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Miss Marple #5

A Murder Is Announced

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"A Murder is Announced" is a staple of crime fiction and often considered as the best Miss Marple novel. The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn, including Jane Marple who is staying nearby, 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.’ Is this a childish practical joke? Or a hoax intended to scare poor Letitia Blacklock? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, a crowd gathers at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out…

The novel was promoted on both sides of the Atlantic as Agatha Christie's 50th book and published in 1950 by William Collins.

Librarian's note: this entry is for the novel, "A Murder is Announced." Collections and other Miss Marple stories are located elsewhere on Goodreads. The series includes 12 novels and 20 short stories. Entries for the short stories can be found by searching Goodreads for: "a Miss Marple Short Story."

288 pages, Hardcover

First published June 1, 1950

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About the author

Agatha Christie

5,286 books59.5k followers
Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

More than seventy detective novels of British writer Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie include The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), and And Then There Were None (1939); she also wrote plays, including The Mousetrap (1952).

This best-selling author of all time wrote 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in romance. Her books sold more than a billion copies in the English language and a billion in translation. According to Index Translationum, people translated her works into 103 languages at least, the most for an individual author. Of the most enduring figures in crime literature, she created Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. She atuhored The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theater.

The youngest of three children of the Miller family. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880–1929), called Monty, ten years older than Agatha.

Before marrying and starting a family in London, she had served in a Devon hospital during the First World War, tending to troops coming back from the trenches. During the First World War, she worked at a hospital as a nurse; later working at a hospital pharmacy, a job that influenced her work, as many of the murders in her books are carried out with poison. During the Second World War, she worked as a pharmacy assistant at University College Hospital, London, acquiring a good knowledge of poisons which feature in many of her novels.

Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, came out in 1920. During her first marriage, Agatha published six novels, a collection of short stories, and a number of short stories in magazines.

In late 1926, Agatha's husband, Archie, revealed that he was in love with another woman, Nancy Neele, and wanted a divorce. On 8 December 1926 the couple quarreled, and Archie Christie left their house, Styles, in Sunningdale, Berkshire, to spend the weekend with his mistress at Godalming, Surrey. That same evening Agatha disappeared from her home, leaving behind a letter for her secretary saying that she was going to Yorkshire. Her disappearance caused an outcry from the public, many of whom were admirers of her novels. Despite a massive manhunt, she was not found for eleven days.

In 1930, Christie married archaeologist Max Mallowan (Sir Max from 1968) after joining him in an archaeological dig. Their marriage was especially happy in the early years and remained so until Christie's death in 1976.

Christie frequently used familiar settings for her stories. Christie's travels with Mallowan contributed background to several of her novels set in the Middle East. Other novels (such as And Then There Were None) were set in and around Torquay, where she was born. Christie's 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express was written in the Hotel Pera Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, the southern terminus of the railway. The hotel maintains Christie's room as a memorial to the author. The Greenway Estate in Devon, acquired by the couple as a summer residence in 1938, is now in the care of the National Trust.

Christie often stayed at Abney Hall in Cheshire, which was owned by her brother-in-law, James Watts. She based at least two of her stories on the hall: the short story The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, and the novel After the Funeral. Abney Hall became Agatha's greatest inspiration for country-house life, with all the servants and grandeur which have been woven into her plots.

To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empir

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,888 reviews
Profile Image for Madeline.
775 reviews47k followers
July 9, 2010
By this point, I have given up trying to play Guess The Culprit with Agatha Christie mysteries. It's just not possible. She's like a magician who tells an audience that she's going to make a coin disappear and reappear. The coin disappears, and she tells you to watch her right hand. You, who have seen magic shows before, think "Aha! Misdirection! I'll watch her left hand, and then I'll see how the trick is done." So you're watching her left hand, and everyone else is watching her right hand, and then suddenly the coin appears out of nowhere and no one has any idea how she did that. Meanwhile the assistant, who you've completely forgotten about, has just transformed into a dog and then your brain explodes.

That's what reading a good Agatha Christie book is like. This is one of the good ones. My favorite Christie stories are the ones where multiple people get murdered. A murder occurs, people start looking for the killer, and then BAM somebody else is found dead and you realize that whoever the killer is he/she is fucking nuts and you don't know who's going to die next. It adds a great deal of tension and urgency to the story, and I love it.

Now I have two complaints, one serious and one absurd, that contributed to this book's four-instead-of-five star rating.

The serious: Miss Marple is more present in this book than she was in The Body in the Library, but she still keeps to the sidelines a lot and it's frustrating. She's not even mentioned by name until page 95, and I think it'd be nice if she could solve a mystery on her own instead of waiting for the police to invite her into their Boys Only Mystery Solving Clubhouse.

