Title: A Murder is Announced
Author: Agatha Christie
Publication date: January 3, 2005
Publisher: Harper Collins
Length: 415 pages
Age group: Adult
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Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository
The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn 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, the crowd begins to gather at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out…
A Murder is Announced was the very first Agatha Christie book I’ve ever read and also the reason why I fell in love with Dame Agatha’s writing all those years ago and why I’ve been a huge fan of hers ever since. It must have been about five years ago when I read this book but I remember it almost as if it were yesterday. I keep saying that I don’t think I’ll ever find a book as atmospheric and as flawless and well-plotted as And Then There Were None, which I literally read in one sitting, holding the book with shaking fingers (no, I’m not exaggerating here), but A Murder is Announced is no doubt my favourite Marple story.
I suppose one of the reasons why I loved this book so much was the fact that I had a feeling who the murderer might be from quite early on in the story (while the usual scenario would involve me guessing right until the end and suspecting every single one of them) and it gave me a certain amount of satisfaction to see that indeed, I was right. Oh yes. And the murderer happened to be my favourite character, which made it even more interesting.
Another thing that made the story even more appealing for me was that it felt so real. Even the murders themselves felt real and not at all far-fetched or out of the ordinary. Everything was totally believable, from the setting to the locals’ reactions… everything.
If you enjoy mysteries or you’ve been planning on giving one of Christie’s books a try, please, please read this one. I can assure you that it’s brilliant and it’s guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat all along. Great plot, great writing, an absolute must-read for any crime fiction fan looking for a gripping story.
“Between 7.30 and 8.30 every morning except Sundays, Johnnie Butt made the round of the village of Chipping Cleghorn on his bicycle, whistling vociferously through his teeth, and alighting at each house or cottage to shove through a letterbox such morning papers as had been ordered by the occupants of the house in question from Mr Totman, stationer, of the High Street.”