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A Murder is Announced

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'A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, at Little Paddocks, at 6.30 pm.' says the newspaper. But this game is for real.

A new novel by Mrs Agatha Christie always deserves to be placed at the head of any list of detective fiction and her fiftieth book, A Murder is Announced, establishes firmly her claim to the throne of detection.

The Times Literary Supplement, 23 June 1950


About this story

First released

5th June 1950, novel (Collins Crime Club)

Genre

  • Murder Mystery

Formats

  • Novel, 
  • Radio, 
  • Play, 
  • Television Film

Recurring characters

  • Miss Marple, 
  • Sir Henry Clithering

Murder methods

Setting

  • House

The town of Chipping Cleghorn is invited via their local newspaper to witness a murder.

Promoted on both sides of the Atlantic as Agatha Christie's 50th book and published in 1950 by William Collins, A Murder is Announced is a staple of crime fiction and is often considered the best of all the Miss Marple novels. More than a simple murder mystery, this is a story of redemption set in the throes of post-war muddle and discomfort. Miss Marple, on holiday in nearby Medenham Wells, is ably assisted by Inspector Craddock who went on to appear in Sanctuary, 4 ...

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The town of Chipping Cleghorn is invited via their local newspaper to witness a murder.

Promoted on both sides of the Atlantic as Agatha Christie's 50th book and published in 1950 by William Collins, A Murder is Announced is a staple of crime fiction and is often considered the best of all the Miss Marple novels. More than a simple murder mystery, this is a story of redemption set in the throes of post-war muddle and discomfort. Miss Marple, on holiday in nearby Medenham Wells, is ably assisted by Inspector Craddock who went on to appear in Sanctuary, 4.50 from Paddington and The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side. This is one of Christie's most successful conjuring tricks, the physical mechanics actually tested out on her own neighbours in Wallingford, and as usual some of the best, and in retrospect, most infuriating clues are verbal: in this case, you could even say typographical. Agatha Christie even allowed herself a small inhouse joke - the vicarage cat in A Murder is Announced received the rather grand name Tiglath Pileser, after an Assyrian king whose warrior artefacts were discovered on one of her and husband's archaeological excavations.

The 1962 Fontana paperback edition was the first to feature a cover commissioned from Tom Adams - more than 90 other designs were to follow.

This story was the first Miss Marple to be adapted for television in 1956, with Gracie Fields in the starring role, alongside Roger Moore. It was later adapted for the stage by Leslie Darbon and opened in London at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1977 after a try out in Brighton. Set in "present day", it is one of the few stage plays to feature Miss Marple. It wasn't until 1985 that Joan Hickson revived the story for TV in the BBC's adaptation and it was then adapted again almost twenty years later, in 2004, starring Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple. In 2005, BBC Radio 4 produced a dramatisation which featured June Whitfield as Miss Marple.



More about Miss Marple

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Miss Marple, the shrewd elderly sleuth with her expansive knowledge of the true nature of village life.
Find out more about the actors who've played her and the stories she's starred in.

More on Miss Marple

Miss Marple Reading List

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Download our checklist of all the stories Miss Marple featured in. Have you read them all?

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