A Murder Is Announced

A Murder Is Announced - Agatha Christie A strange notice in the paper, advertising a murder before it takes place. A woman standing to inherit millions, and the people who would inherit if she were to die prematurely. A small village, with fascinating characters. Once again, classic Christie, class Marple.

I've noted in previous reviews that the Miss Marple mysteries are very different from the Poirot's, and that as well as exploring small village life and humanity through that lens, each often seems to have particular themes in mind. This one certainly does, the theme being the change in village life, post-war. In particular, the change in demographic that led villages that were previously populated by generations of the same family who all knew each other from childhood to the grave, to suddenly become populated by expatriates and relocatees, people whose history was only know as they presented it.

With this as the key theme of the novel, it's not surprising to find that a large number of the cast aren't what they same. Some are under assumed names, have hidden pasts, and some have stolen the identities of others. A mixed cast where no-one is what they seem, and where even knowing and expecting this, the final identity of the murderer can still come as a surprise.