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on 4 March 2008
It's very tempting to rate this as the quintessential "cosy English murder mystery" but such pigeonholing would be lazy and far from accurate. This, arguably the best of the novel-length Miss Marple stories, has a surprisingly dark and at times brutal quality. The narrative is complex enough to draw you in without losing you in a blizzard of barely glimpsed supporting characters/necessary red herrings (an occasional Christie failing). The recording itself is faultless; it's not just that Joan Hickson was and will be for all time the perfect embodiment of the central character, it's her ability to convey so many different shades of mood and emotion in a single passage. Incidents deftly sketched on the page take on a full and entrancing range of colour and tone here. A great Christie given the five star treatment by a great theatrical talent. What more could you ask for?
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Locals are inclined to think it is a joke when they see a murder announced at the personal column of their local paper. Naturally they all decide to turn up at the address shown at the right time to see what happens. When a murder - or possibly suicide - does actually take place they are all horrified. Miss Marple is fortunately staying at the hotel where the victim worked and has soon accepted an invitation to stay with the vicar and his wife for the duration of the police investigation.

This is a fascinating mystery with many secrets and many people not being exactly what they seem to be. Trying to piece together all the strands of information will keep most readers guessing. I didn't work out who was the murderer until they were actually revealed. I thought all the characters were very well drawn and convincing and the clues and red herrings were well scattered around. Miss Marple played much more of a part in this story than she does in some. I liked the police characters in this story especially Inspector Craddock who seemed very calm but also very intelligent and observant.

I read most of Agatha Christie's novels back in the 1960s and 1970s and reading them again decades later I am finding they have stood the test of time extremely well. If you want crime novels with excellent characters and brilliant plotting then you cannot beat Agatha Christie.
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This is one of my favourite Miss Marple Christie's, with all the usual suspects out in full force: the village complete with anglo-indian colonels and dodgy left-overs from the war, the elaborately constructed murder, the dropping in of clues - all glorious stuff!

Here Miss Marple meets Dermot Craddock for the first time, and has to help him solve the crime 'aanounced' in the local papers.

So what if no-one would in a million years ever to choose to murder someone in that way? This is perfect rainy sunday afternoon fare, preferably with tea, sandwiches and (home-baked) scones!
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on 1 June 2015
This book is classic Christie. It is also hysterical fun. When a presumed party themed dinner is set up and mysteriously announced in the local press, a fun time is expected to be had by those who are brave enough to attend. ’A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED’ the advertisement bravely cries out for all who care enough to read it. True enough, a stranger appears at the scene, with torch in hand. The household lights are cut and two shots are fired off in the darkness. Manic screaming comes from one of the people present, and when the lights are returned, we have a dead body. But whose is it? And whodunit?

I certainly shan’t be spoiling the surprise by revealing any information here. I will say, however, that the book’s characters are all beautifully drawn, and perfectly cast in the story’s era. Some of the quotes taken from the book are literary gems, and some are showing their age, too. Of course the heroine of the story enters from stage left at chapter eight, and the baddies are doomed from that point on.

It is no surprise that these delightful time capsules known as Agatha Christie novels are all still in world wide print decades after they were first published. For anyone who loves a good mystery (and who doesn’t?), or for anyone who has an interest in the history of English culture, these books are a must. Even for anyone who likes a but of fun in their reading, and aren’t known as whodunit buffs, these books can’t come highly recommended enough.

Full marks for this truly fantastic read.

I am off to the bookshop to order some more! A purchase is announced!

BFN Greggorio!
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'A Murder in Announced' is a Miss Marple murder mystery published in 1950, a bit inaccurately, as Agatha Christie's 50th book. The fifth Marple book is set in the village of Chipping Cleghorn where, one Friday morning, a murder announcement appears in the paper- but it hasn't happened yet! The time (6.30) and address (Little Paddocks) are given. Letitia Blacklock's friends turn up at the house to see what will happen - and, sure enough, at 6.30 the lights go out, there is torchlight and shouting and shots are heard. Miss Blacklock is bleeding and the gunman lies dead on the floor. Dora Bunner lives with her old friend Letitia at Little Paddocks. She recognises the gunman as a receptionist at a local hotel. Inspector Craddock does not know what to make of it, but fortunately Miss Marple is staying nearby and they work together...
There can be few people who don't know the basic plot of this book because it has been dramatized (and repeated) on television so many times. Nevertheless, the book is worth reading as one of Agatha Christie's finest. The usual brilliant and suspenseful plotting keeps us on our toes, with plenty of surprises, twists and turns. Christie was a keen observer of human nature and presents us with some interesting characters. Her prose is adequate - she isn't the talented prose writer that her fellow greats of the Golden Age were - Dorothy L Sayers, Marjorie Allingham and Ngaio Marsh - but her ingenuity is unrivalled. The murderer turns out to be a pretty complex character and one can either decide that Agatha Christie is one shrewd dude about human psychology or take the more cynical view that she followed her frequent practice of writing most of the book, deciding who would be the most surprising killer and then rewriting enough of the story and dropping enough clues into the mix to incriminate that person!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 October 2014
A Murder in Announced' is a Miss Marple murder mystery published in 1950; a bit inaccurately, it is claimed to be Agatha Christie's 50th book. This fifth Marple book is set in the village of Chipping Cleghorn where, one Friday morning, a murder announcement appears in the paper- but it hasn't happened yet! The time (6.30) and address (Little Paddocks) are given. Letitia Blacklock's friends turn up at the house to see what will happen - and, sure enough, at 6.30 the lights go out, there is torchlight and shouting and shots are heard. Miss Blacklock is bleeding and the gunman lies dead on the floor. Dora Bunner lives with her old friend Letitia at Little Paddocks. She recognises the gunman as a receptionist at a local hotel. Inspector Craddock does not know what to make of it, but fortunately Miss Marple is staying nearby and they work together...
There can be few people who don't know the basic plot of this book because it has been dramatized (and repeated) on television so many times. Nevertheless, the book is worth reading as one of Agatha Christie's finest. The usual brilliant and suspenseful plotting keeps us on our toes, with plenty of surprises, twists and turns. Christie was a keen observer of human nature and presents us with some interesting characters. Her prose is adequate - she isn't the talented prose writer that her fellow greats of the Golden Age were - Dorothy L Sayers, Marjorie Allingham and Ngaio Marsh - but her ingenuity is unrivalled. The murderer turns out to be a pretty complex character and one can either decide that Agatha Christie is one shrewd dude about human psychology or take the more cynical view that she followed her frequent practice of writing most of the book, deciding who would be the most surprising killer and then rewriting enough of the story and dropping enough clues into the mix to incriminate that person!
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on 4 July 2011
"A Murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th at little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m. Friends please accept this as the only intimation."

