A Murder is Announced

Christie, Agatha - A Murder is Announced (1950)



Review by Nick Fuller


As Christie's twentieth detective story was one of the best Poirots, so her fiftieth is the best of the Miss Marples. Beginning with the ingenious idea of announcing one's murders in the local paper, the tale is amusing and clever throughout. Miss Marple, for once, shines as detective, for she detects, both picking up gossip and reasoning from material clues and dialogue. The village setting is superbly drawn, and makes this the quintessential Marple; the detective herself is fully aware that village life has changed since 1939, that nobody knows who anybody else is, and so, neighbour cannot trust neighbour, and the tension slowly mounts. This makes possible the brilliant plot to secure an inheritance, one of the best surprises in all Christiedom, concealed by a more than generous helping of red herrings.