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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so cosy as you might expect..., 4 Mar. 2008
P. Rothwell (Hove, East Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A murder is announced, 6 Jun. 2012
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant Christie, 21 May 2007
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Marple Classic., 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An elaborate murder plan., 29 April 2005
John Austin "" (Kangaroo Ground, Australia) - See all my reviews
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best., 23 Jun. 2003
A J Taylor (Cambridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Murder is Announced (Miss Marple) (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A shot in the dark, 5 July 2014
Aletheuon (Wales UK) - See all my reviews
'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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4.0 out of 5 stars Enter Miss Marple, 11 Dec. 2012
Mr. C. Morris "Watchman" (London) - See all my reviews
My first Agatha Christie novel. It seems they are either set in a quaint village, or in some exotic foreign land, like Death on the Nile, if only to show up how thoroughly English the suspects are.

Frankly, at first this novel got on my nerves a bit. The characters are so determinedly Radio 4, so twee, that they easily began to grate, and were hard to tell apart; it's hardly multicultural, save the central European cook, Mitzi, who is given some rather unPc treatment here. Only gradually did it dawn: Christie is in on the joke; she is sending up these types. It's meant to be vaguely irritating at first, so that when the murder occurs, it comes as a blessed relief. There's a whiff of sadism as we see the jolly hockey sticks types get all flustered and that's when the book really gains its purpose.

I devoured this novel over two nights. Credit to the author, it really did create a shivery vibe in the dead of night. I started this one because I thought it was a Christmas tale, and it's December as I write. But no, it's autumnal, it's set in October.

There are some timely observations in the novel, such as how village life has changed by the 1950s, how immigrants react to the English and their way of life, how the elderly tend to savour life more than the young.

The unveiling of the killer took me by surprise, but the build-up to the denoucement is actually quite preposterous. Furthermore, I'm fairly sure the killer puts our detectives onto the trail, when it would have been easier to keep schtum. So it doesn't quite add up, but to be fair, there are clues in the text if you pay attention. But you'll be hurrying along at such a speed, you may not see them amidst the red herrings and extraneous detail.

Good stuff, I got the book with the cover of the carriage clock on the mantlepiece and two bullet holes in the wall.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great unabridged recording, & easy to turn into a proper audiobook..., 7 Dec. 2011
R. Leslie (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
An unabridged recording of Joan Hickson reading an Agatha Christie's Miss Marple novel has to be one of life's great delights. Having really made the role her own when she filmed a dozen or so of the Miss Marple books, Joan Hickson really captures the essence of Miss Marple in "A Murder Is Announced", which has to rate as one of the very best Marple books with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting without making you dizzy.

If, like me, you listen to a lot of audiobooks and get frustrated that downloaded audiobooks run seamlessly and remember where you'd got to, while audiobooks that you've imported into your iPod from CDs do not, then read on as I have just discovered how to do it! (On iTunes that is.)

When you put the CD in and iTunes prompts you to import the CD, click "No" as there are a couple of things you need to do first. Select all the tracks in the CD and go to the Advanced tab, where you can opt to "join CD tracks" together. Now right click on the selected tracks and "get info", and make sure the album is listed as "A Murder is Announced 01" or whatever numbering system you want. Now when you click "import CD" it will import as a single file. Do the same for the other 5 CDs in the collection (with appropriate numbering). They should all now be listed in running order in iTunes, but will still be classed as music.

What you need to do now is select all 6 imported tracks, go to "Get Info" by right clicking, and give them the same album name. Then go through each of the six tracks and to make sure you get the right playing order, label the track numbers 1 of 6, 2 of 6 etc under the Info tab in "Get Info". I've tried to find a way to do this automatically but failed. At least it's only 6 tracks, not hundreds!

Now select all again, and under the info tab, select "audiobook" as the genre. You're nearly done, but not quite. Now go to the Options tab. Under "Media Type", choose "Audiobook". Tick Yes for "Remember position when playing" and Yes for "Skip when Shuffling" (as, lovely though this recording is, it might spoil the mood if you've got a party mix going on and an hour of Miss Marple starts playing). ITunes will now file it under the Books tab rather than the Music tab.

I've also labelled it under the "Sorting" tab with a consistent album title, artist and album artist but I don't know how much difference this actually makes.

The piece de resistance is that this is now a single audiobook on my iPod with 6 discrete chapters, it remembers where I've got to even when I've listened to a whole load of other stuff in between and runs as though it were a downloaded audiobook from e.g. Audible. Now of course I need to do this with all my other audio book CDs....

I hope this has been of some help to at least somebody out there who has been as frustrated as me with losing my place in audio books! Happy listening.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Murder is Announced, 18 Oct. 2012
At almost her 50th novel, here we have Ms Christie at her most cunning, a wonderfully sophisticated whodunit and I hadn't a clue until the very end where this was leading. Absolutely superb, vintage Chrisite. This has it all; Typically quaint post war country village of Chipping Cleghorn(dont you just love the names of these places!) strange families, inquisitive neighbours, black market trading, secrets and lies all brought together by an ad in the Gazette advertising an evening of murder, all are welcome! As the wary residents assemble, each unsure who actually placed this strange ad, a murder occurs leaving the villagers reeling over their sherry and nibbles. Why did Miss Blacklock arrange this gathering? Why is she now denying all knowledge of the affair and why is she so suddenly frightened for her life? Enter Miss Jane Marple, who just so happens to be staying with her dear friends the Vicar and his wife, Bunny. As the villagers huddle around their firesides, pondering on this dilema over tea and Delicious Death cake, the murders just keep coming and alongside Inspector Craddock, Jane realises this particular murderer might have their reasons buried deep within the past. This was so inventive, completely baffling and tied up so neatly by the fluttery Miss Marple over tea and scones at the Vicarage! Fabulous, has to be one of my all time favorites.
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A Murder is Announced (Miss Marple)
A Murder is Announced (Miss Marple) by Agatha Christie (Paperback - 15 Oct. 2007)
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