I’m taking my advice from my previous post—pausing long enough in this current rewrite to take part in #agathainaugust, which I just recently discovered on Instagram.
I’m seriously becoming something of a mystery nut (really loved Louise Penny’s STILL LIFE—I’m fairly new to the Penny world as well). I read AND THEN THERE WERE NONE years ago, but I’d never read a Miss Marple until now.
I’ll confess, I’m not too far into the book (I’ve actually yet to come across Marple herself), but I’m already in love. I’m a junkie for the setup—of books, movies, TV series, etc. I mean, there’s absolutely something to be said for sitting down with an old favorite—a movie you’ve watched so much, you can already recite all the dialog. But given the option, I usually want to watch (or read) something I’ve never seen before. There’s just nothing like the experience of meeting new characters and figuring out a new situation for the first time.
All that is to say I love the way Christie sets her books up. A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED is pretty similar to the setup for AND THEN THERE WERE NONE (if I remember right)—introducing a large number of characters, all of whom are potential suspects. And witnesses. And victims. I love the way she disorients the reader, knocks us off our feet. Who can be trusted? Who is lying? Who will be hurt?
In that way, Christie makes us feel what I imagine the detectives themselves must, when they step onto a new crime scene.
Pretty ingenious, isn’t it?