The absurd: Quotes like this, when the police are discussing the inhabitants of the village where the murder took place: "'Nice old pussies and retired colonels. ...Lord, I wish I had my own particular old pussy here. Wouldn't she like to get her nice ladylike teeth into this?'
'Who's your own particular pussy, Henry? An aunt?'"

Okay. I understand that Agatha Christie's definition of "pussy" is vastly different from my own. But this is like that part in Arrested Development where they actually got a character to call someone a pussy without it being censored, because they claimed it was a British term for a nice person. We all know what they're really doing, and that's delighting in being able to use that word freely on TV. (Speaking of Arrested Development, you should all be proud of me for resisting the urge to toss out an "It's an illusion!" reference during that magician analogy I made up there. You're welcome.)

Once would be understandable, and a sign that my dirty mind has gone too far, but then it happens again: "'Ye gods and little fishes,' said Sir Henry, 'can it be? George, it's my own particular, one and only, four-starred pussy. The super pussy of all old pussies.'"

Oh come on, Christie. Now you're just messing with me.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
October 21, 2021
A Murder is Announced (Miss Marple #5), first published in the UK by the Collins Crim Club in June 1950.

Characters: Miss Jane Marple, the Inspector and vicar's wife Bunch, Swiss hotel clerk Rudi, Miss Letitia Blackstone houses scatty Dora, Cousins Julia and Patrick, gardener widow Phillipa, and paranoid cook Mitzi.

Abstract: Villagers expect a fun game after a Gazette announcement of murder, but when lights flash off, shots ring out, and a masked burglar falls dead, the Inspector and vicar's wife Bunch call in expert Miss Jane Marple. Was Swiss hotel clerk Rudi framed? Miss Letitia Blackstone houses scatty Dora, cousins Julia and Patrick, gardener widow Phillipa, and paranoid cook Mitzi.

عنوانهاس چاپ شده در ایران: «اعلام یک قتل»، «پنجمین کتاب از ماجراهای دوشیزه مارپل»، «قطار ساعت چهار و پنجاه دقیقه از پدینگتون و اعلام یک قتل»؛ نویسنده آگاتا کریستی؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و ششم ماه نوامبر سال2009میلادی

عنوان: اعلام یک قتل، پنجمین کتاب از ماجراهای دوشیزه مارپل، نویسنده: آگاتا کریستی؛ مترجم: محمدعلی ایزدی، نشر: کتاب‌های کارآگاه (وابسته به انتشارات هرمس)، چاپ دوم، در سال1388، ادبیات پلیسی و جنایی در362صفحه؛ شابک9789643634100؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده 20م

عنوان: قطار ساعت چهار و پنجاه دقیقه از پدینگتون و اعلام یک قتل؛ نویسنده: آگاتا کریستی؛ مترجم: محمدعلی ایزدی، تهران، هرمس، سال 1388؛ در720ص؛ شابک9789643636203؛

چکیده: در روزنامه ی محلی روستایی کوچک، قتلی در خانه ی زنی به نام «لتیشا بلک‌ لاک» اعلام می‌شود؛ در ساعت مقرر، و در حالیکه تعدادی از اهالی روستا، در محل گفته شده، حاضر هستند، ناگهان برق ساختمان قطع می‌شود، و مردی با چراغ‌ قوه، در ورودی اتاق، ظاهر می‌شود؛ پس از شنیده شدن صدای چند گلوله، هنگامی که برق مجدداً وصل می‌شود، حضار با جسد فرد چراغ به دست، و اسلحه‌ ای در کنار وی، مواجه می‌شوند؛ پلیس برای یافتن راز قتل، از «دوشیزه مارپل»، یاری می‌گیرد؛ در این بین شخصی دیگر از مدعوین، و نیز دوست و هم‌خانه خانم «بلک‌ لاک» نیز، به قتل می‌رسند؛ و ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 18/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 28/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for James.
Author 19 books3,579 followers
January 12, 2018
So... a murder is listed in a newspaper... foretelling it will happen at a certain date and time. Is it possible? Yes. Does it happen? You'll just have to read it. Christie at her best... love her stories. love the concept. Well-written. I'm on a kick to go back and read all the Poirot's and Marple's this year! The best part about this one is the murder takes forever to happen... and you wonder what the real mystery is for so long. I can imagine watching the clock waiting but not knowing what to do. Very inside one's head to figure this one out!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
Profile Image for Melindam.
633 reviews275 followers
October 9, 2022
I prefer Poirot-novels to Marple ones, but this book has always been in the Top 5 on my Agatha Christie favourites list.

This time I actually put myself the question "why".
It is NOT because of the investigation or the solution of the crime, even though it is very well done in the classic Agatha Christie style: red herrings are there to lead you astray; real clues are hidden in plain sight and yet elude you completely.

The answer is characterization, which is perfect: concise and revealing. Dame Agatha depicts her characters without mercy (everyone has motive/potential/opportunity to commit murder) and yet with humour & a deep understanding (people are the same everywhere: we are all human with faults and foibles).