The Residents of Chipping Cleghorn think the advert is an invitation to some kind of parlour game. However to the shock of those neighbours who's curiosity gets the better of them and find an excuse for visiting little Paddocks this is no game, the murder is real enough and a stranger is left shot dead on the floor.

It is the reader who has the pleasure of participating in this parlour game. Agatha Christie with her usual skill weaves this tale of clues, suspects and red-hearings into one of her best "who done its" and as usual managers misdirect the reader several times before finally revealing the most surprising of murderers.

In this Post war novel, Christie leaves you with a dark sense of a society changed, village life will never quite be the same again. There is a feeling of decay, there is little money to spare, servants are hard to come by and rationed food makes life difficult. Ancient families are now replaced by new comers, people are not whom they say they are, their past histories are a mystery. Relationships that seem to be real are not and where there seems to be no connection the closest of relationships is to be found. It is hard to know who to trust.

Miss Marple is invited into this mystery she is no longer just seen as the village busy body, her abilities are known and respected. She is drafted in to solve this crime as an expert in human nature. Her expertise is needed to unravel this knotty mix of confusing relationships and hidden identities. She soon finds herself attending lunches, gossipping over hedges. and chatting with the locals over tea and cakes in the local cafe.

The first murder was that of a complete stranger but a second and then a third murder is committed these are close to the heart of the village, It is time for Miss Marple to act.

These Hardcover Facsimile editions of Christie's books are beautiful to handle and they really add to the enjoyment of reading the book.
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You'll never meet a murderer prepared to devise a killing as elaborate and risky as occurs here. Indeed, Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime, who admitted that she had never knowingly met a murderer, creates a dazzlingly daring one in this brilliant little book. Bear in mind that Mrs Christie's aim is to create an old-fashioned murder mystery, intent in baffling and misdirecting the reader who is trying to guess the solution. Don't look for any but a game-playing analysis of a murderer's mind. In addition she adds plenty of charm, she depicts a cozy village community, she displays a shrewd understanding of elderly folk, and she gives Miss Marple free rein to collect gossip in tea shops, kitchens and vicarage drawing rooms and to discern before anyone else that the murderer is .....
Dating from 1950, this is one of Agatha Christie's very best books from her later years. Of all her books, I rank it amongst the top ten. Those who like a good reader to present it should acquire the reading by Rosemary Leach, whose timing, articulation and slightly nasal voice adds additional charm to the story telling.
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on 23 June 2003
Agatha Christie wrote "A Murder is Announced" in the 1940's but it is still one of the best murder mysteries ever written. It has charm, wit, sophistication and intelligence. Christie starts the story by a number of villagers reading an advertisement carried in the village paper "The Chipping Cleghorn Gazette" which reads:
"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"
Intrigued, much of the village desends on the cottage in question at 6.30pm where the mystery continues...
If you enjoy this I can reccommend The ABC Murders, Murder on the Orient Express and A Body In the Library, all recently reprinted in stylish new covers.
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on 9 September 2013
Miss Marple does it again. This time an advertisement is placed in the local paper informing the villagers of a murder at Little Paddocks, Miss Black lock's house. Many villagers attend, more out of curiosity than anything else. At 6.30pm the lights go out and a masked man bursts in and shouts "stick 'em up". Shots are fired. Nobody can switch the lights on. Eventually lights go back on and a man lay dead with a gun beside him and Mrs Black lock bleeding. Just what happened when those lights went out, and who was the intended victim? All the people there form their own opinion of what happened, but it was dark, so how accurate are they.

Miss Marple comes along just in time to save the day. Good story. Would recommend
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