Goodreads: A Murder Is Announced
Series: Miss Marple #5
Age Category: Adult
One day, the local paper of Chipping Cleghorn publishes, “A murder is announced and will take place on Friday October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m.” The locals think it a joke, or perhaps some kind of party. But then, someone actually dies….
A Murder Is Announced brings Miss Marple back in spectacular style, as the amateur sleuth must solve a murder that was advertised in advance. At first, the case seems clear cut to the local authorities, but, as always, small details lead to more questions. Everyone in the village seems to be hiding a secret and, soon, all of them will be potential suspects. An engaging read from the master of mystery!
Though I admit that this is the first Miss Marple mystery I have solved in awhile, I still found A Murder Is Announced to be one of the more interesting novels. Agatha Christie draws her cast of characters with vivacity and shrewdness, and I loved catching glimpses of each of the suspects at home as they variously try to puzzle out the crime, pursue their own interests, and conceal their lies. Part of the fun of mystery novels is that so much comes out when a crime is committed, and many times what people want to hide is in no way related to that crime. But it does make one wonder about the past lives of all the neighbors!
The ending in a way proves a bit too pat for my taste, but I am willing to overlook that because the lead-up is simply so engrossing. Miss Marple is present, but not overwhelming, so readers have a fine chance to guess the solution to the mystery themselves without the amateur detective dropping too many hints. I cycled through various possibilities as the story went on and new information was revealed–and that uncertainty, that check where one considers that one might have been wrong, is exactly what makes a mystery great.
If you love mystery novels or Agatha Christie’s work in particular, A Murder Is Announced is absolutely worth a read. It brings a small town to love with all of her characteristic wit and insight–and, of course, drama.