This insight into characters as well as the milieu they are placed in reminds me a bit of Jane Austen and what she wrote to her niece Anna on writing novels: “3 or 4 Families in a Country village is the very thing to work on”. Also a quote from Elizabeth Bennet comes to mind: “Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can.” So this mixture of Jane Austen & Agatha Christie which delights me in this particular novel.
Profile Image for Yun.
513 reviews20k followers
October 7, 2019
In A Murder Is Announced, a notice appears in the local papers stating the time and location of a murder. The neighbors, thinking it was all great fun, show up en masse. When a murder actually happens and it becomes clear this is no game, fear quickly takes over. In steps old, fussy, adorable Mrs. Marple, with her astute observations and keen awareness of human nature.

This story is so fun and quintessentially Agatha Christie--a locked room mystery, a handful of suspects, and plenty of red herrings and secrets everywhere. And when it's all explained in the end, it's just so damn satisfying to have everything tie up in a logical manner. I had an inkling of the guilty party this time, though not the underlying motives, but that didn't diminish my enjoyment of this book.

I first started reading Agatha Christie in 8th grade. Over the last few years, I've been embarking on a (slow) reread of her books with the goal of getting through them all. This is one of her personal favorites, so I had high expectations going in. And once again, as always, she doesn't let me down!
Profile Image for Matheus Madeira.
11 reviews508 followers
January 6, 2022
será que algum dia eu não serei feito de otário? como pode em gata triste meu deus
Profile Image for carol..
1,537 reviews7,880 followers
December 14, 2014

Taken from my blog post: https://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2014/...

I grew up on Christie. At the time, I was limited to whatever my local library branch physically had on the shelves, so it took awhile to work my way through her bibliography, and even now, I’m not sure I’ve read all of her books. There was that pesky problem of British and American editions with separate titles, leaving me hopelessly confused about what I’ve read. Thankfully, A Murder is Announced had the same title in both editions, which might be why I remember it so well. It might also be because it is an amazingly well written with a nicely tricky mystery.

Oh, Letty! A murder has been announced in the personals section of the local gazette. You kids may not know this, but that’s like Craigslist in print form. And game murder mysteries were old-fashioned acted-out parties where guests solved the mystery. That’s why the residents of the village of Chipping Cleghorn assume they are being invited. Nonetheless, a newspaper invite bit informal, so they contrive excuses to drop by Letitia Blacklock’s home. As they’re settled in, having a smoke and a sherry, a masked man holds them up. The lights go out. Shots echo in the dark room. When someone flips a light, the unknown masked intruder is dead. The police are prone to write it off as a burglary gone bad, except Inspector Craddock can’t quite let it go. His godfather points him in the direction of the little old ladies of the case, citing his own Miss Marple as an example. Before long, we meet her in person.

Christie is in peak form here, displaying skill in every aspect of writing, balanced with atmosphere, character, mystery and philosophy, with not an excess word present. Oh sure, had Christie Sandersonized it, it could have been far beyond its 300 pages, filled with details about the village foliage or the design of their dresses. Except those details are there, and rarely does she tell us; we discover it in clever word choice or implicit in dialogue. This may be why A Murder is Announced is one of her better mysteries; though she provides a number of clues and red herrings, her details are so sparse that careful reading is needed. Come to think of it, Sanderson presents a symphony in a book, while Christie is the soloist, the violin virtuoso, each note given star attention.

Clues are dropped. I wish I could give an opinion on the mystery, but the truth is, I’ve read this enough times that I remembered the solution, just not the reasoning. Still, astute minds in the Goodreads Agatha Christie Lovers group pointed out Dame Agatha was dropping subtle clues from the beginning, along with plenty of red herrings.

Characterization is amazing. Scant descriptors, and yet every utterance hints at character. Check this brief oratory by an elderly gardener when being questioned:

“‘I’ve no idea,’ said Craddock. ‘I suppose this hold-up caused a lot of talk?’

“That it did. What’s us coming to? That’s what Ned Barker said. Comes of going to the pictures so much, he said. But Tom Riley, he says it comes of letting these furriners run about loose. And depend on it, he says, that girl that cooks up there for Miss Blacklock and ‘as such a nasty temper–she’s in it, he said. She’s a Communist or worse, he says, and we don’t like that sort ‘ere.’“

All he does is talk, and with every sentence, Christie gives us the picture of the small town, the gossip, the dynamic between the young and the old, the long-time residents and the foreigners–or furriners, as he says. And so much about the man himself–what he chooses to share with police, his education, his speech pattern, his peer group. Clever, clever.

The sly humor is a nice touch for an adult read–I’m not sure I picked up on it when I was younger.

