Promoted on both sides of the Atlantic as Agatha Christie's 50th book and published in 1950 by William Collins, A Murder is Announced is a staple of crime fiction and is often considered the best of all the Miss Marple novels. The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn, including Jane Marple, are agog with curiosity over an advertisement in the local gazette which reads: ‘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 hoax intended to scare poor Letitia Blacklock? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, a crowd begins to gather at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out…
About the book
A death announcement is posted in the local Chipping Cleghorn newspaper. A murder is announced and will take place on Friday October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m.. Friends are requested to take note of this warning which will never be repeated. Everyone in town feels compelled to go to Miss Blacklock’s house to really see if this crime will happen, and indeed someone dies. Murder or misfortune? After the incident, the commissioner tries to understand what really happened and gets help from a rather particular woman, first a guest in a hotel in the area and then by the wife of the parish priest of the town (they were also present that evening). Obviously this little woman is Miss Marple who happens to be able to be useful despite her ailments.
The placid village of Lymstock seems the perfect place for Jerry Burton to recuperate from his accident under the care of his sister, Joanna. But soon a series of vicious poison-pen letters destroys the village's quiet charm, eventually causing one recipient to commit suicide. The vicar, the doctor, the servants—all are on the verge of accusing one another when help arrives from an unexpected quarter. The vicar's houseguest happens to be none other than Jane Marple.
About the book
The book is narrated by Jerry Burton, a pilot who must remain calm after an injury and what could be better than a country holiday in the small town of Lymstok where nothing happens? So he is in this village when anonymous letters start arriving to most of the citizens. These letters, full of absurdities, end up creating two deaths. The potential culprits are many, but only Miss Marple will be able to solve the case.
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This week question:
How many books have you read this year? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)
Till now 53. Two more weeks to improve.
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