A Murder Is Announced
The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn, including Jane Marple, 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, a crowd begins to gather at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out!
Reviewed on 15th February 2009
Another excellent book in the Marple Canon, this one adds to the mystery throughout, throwing out a variety of clues hither and thither, some of which I spotted, and others not. I think I'm improving, and my feeling is that the third-person narrative helps to get more of an overview of the case than the first-person perspective in the previous novel.
Miss Marple is introduced reasonably early in the proceedings, albeit via a rather convoluted route of coincidence, once again seemingly dropped in solely for the purpose of solving the mystery. On the other hand, to have every murder happen in the same village (as in Midsomer), would perhaps lead to doubt about the solutions of each case, and indeed shed a light of suspicion on Miss Marple herself.
There are plenty of suspects who could have easily had a motive to commit the murder - if anything, there are too many. Despite getting close at times, I still failed to spot the clues that pointed to the real killer.