it! Everyone in Chipping Cleghorn is stunned when "a murder is announced" in the local gazette. Naturally, they all assume it will be a dinner party with a dramatized crime, but it's still odd that no one knew anything about it beforehand - least of all Ms. Blacklock, at whose house it is supposed to occur! Knowing her neighbors as she does, she expects them all to drop by at the appointed time. Once everyone is gathered, the lights go out and a gun goes off. The body of a young man is very real, as is the bullet graze on Ms. Blacklock's ear. Who could have orchestrated this and why would anyone want to harm Ms. Blacklock?

This is a Miss Marple mystery, but like her first case Murder at the Vicarage, it is not told from her point of view. This time, the Constable tells the story as he tries to sort through all the witnesses, make sense of small town life, and track the killer. Miss Marple appears about a third of the way through, visiting friends. Her keen observations, and familiarity with small town life, help point the way for the constable. She isn't the only one who connects some of the dots, and there will be more victims before she solves the mystery.

It's rare for a book to surprise me, even a mystery, but the conclusion here was nearly as brilliant as the one in "And Then There Were None." Further, it was completely earned. Sometimes, I feel like the deduction of super sleuths are too contrived - they arrive at the last to put the puzzle together with information only they have. Here, Christie laid out all the clues Miss Marple pieces together so the solution works. A great read. ( )
  jshillingford | Aug 27, 2018 |
‘’People with a grudge against the world are always dangerous.’’

An idyllic village in the English countryside is waking up, its quirky residents about to start their day with their favourite newspaper, where an invitation to murder is waiting for them. Can you think of anything more interesting? Leticia, the ‘’queen’’ of the village, is completely unaware of the play supposedly staged in her house, but what the heck, let’s go with the flow. And a murder does take place but not in the way everyone has imagined. Thus, everything is ready for one of the finest mysteries by Queen Agatha.

In my opinion, this novel has one of the most interesting, vivid, quirky, memorable characters in all Dramatis Personae ever composed by Christie. From the lady of the manor, the disturbed veteran, the farm ladies in a relationship (Agatha never shied away from sexual dynamics), the alluring siblings, the kind-hearted friend who is there for everyone. My favourite characters have always been Philippa, the gardener, and Mitzi, the housemaid who escaped a war ravaged country to find herself face-to-face with strange murders. As always, identities are mixed, unrevealed secrets kill by the dozen, relationships are broken and mended, lights go out to hide the faces of evil. This is one of the cleverest crimes conceived by the brilliant mind of the Queen of Crime. My grandma had a shepherdess memento from Italy. I remember that after reading A Murder Is Announced, quite a few years ago, I never looked at that porcelain thing in the same way as before. Not that I ever liked it but anyway...Revisiting this mystery always feels like reading it for the very first time.

Would you accept an invitation to murder?

‘’People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?’’

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.wordpress.com ( )
  AmaliaGavea | Aug 11, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Christensen, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griffini, Grazia MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hickson, JoanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leach, RosemaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pajastie, EilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

A Miss Marple Quartet: The Body in the Library, A Pocket Full of Rye, A Murder Is Announced, The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

A Murder Is Announced [and] After the Funeral by Agatha Christie

Neiti Marplen murhat by Agatha Christie

Death and Letters | Of Missing Persons | A Murder Is Announced by Detective Book Club

Miss Marple Omnibus Volume 1 (WRONG ISBN) by Agatha Christie

Starring Miss Marple: A Murder is Announced, The Body in the Library, Murder with Mirrors by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd / The Mysterious Affair at Styles / A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

The Man in the Brown Suit / A Murder Is Announced / Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie Crime Collection: Cards on the Table / N or M? / A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

A Murder is Announced [and] Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Seven Deadly Sins: The ABC Murders / A Murder Is Announced / Sparkling Cyanide / Evil Under the Sun / At Bertram's Hotel / Endess Night / Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie

A Murder Is Announced / Destination Unknown / Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie

Murder by the Box: "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd", "Murder in the Mews", "Sleeping Murder", "A Murder is Announced" No. 2: Four Classic Murder Mysteries by Agatha Christie

Lord Edgware Dies [and] A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

Five Little Pigs / A Murder Is Announced / Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie

Ten Little Niggers / Hercule Poirot's Christmas / A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

A Miss Marple Quintet: Murder At The Vicarage; A Murder Is Announced; A Pocket Full Of Rye; The Mirror Cracked From Side To Side; At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie

The Complete Miss Marple Collection (Miss Marple Mysteries) by Agatha Christie

The Body in the Library / A Murder Is Announced / A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

The Moving Finger [and] A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

Murder Preferred: A Murder is Announced, The Patriotic Murders, Murder in Retrospect by Agatha Christie

A Pocket Full of Rye [and] A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

A Murder Is Announced / Ordeal by Innocence / At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie

A Murder Is Announced / They Do it With Mirrors / A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd [and] A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

The Amazing Miss Marple / A Murder Is Announced / 4:50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie

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To Ralph and Anne Newman at whose house I first tasted 'Delicious Death!'
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Between 7.30 and 8.30 every morning except Sundays, Johnnie Butt made the round of the village of Chipping Cleghorn on his bicycle, whistling vociferously between his teeth, and alighting at each house or cottage to shove through the letterbox such morning papers had been ordered by the occupants of the house in question from Mr Totman, stationer, of the High Street.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451201191, Mass Market Paperback)

When an evening of fun and games turns to murder, Miss Marple plays by her own rules to solve the whodunit.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:18 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn, including Miss Marple, 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 6.30 p.m.." A childish practical joke? Or a hoax intended to scare poor Letitia Blacklock? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, a crowd begins to gather at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out.… (more)

» see all 17 descriptions

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