“‘And it isn’t,’ pursued Mrs. Swettenham, ‘as though you were a worker. You don’t do any work at all.’
‘That’s not in the least true,’ said Edmund indignantly. ‘I’m writing a book.’
‘I meant real work,’ said Mrs. Swettenham.“

But I have no doubt that it was a great deal of work indeed, to craft a book that provides excellent entertainment, and yet such insight into the residents of a small English town. An enjoyable trip down memory lane that gives me all new appreciation for her skill.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,920 reviews69.3k followers
April 12, 2023
Yess. I finally got one right!


Ok, the gist is that there is an advertisement in the local paper to come to Letitia Blacklock's house for a Murder that evening. Of course, they all suppose that it's one of those Murder Parties where they play as victims and detectives.
So when a stranger shows up threatening to rob them and the lights go out? Well, no one is prepared to find the would-be robber dead and Letitia grazed by a bullet!
Now the hunt is one to discover who wants Letitia dead, and (of course) not everyone in this sleepy village is who they are pretending to be!


This was ok. It's not my favorite, but I did like Bunny quite a bit. And that's the thing with Miss Marple, she spends a lot of time lurking in the background of her own detective stories, so you sort of have to glom on to one of the other characters. And other than Bunny (who admittedly wasn't in it much) there just weren't a load of fantastic personalities to attach yourself to.
But hey, I got one right!
I. Am. A. Genius.


As far as the audio goes, I like Joan Hickson as a narrator but I felt like I could hear her breathing a bit too much in this one. I kept hearing her snuffing in after every sentence and it was a tad distracting. I know, this sounds really awful, but it was like she was too close to the mic while she was recording or something.

Publisher: HarperAudio
Edition: Unabridged
Joan Hickson - Narrator
Profile Image for Gabriel.
491 reviews644 followers
May 23, 2023
¿Es esta una de las mejores novelas que ha escrito Agatha Christie? Para mí lo es, sin duda alguna.


En un periódico local de Chipping Cleghorn aparece un aviso donde dice que el viernes 29 de octubre se cometerá un asesinato en Little paddocks, hogar de Letitia Blacklock. Para un pueblito como ese, dicho acontecimiento representa una de las cosas más interesantes que pueden pasar en mucho tiempo, por lo que para los distintos vecinos y habitantes que han leído el anuncio esto les parece un juego de lo más divertido al que piensan asistir totalmente ingenuos y ajenos a lo que pasará, sin embargo, para la dueña y señora de la casa es una broma pesada y de mal gusto.

Se anuncia un asesinato es un caso que no es tramposo, tiene múltiples sospechosos, es tensionante y adictivo, tiene humor inteligente y sardónico a la vez que mantiene algo de seriedad, de esas historias que te mantienen pegado a la pantalla y haciendo teorías para buscar al culpable aunque muchas de esas hipótesis terminen siendo derrumbadas como un castillo de naipes mientras te hacen dudar de todos.

Y lo mejor de todo es que aunque al principio me ha parecido obvio porque hay varias novelas de Christie que me han dejado el trauma (no las menciono porque seguro entienden la referencia y les hace spoiler si las han leído) en esta novela su fortaleza está en que Christie ha sabido hacer que la mayoría parezcan culpables y tengan razones y motivos de peso que los puedan señalar como sospechosos directos.

Gracias por regalarme este caso querida Agatha Christie, de tus mejores libros. Una historia bien construida e hilada, con sospechosos por doquier y donde me viste la cara de tonto pero aunque me frustra me encanta y me satisface. Humor, seriedad, tensión, expectativa, encubrimientos, suplantación, varios asesinatos, pistas falsas, sospechosos por todos lados y con razones e hipótesis igual de válidas, algunas teorías fuertes y otras blandengues.

Lo tiene todo para ser de sus mejores y de mis favoritos.
Profile Image for Susan.
2,643 reviews598 followers
April 1, 2017
Published in 1950, this is one of my favourite Miss Marple mysteries. It is set in the small village of Chipping Cleghorn, which is not unlike St Mary Mead, with its cast of local characters and, of course, a local newspaper – which is delivered every Friday. On Friday, October 29th, the paper is perused by the villagers, who discover an odd message in the Personal column: “A Murder is Announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th at Little Paddocks at 6:30pm. Friends please accept this the only intimation.”

Of course, Miss Letitia Blacklock, of Little Paddocks, who lives with her old friend, Dora Bunner, young cousins Patrick and Julia, war widow Philippa Haymes and a volatile European refugee cook, named Mitzi, has no choice but to act as hostess to the gathering of local villagers who ‘drop by’ to see what will happen. What actually does happen is murder, when a young man holds up the room at the appointed time, and the stage is set for a wonderfully convoluted plot, involving the will of a wealthy financial, a great cast of possible suspects and some romance.

