Emily Weisgerber's Reviews > A Murder Is Announced

A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie
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Nov 25, 09

Read in November, 2009

I wouldn't normally comment on any old Agatha Christie book, but this one stood out to me as being a more worthy classic than "And Then There Were None."
As a long time fan of the movie "Clue," I had a moment of deja vu when the first murder takes place. I wouldn't be the least surprised if the screenwriters for "Clue" had loved this particular scene, and adapted it slightly for their movie. I think this goes to show you just how dramatic and memorable the scene is, and indeed, it feels like one of Christie's plays more than her novels.
Like almost all Agatha Christie novels, this one contains as princple elements, a cast of motley characters and a setting that ties them together. However, there are subtle differences that make this equasion work better than in almost any of her other books.
The characters range in degrees of suspiciousness, but all are somewhat more lovable and real feeling than usual. They all are involved in relationships with each other that lacks the usual malice that creeps up in other novels. I especially love the obviously lesbian couple,and the fact that because no one labels their sexuality, their relationship is better described, and is almost endearing.
While Christie almost always set her murders in large mansions in the English countryside, this one has a little more life to it than normal, starting with the introduction to the place by one of the characters reading the classified ads in the local paper. She also adds details that give the story a sense of time after the war that isn't labored, but natural and personal. There is so much life in this place, that it's not surprising that until the last quarter of the book, only one murder takes place.
I think Christie really liked the characters and the place she created for this book, and while Miss Marple doesn't have much presence, it might be the most believable level of involvement she ever acheived.
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