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A Murder Is Announced Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1991
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The theme of characters who are not what they seem is a popular feature in many mysteries, but particularly in Christie's books and especially in those featuring the gentle, but always suspicious Jane Marple. Long experience has taught the elderly spinster that most people are far too gullible and that even those who appear to be above reproach may be hiding DARK SECRETS.
The usual Christie characters are here: the widows, the spinsters, the retired military officers, and the quietly shrewd policemen. The setting is in the years immediately after WWII and (as with all of Christie's stories) we get a good idea of the daily life of the English middle class. Incomes from investments have been slashed, while prices have soared. The traditional servant class has disappeared, leaving those with large houses dependent on cleaning women (primary purveyors of local news) and foreign refugees unused to domestic service but happy to be out of their war-ravaged countries. Mitzi the wildly dramatic Slavic cook is a delight to the reader (although not to her long-suffering employer!) The disruption caused by the war means that records and photographs have been destroyed, making it even more difficult to prove who's telling the truth. And the ridiculously strict rationing system put into effect in England at the end of the war adds considerably to the problems of crime solvers, since it turns even the most innocent citizens into criminals and liars!
Needless to say, there is an elaborate plot with clues liberally sprinkled throughout. Christie's books are so charming I can reread them with pleasure even though I already know who-done-it. This is one of my favorites.
The one star is not for the person adapting the novel; it is for Amazon for making it totally confusing!
This is a very good mystery. What makes it even more interesting is that it was written in 1950 when there were still many shortages in England as a result of The War. One sees a few mentions of ration coupons, bartering, black market and shortages that bring the reader into a historic time that may have been forgotten or is unknown to a younger generation. That helps to make this an engaging read.
I see many other reviewers complaining of some editions that were poorly edited and were rife with typos. This Kindle edition that I read had none of those problems. It was just a very good Agatha Christie/Miss Marple novel which I enjoyed immensely.
as being able to read the print without squinting. Very good price...