The crime is investigated by Detective Inspector Dermot Craddock, who turns out to be the godson of Sir Henry Clithering, the ex-commissioner of Scotland Yard, who is a great believer in the powers of Miss Marple. Sir Henry is delighted when she turns out to be staying at the very hotel where the young man, who incongruously appeared at Little Paddocks, worked. By chance, she knows Bunch Harmon, one of the locals who turned up at Miss Blacklock’s, so she immediately re-locates to Chipping Cleghorn, in order to aid the investigation.

One of the most notable things about this mystery is not only the classic Christie setting, and characters, but the fact that the author makes much use of the changing world after WWII. Whereas before, Miss Marple bemoans, you knew who everybody was and where they came from, now people are displaced, move away and you take them at face value. With people bringing back guns from their time in the army as souvenirs, not locking doors and allowing neighbours access to their homes and having to accept people are who they say they are, this allows Christie freedom to really enjoy herself with red herrings, identities and clues. A thoroughly enjoyable mystery, with Miss Marple highly involved in the action.
Profile Image for Adrian.
562 reviews197 followers
April 2, 2017
Review to follow when I can get to my laptop :)

Right I now have access to a proper keyboard, so I can write my review. Now this book to me was heading for 5 stars, until one particular incident .
That apart it was an excellent mystery with Miss Marple on fine form. Although it wasn't set in St Mary Mead, it was set in Chipping Leghorn which is inhabited by similar people with similar characteristics and lives.
For once I did latch onto a couple of clues along the way, so the denouement was not a complete surprise, although I did have vague memories of the Joan Hickson TV episode.
All in all thoroughly enjoyable, and I look forward to the next book in the series
Profile Image for Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ .
797 reviews586 followers
May 8, 2017

I seem to be out of synch with most of Christie's other fans, as, in spite of the very original scene setting beginning, I don't consider this one of The Divine Christie's better works.

Other than the beginning, the other pluses were some great dialogue, learning more about life in wartime Britain. and the unintentionally hilarious mentions of old pussies!

"Ye Gods and Little Fishes," said Sir Henry, "can it be? George, it's my own particular, one and only four starred Pussy. The super Pussy of all old Pussies..."

Ok, I know I'm being childish! :D

But every character was so dismissive of foreign refugee Mitzi's suffering. And coincidence was stretched a bit far with

Still a good escapist bit of writing - just don't go in with big expectations!
Profile Image for Hamad.
1,012 reviews1,331 followers
September 8, 2019
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

“Of course, if you’ve made up your mind about it, you’ll find an answer to everything.”

🌟 Agatha’s book are my escape into the crime world when I want something I am pretty sure I will like! This is my second book in the Miss Marple series and I definitely liked it more than the first but I think I am a bigger fan of Poirot as he is more involved in the crime usually!

🌟 The idea of this book is that a murder is announced in the local newspaper and people start getting curious of what is this about and they gather at the announced location, only for the murder to happen for real! The rest of the book is an investigation of how things happened and was it intentional or not. Agatha’s ability to write full novels in few pages still blows my mind every time!

🌟 The writing is one of my favorites. Agatha has that magical writing that makes you intrigued and thinking to the last moment. As usual most of the characters are introduced quickly in the first chapters but then we get to know them all at the subsequent chapters and you will end up feeling for them for sure! No one understand human psychology as Agatha did! Miss Marple reminds me of my Grandma, a very smart and cunning woman that you do not want to miss with so that makes her get a special place in my heart now!

🌟 I thought I was smart this time when halfway through the book I made a connection and thought I got it sorted out, only to be surprised later that one of the characters mentions that and the detective don’t buy it for reasons that are explained later! And as always everything makes sense at the end and you as a reader will feel a bit silly for missing all the hints!

🌟 Summary: I don’t need to talk much about Agatha as she is well known and if you have not read any of her books then what are you waiting for?! The lady was a genius and I do want to read all of her 80 books. The fact that this one was written in 1950 makes the experience more amazing too!

you can get the book from here: Book Depository
Profile Image for Sandeep.
88 reviews52 followers
October 22, 2019
"A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks, at 6:30 p.m. Friends accept this, the only intimation.”

This was exactly what an advertisement read in the local newspaper of Chipping Cleghorn on the morning of October 29th. The residents of Chipping Cleghorn, once having read this announcement, think that this must be a “murder game” played at a party or a sick joke.
The residents begin to arrive and at exactly 6:30, the lights are turned off. A person with a torch enters and three shots are fired. When the lights are turned on, a dead guy with a mask is lying on the floor with a revolver on his side. Did he commit suicide? Or someone shot him?

The story doesn't lack in interesting characters and several plot twists. The writing style is really impressive and easy to read although there are too many characters to wrap your head around. It's a cozy slow-paced build up that just has enough to grab hold the reader's attention and keep them turning those pages.

Since this book is a part of Miss Marple series, I was expecting to see more of her. I was a little disappointed because she was not really mentioned until Chapter 8 (maybe it’s supposed to be like that.) but I can say that I enjoyed her way of “investigating”.

