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A Murder Is Announced: A Miss Marple Mystery (Miss Marple Mysteries) Paperback – April 12, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Agatha Christie gave readers the world over a vivid sense of English life, especially in her depiction of the small village where nothing happen—until, of course, a murder is discovered.” (Jacqueline Winspear, New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs novels)

From the Back Cover

The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are agog withcuriosity when the Gazette advertises“A murder is announced and will take place onFriday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m.”

A childish practical joke? Or a spiteful hoax?Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, thelocals arrive at Little Paddocks at the appointedtime when, without warning, the lights go out anda gun is fired. When they come back on, a gruesomescene is revealed. An impossible crime?Only Miss Marple can unravel it.

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Product Details

  • Series: Miss Marple Mysteries (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006207363X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062073631
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Carver Green on May 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What "improvements" have been made for the Black Dog & Leventhal edition? There are already major differences in punctuation, word choices, and scene breaks between the original Collins and Dodd Mead editions of this novel. There are further differences between the Dodd Mead editions republished by Random House/Avenel and the Dodd Mead editions republished by Simon & Shuster/Pocket. There are further additions still in the Signet, Bantam, and Berkley editions. For every publishing house putting out her works, there seem to be a new batch of editors altering Agatha Christie's words and the sound of her voice. What's the matter with these publishers? Whose voice do they think we want to hear when we sit down to a novel by Agatha Christie? And what will she sound like twenty years from now? It's frightening that her estate has failed to see the importance of guarding her words as she wrote them. Please tell me I'm not the only one here who senses that a crime has been committed.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By T. George on March 26, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like with "The Moving Finger," this is a Christie mystery I read maybe 5 years ago and then picked up again just recently. And, similar to that one, I somewhat remembered the solution to this mystery, though I couldn't remember nor ever quite reconfigure the logic behind it.
For those who don't know, this excellent mystery starts off with a murder being announced in the personal ads in the local village paper. Somewhat akin to the irony of "Gross Pointe Blank" - where nobody believes that Cusack is a hitman because he states it directly - no one believes that a murder will really happen. Who would advertise such a thing? And so, in a predictable English manner, all the neighbors turn up - each insisting they just happened to drop by.
Thus begins a subtly humorous and mind-bending tale. After reading a number of poor books lately, I have to say that it felt good to be back in Agatha's capable hands. She develops a small pool of likable characters that you can keep track of...and never really trust. She throws out red herrings galore and keeps you on your toes as you try to fit together the random jig saw piece clues handed to you. Of course, Miss Marple is on to things fairly early, but will you be?
Of note in this particular Christie mystery:
- In addition to Miss Marple, Christie develops a likable & capable if slightly lackluster inspector in Craddock. I think it shows Christie's continued desire to mix things up and try new crime-solving combinations
- The time period is right after WWII, and so you pick up on what life was like in Britain in that time period. There is reference to food rations, Mittel European servants, reduced amounts of hired help, shifting of the population (even in small towns), an increased amount of suspicion with foreigners, etc.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Daniel S. on May 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED was published for the first time in 1950. It was adapted for the stage in 1977 by Leslie Darbon :Agatha Christie's "A Murder is Announced" (Adapted for the Stage).

I can't but recommend this book that presents one of the most inventive mysteries ever concocted by Agatha Christie. For once, if you're very careful, it's possible to find the murderer before the last ten pages of the novel because all the clues are given by the smart Lady of the Crime. As always in Agatha Christie novels, light notes about the English social and political climate spreaded all along the chapters allow us to better imagine the everyday life in an English little town some five years after the end of WWII.

A book for your library.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Mackler on March 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Although this is a great book--if you like Agatha Christie for fun, pastime reading--this edition infuriated me. The book's copyeditors made a serious mistake which ruined the mystery for me. [THE REST OF THIS PARAGPAPH EDITED OUT BY DANIEL MACKLER.]

When, at the end of the book, I discovered the importance of [EDITED OUT BY DANIEL MACKLER] I felt cheated!!!

This goes to show you how important copyeditors can be. Granted, not the most glamorous job, but if they do it wrong...erg!!!

Oh...the edition I read: Paperback with a purple cover, Pocket Books (Simon and Schuster)--though it doesn't say the year. The cover art is copyrighted 1987, and it looks like the book is the 31st edition (??). Definitely avoid this one!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This was the third book of Agatha Christie's that I read, and the one that cemented my opinion of her as an utterly ingenious storyteller. "A Murder is Announced" is a book that I can come back to again and again, noticing something different each time, and marveling at the amount of foreshadowing and carefully-placed clues that have been strewn throughout the narrative, so obvious in hindsight, yet so carefully woven into the story that it takes a keen eye to pick up on them.

The residents of Chipping Cleghorn are astonished at an advertisement placed in their local paper, claiming that a murder is to take place in the home of Miss Letitia Blacklock that night. Even more strangely, Miss Blacklock is as baffled at the appearance of the announcement as the rest of them. The other residents of the house (a childhood friend, two distant relatives, a refugee and a somewhat mysterious boarder) all claim innocence, and so it is a rather bemused gathered in the drawing room once her neighbours converge on Little Paddocks for what they assume is a murder-mystery party. As the clock chimes the half-hour, the lights go out, and gun-shots are fired. When the confusion passes, someone is dead.

Luckily the elderly Miss Marple is staying with a friend in the village, and offers her services to the police to help gather some more information about the people involved. What with the authorities having come to the shaky conclusion that the events of the night in question were some kind of botched burglary, the spinster-sleuth decides to do some of her specialized snooping. That is, she socializes with those involved, and draws parallels between the impression she has of them with the residents in her own village in an attempt to understand character, background and possible motivation.
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