‘A murder is announced and will take place on Friday October 29th, at Little Paddocks, at 6.30 pm.’ So appears the invitation in the Chipping Cleghorn Gazette. How exciting! The villagers expect a game. A crowd gathers. The murderer is chosen. The victim falls. Then the lights go out...
It’s suddenly no longer a game when a body is discovered. How could this happen? Where did the game go wrong? Fortunately Miss Marple is on hand – the greatest player of them all!
First published in 1950 by William Collins, A Murder is Announced is considered a classic in crime fiction with some considering it the best of all the Miss Marple novels. More than a simple murder mystery, this is a story of redemption.
CV Terry said, “Here’s a super-smooth Christie – three neat murders in an English village only faintly shadowed by the reign of Attlee, the customary constables very amusingly winded and Miss Marple always a good stride in the lead. It goes without saying that most readers will guess in vain, though the author lays her facts scrupulously on the line, along with an assortment of her famous red herrings, all beautifully marinated.”
It was adapted for the stage by Leslie Darbon, opening in London at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1977. A Murder is Announced was the first Miss Marple to be adapted for the screen back in 1956 with Gracie Fields in the title role. Joan Hickson revived the role in 1986 for the BBC and in 2004 Geraldine McEwan played the role for ITV.
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The story featured a very special chocolate cake 'Delicious Death' which during the 120th celebrations was published as a recipe so that you can bake your own. Read all about it!
Published in June 1950, A Murder is Announced features the reappearance of Miss Marple after a break of seven years (last seen in The Moving Finger in 1943) and a return to the village setting so effective in The Murder at the Vicarage. There is the usual cast of excellently-drawn village types, from fluttery Dora Bunner to blustering Colonel Easterbrook and sensible Letty Blacklock, with an uncommonly sensitive policeman in the Shakespeare-loving Inspector Craddock, who reappears in a later Miss Marple novel, The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side. The clues are artfully worked into an enjoyably complex plot, there is a wealth of suspects and red herrings and an extremely satisfying conclusion.
Masthead Photography: Joan Hickson image © BBC
MURDER MOST FOUL © Turner Entertainment Co. A Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. All Rights Reserved.
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