I loved the ending but I was hoping that the “suspect” will tell his/her side of the story. I think it’d be more interesting to know his/her own reasons instead of Miss Marple and Inspector Craddock connecting all the clues. Also, I was quite shocked when I read the word “Pussies” (like “The super Pussy of all old Pussies.”) but then, this novel was originally published in 1950 where the definition of this word is totally different from what we know today.

A Murder is Announced shows us how powerful money is and how it can change a person. I would recommend this book to everyone but not as an introduction to Christie's works. I think she has written far better books than this.
Profile Image for Jeraviz.
915 reviews408 followers
May 12, 2023
Comienza con una premisa muy atractiva: en el periódico local se anuncia que se va a cometer un asesinato en un día y hora señalados. Y lo mejor es que las personas más relevantes del pueblo acuden a esa cita para ver qué ocurre. Un ejemplo perfecto del refrán de la curiosidad mató al gato.

Para resolver el misterio aparece Miss Marple y a través de interrogatorios vamos conociendo a todo el elenco de personajes que se dieron cita en ese momento. Es un libro entretenido, con una trama ingeniosa pero que su resolución creo que está algo forzada. Hay información que se oculta hasta el último momento por lo que no tienes esa revelación que a veces ocurre de darte cuenta que tenías las pistas delante de tus narices y no has conseguido verlo.

Por otra parte, creo que, como personaje, Miss Marple no tiene tanto tirón como Hercules Poirot y no he conectado tanto. Es el primer libro que leo de Marple así que tampoco puedo decir mucho más pero tengo tan idealizado a Poirot ya que desde pequeño leía sus historias que eso tal vez me haya afectado al leer a Marple.

Pero en resumen, una historia más tremendamente ingeniosa de Christie.
Profile Image for carlos carroll.
145 reviews278 followers
December 19, 2021
Últimamente descubro cada culpable en los libros de Agatha, en lo que fallo es en recolectar las pistas, básicamente lo que hago es descartar los sospechosos y ver quién es el más inocente.
Profile Image for Ms. Smartarse.
590 reviews249 followers
April 15, 2023
The local gazette of Chipping Cleghorn announces a murder at 6:30 p.m. at the home of the very respectable Ms. Leticia Blacklock. While most people take it as a bit of good (possibly rude) bit of fun, no one was expecting the assailant to be the one to actually lose his life... or anyone else, really.

As the participants are all busy assuring the police that they knew nothing about nobody, they manage to simultaneously remember the most bizarre details. Though none of them have any doubts about it being a suicide. Intrepid inspector Dermot Haddock however, suspects foul play.

police questioning

For a murder-mystery touted as possibly the best of Dame Agatha Christie, it took me quite a while to warm up to. It has a truckload of characters to keep track of: Leticia Blacklock, the assailant, her companion, her nephew and niece, a lodger, 6 neighbours, the vicar's somewhat ditzy wife, assorted hotel staff, the investigating team, a long-dead billionaire with his currently-dying wife, and Ms. Marple, in all her delightfully polite and apologetic investigative capacity. So the initial murder left me almost as confused as Ms. Blacklock's poor companion, although significantly less impressed. Then again, I wasn't there...

To be fair, the whole setup, reasoning, cheating, betrayal, and whatnot are all very cleverly done. And I thoroughly enjoyed following every one of Ms. Marple's threads of logic. Especially, when it was clear how much she loved providing the detective with her insights, but would very politely maintain an air of "I really shouldn't stick my nose into this".

Ms. Marple considering a theory

There were of course individual characters that I've loved from the get go: such as the subtly supercilious niece, the vicar's apparently-ditzy-but-actually-clever wife, and the ailing Mrs. Goedler during her lucid moments.

On the whole however, I found so many characters where annoying, especially as some of them had a tendency to just chatter on and on, that I ended up tuning them out, or attributing their slip-of-the-tongue to a typo. Multiple times. Which is where I missed several clues.

Score: 3.3/5 stars

I wasn't too keen on the omniscient POV, here. It just threw a whole lot of things at me at once.
And I couldn't shake the feeling , that all those ladies who lived together weren't doing so... ugh... platonically. I'd say I read too much smut these days, but the 2005 TV series confirms at least one of these pairings.

All in all, a very well construed mystery, but the character development could've used a bit more thought.

Review of Murder at the Vicarage
Review of The Thirteen Problems
Review of The Body in the Library
Review of The Moving Finger
Profile Image for Rosh.
1,448 reviews1,401 followers
October 27, 2022
Finally a Marple mystery that worked for me…. somewhat!

I can safely say that this is the best Marple story I have read (which isn’t saying much, considering that I have read exactly two full-length novels and three short stories featuring the iconic character.) By now, I have attuned myself to the format and was hence prepared for the huge infodump in the final 20%. (Not that I liked it; I tolerated it.)

