Pages: 297 pages
Published: April 12, 2011
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Fiction, Mystery & Thriller
The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are agog with curiosity when the Gazette advertises “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 spiteful hoax? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, the locals arrive at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out anda gun is fired. When they come back on, a gruesome scene is revealed. An impossible crime? Only Miss Marple can unravel it.
You open a newspaper (let us be more relevant, most likely online) and you see that a murder has been announced! What do you do? If you are unsure, you are no different from the people of the quiet village of Chipping Cleghorn. They didn’t know what to make of this type of news but their curiosity was much greater than their fear. Lo and behold, a real murder does occur and only the legendary Miss Marple can crack the case.
Agatha Christie is at it again with another spellbinding mystery. She just keeps getting better and better in her writing style. How does she do it? In one, simple way…her writing style never stays the same. With every mystery she writes, how she tells the story is never the same. She offers her variety and a narration that takes unsuspecting turns, an aspect that is sometimes missing from current mystery authors.
A Murder is Announced is definitely not the exception. Her use of red herrings and misdirection is in full use in this exciting mystery. Her characterization was spot on. Christie has managed to provide enough action with “3 or 4 families” (sounds a lot like Jane Austen, right). No one is perfect in this quiet village. Everyone has a motive and opportunity to commit murder and that is what Christie aims to do: showing no mercy to any of her characters. She gives you a chance to try to figure out the mystery yourself, but in complete Christie form, she throws a curve ball and startles you altogether. Her teasing becomes mandatory in her writing.
So what would you do if “a murder is announced”? Most likely nothing. But the villagers of Chipping Cleghorn did not follow that advice. Go on this exciting adventure and find out what happens. You won’t be disappointed. Come to think of it, you might not look at newspaper the same way again.
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars