A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie

“Well I never! What an extraordinary thing! Edmund!”

This is my first Goodreads review. And this is the first mystery I ever read. Why wouldn’t I start here?

A Murder is Announced is one of Agatha’s most masterfully constructed plots and it’s an absolute classic – a village mystery with sharply observed characters.

No, really. Put aside your cynicism and your contemporary judgements and allow yourself to be taken along for the ride.

This is one of those Christies that leads the reader from one possible solution to another, only to pull the rug out from under us at the end. And then, in the best clue-puzzle tradition, we see that all the clues had been laid out in full view. I didn’t see them. Can you?

A Murder is Announced was written in 1950 and set in the village of Chipping Cleghorn (How marvellous!) It opens with different villagers reading an announcement in the local Gazette. Everyone is invited to a murder party at a friend’s house. At the party the lights go out, a gun goes off, and a man is found dead. Inspector Craddock investigates.

But staying at a hotel nearby is a crinkly-faced old lady in a lacy woollen shawl. Her name is Miss Jane Marple …

“I have no gifts except perhaps a certain knowledge of human nature. People, I find, are apt to be far too trustful. I’m afraid that I have a tendency always to believe the worst. Not a nice trait. But so often justified by subsequent events.”

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