What clicked for me:
😍 Miss Marple doesn’t just make an appearance a lot earlier (around the 30% mark) but also gets an active role in the proceedings. I finally feel like I know the character to some extent.

😍 There are several complicated but memorable characters. They might not be layered (possible because there are too many of them to go in depth about) but the variety of persons adds to the interest factor. Mitzi the cook was my favourite of the lot, followed by Bunch the parson’s wife.

😍 The resolution of the mystery isn’t entirely dependent on the “detective” Miss Marple but is resolved in bits and pieces by many characters.

😍 There are plenty of red herrings, but also an equal number of intelligent clues scattered throughout the narrative that are all helpful in guessing the culprit. As such, the resolution doesn’t spring out of nowhere (like it did in the other Marple stories) but comes logically from the plot. The intricacy of the planning is such that what I had assumed to be typos also turned out to be clues. Quite intelligent plot structuring!

😍 It seems fairly fast-paced. (I say “seems” because I didn’t get to test this hypothesis due to my adamant brain’s refusal to cooperate for an enthusiastic reading of the book.)

What didn’t work for me:
😔 The book hasn’t aged well. There are plenty of xenophobic & racist references. I know the book is a product of its times, but when the number of such allusions goes beyond an acceptable minimum, it becomes tougher and tougher to ignore. Of course, I am not docking stars for this, because a book ought to be judged as per the era it was written in rather than the year it was read in. But these elements were still a downer for me.

😔 I have no idea why, but I kept zoning out of the narration after every few paragraphs. This could partly be blamed on my dislike for this genre. It could also be because there was a lot of blah-blah-blah in the first half. The second half is where the narration starts picking up its stride. Until the 70% mark or so, my intrigue was at a minimal level and I could keep the book aside more easily than I could pick it up.

😔 Infodump at the climax, as in every single mystery. The “big reveal” starts from the 80% point and goes almost till the end.

😔 A couple of character actions didn’t make sense, but if they were to make sense, there would have been no mystery. Oh well!

This above-average experience doesn’t change my mind about the Miss Marple series, which I now feel isn’t for me. I will still complete the Marple anthology I have going on, but thereafter, I shall bid adieu to this character. Maybe I will have better luck with Poirot. Fingers crossed. It sucks not to be able to connect with the works of an author that the whole world except you seems to adore.

3.5 stars, rounding up because I can honestly say to the book: “It’s not you; it’s me.”

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Profile Image for Kelly.
878 reviews4,024 followers
July 4, 2020
Sometimes you just need a classic for a palate cleanser, to remind you that things can be well done. Exposition can be done while plot moves along. I can figure out what everyone is like from dialogue and actions. I can get atmosphere and setting from hints and judicious description (no one said a word about this being austerity Britain and no one had to- illegal butter trading said it all). I can feel like I know characters quickly and get into a mystery that I care about solving. Yeah. Sometimes you gotta get away from that “for fans of” nonsense and go back to the real thing. Well done, excellent package of a thing from top to bottom.
Profile Image for Luffy.
862 reviews723 followers
March 5, 2016
Here is the book that made me guess the murderer for the first time ever. It's a classic and not a dime novel, and I'm glad for that. Other people too have guessed correctly and in hindsight I must say that the finale, with Miss Marple hiding and using her voice, is slightly artificial, clumsy and forced. Nevertheless most of the book is vintage Christie, and this book pushed me to read more and all of the Marpel stories. P.S Miss Murgatroyd and Hinchcliffe are "the L word".
Profile Image for Stephanie Anze.
657 reviews112 followers
April 4, 2018
"A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6:30 p.m. Friends please accept this, this only intimation."

Such is the ad that runs in the local gazette in the village of Chipping Cleghorn. Little Paddocks is the property owned by Miss Letitia Blacklock, a house she lives in with one of her dearest friends, two young cousins, her gardener and her cook. Everyone is shocked by the ad and denies having anything to with it. Still, Miss Blacklock feels compelled to host and on the set day and time neighbours simply "stop by casually". What everyone assumes is a party game takes a grim turn when a young man winds up dead. With many and differing accounts of the event, Miss Jane Marple is called upon to solve this mystery.

The last Miss Marple mystery I read was a bit of a letdown. This installment, however, is by far my favorite Marple to date. Published in 1950, a death occurs in Chipping Cleghorn a village not unlike St. Mary Mead. A strange ad is published in the local gazette luring all the neighbours to the house of Miss Letitia Blacklock. Not being able to contain their curiosity, the neighbours show up, the lights go out, a man enters the room, shots are fired and said man winds up dead. Emotions range from a great thrill to fear and the question lingers of wether the death was an accident or not. Enter Miss Marple. As Miss Marple gets to know the village and its inhabitants, she begins to piece together what actually happened that night. The red herrings in this plot were vast and varied and not one detail was left unchecked. I am not kidding, even a small detail as the placement of an object or the way a person was addressed played into this mystery. Without a doubt this is one of the best plots and characterizations done by Christie. The village and neighbours were both a source of comic relief and the force that moved the plot along.

