Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but perhaps a little long, 17 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: The Sittaford Mystery (BBC Radio Collection) (Audio CD)
Poor 'Sittaford Mystery'! The ITV Marple series did tremendous damage recently to this very reasonable early Christie novel, changing almost everything including the identity of the murderer and practically the entire cast! Thankfully, this BBC Radio play stays much closer to the source material. 'Sittaford' is a 'non-series' novel - this is no Miss Marple or Poirot to solve the murder. Here, the honours are taken jointly by the likeable Inspector Narracot, bright young thing Emily Trefusis and decent journalist Charles Enderby. This adaptation follows the novel very closely and that is perhaps its one fault. There are an awful lot of characters in the book and I do feel that some of them could have been cut out without much harm, especially as several have very few lines and very little to do.

Some of the sub-plots are a little far fetched but that is more Christie's fault than the scriptwriter but the basic premise is sound and the denoument very satisfactory and Emily is well worth encountering - well voiced here by Melinda Walker. I also liked Geoffrey Whitehead as Narracot, Stephen Tompkinson as Enderby, Norman Bird as Barnaby and Margaret Courtenay as Miss Percehouse. The remaining cast are also fine (although both Willets' accents are definitely more pronounced towards the end - they sound very English at the beginning) and sound effects very atmospheric.

I do feel the story drags a little towards the end (we could probably have done without the second table turning, for example) and then Emily wraps the whole thing up with astonishing swiftness. I also feel the audience are cheated on a few vital clues here and there (the boots for example, aren't mentioned until Emily's final explanation) but on the whole, this is very much worth listening too.
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