I absolutely love the reveal. A few details I was able to figure out but as for the bulk of the mystery, it was a complete surprise to me. How everything tied in together, it was marvelously done. There is just one thing that bothered me with the book and that is the casual way in which the past of Mitzi, the Eastern European war refugee who is Miss Blacklock's cook, was overlooked. I do think Mitzi was depicted too harshly and her circumstances taken too lightly. Aside from that, this is as good as a book gets. Highly, highly recommended!
Profile Image for Katie Lumsden.
Author 1 book2,822 followers
January 13, 2022
I thoroughly enjoyed this one - a really engaging read, with great characters and a strong mystery.
Profile Image for Piyangie.
519 reviews417 followers
November 8, 2021
At a time when my literary relationship with the queen of mystery is strained, A Murder is Announced comes my way to renew my interest and confidence in her yet again. This fourth installment of the Miss Marple series is quite interesting, and even if it is not one of her best, it was nevertheless cleverly written. The motive for the crime was based on one of her favourite recurring themes of monetary benefit. But, the overall story had originality in it.

In this murder-mystery, I see a different approach to writing by Agatha Christie. Rather than narrating the story in quite a grave and composed manner, she has dramatized it in such a way that it felt more like a play. I think the setting of the story in a small village with a closely knitted community where everybody knows everybody and everybody's gossip helped Christie to achieve this feat. And there was plenty of humour thrown in by Christie with some nearly comical characters.

Miss Marple was present from quite the beginning and plays an active and vital role in uncovering the criminal. This smart old lady untangles the clues that were even baffling to the police. I guessed the criminal right and so scored a point ahead of the police. But the whole puzzle, which seems clear to Miss Marple, baffled me equally. I'm happy to say that there, Christie was ahead of me. :)

I enjoyed the story, its authenticity, the dramatic quality, the humour, and the cleverness of Miss Marple. But, overall, I found it a bit too slow, and at times overwritten and repetitive. However, this book gave me hope and confidence to explore more works of our dear queen of crimes.
Profile Image for Vikas Singh.
Author 4 books277 followers
August 5, 2019
A Miss Marple story which has "delicious death" as its central plot. Once again Agatha Christie comes up with a superb plot for her 50th novel. The beginning i quite different from her other stories but intriguing. Though limited to a few characters, the reader is left guessing till the end who the murderer was. Delightful read
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,034 reviews1,421 followers
December 2, 2018
A murder is announced! The local newspaper for Chipping Cleghorn bears a notice that a murder shall take place at 6.30pm sharp, on Friday 29th October. Curiosity is rife but few take this grave pronouncement very seriously and so all flock to the murder site, in the hopes of witnessing revelry or, at the least, the culprit for this darkly humorous joke. Instead they do, in fact, find themselves all witness to a murder. And one they cannot say they weren't warned for.

This began in the most intriguing fashion. The reader is introduced to the many members of this small village community as they pore over their morning newspaper. We are granted a good indication as to their character, as well as their initial reaction to the announcement the novel centres around. This could easily have become a scene dull in its repetition, but Christie's knack for character creation kept each one feeling fresh and had me poring over these many times hoping to decipher some piece to the puzzle that was as yet unknown to me.

As the story-line progressed, and moved to the scene of the crime, there was just as much to keep the reader guessing as all characters gave their disparate descriptions of the event, that painted more than one in a sinister light. It is only the unfailingly curios Miss Marple who had any inkling of how to unravel their twisted tales, and, in her usual fashion, she kept all involved guessing right up until the final pages about whom the perpetrators were.

Despite having one of the most thrilling initial scenes, of all the Christie books I have so far read, I feel unable to award this the full five stars as this is one of the few mysteries I have gone some way towards guessing the ending of. I found the clues were dropped in a more heavy-handed fashion, as the story-line continued, and made it easier, than in many of her other novels, for the reader to decipher where the criminals were hiding and what their true motives were. This was still full of its classic Christie brilliance, however, and proved once again her prowess in the art of the sinister.
Profile Image for Rodrigo.
1,057 reviews410 followers
November 23, 2021
FANTASTICO. El mejor de los libros que he leído de Miss Marple.
Todo comienza con la publicación en el periódico local de un pueblo, de un anuncio muy particular, el anuncio de un asesinato, en un lugar y hora fijado. Los vecinos como no!! por la simple curiosidad se van a acercar a dicha casa para ver que va a su suceder.

Nota: creo que nunca acertaré con el culpable, jaajaja.
¡Se convierte en uno de mis favorítos de Agatha.
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