A murder is announced in the Chipping Cleghorne Gazette to take place on October 5th, 7 PM at Little Paddocks cottage. The people living there, retired secretary Miss Blacklock, her companion Miss Bunner, Miss Blacklock's two distant cousins, Patrick and Julia and Mrs.Haymes, a gardener, have no idea what the ad is about. Several villagers arrive at the house under the false pretenses of "just walking by" or "Was in the neighborhood". At exactly 7 PM, the lights go out, and a man enters the room, and shines a flashlight in everyone's face. Then shots are heard. As the lights come back on, they find the man who entered the room has been shot. Miss Marple must unmask the killer but soon more murders turn up. Written by
This is, in my opinion, Christie's best Miss Marple book. The plot is ingenious, carefully woven and highly intricate. The ending is pure brilliance, and you will kick yourself because you didn't guess the identity earlier.
This BBC adaptation is also superb. It has a suitable running length, enough time for the viewer to absorb the information given to them, and Joan Hickson excels as Miss Marple. Her apparent scattiness hides her true genius to the rest of the cast, and Joan Hickson is perfect at playing Miss Marple in this way; far better than Margaret Rutherford and Geraldine McEwan's dreadful attempts . The supporting cast are also very good, featuring Ursulla Howles, Paola Dionisotti, Joan Sims, Sylvia Syms, Kevin Whately and Simon Shepard (of 'Peak Practice' Fame).
Having read the book very recently, and then watched this adaptation over Christmas on UKTV Gold, I can say that the plot is faithful to the original tome. I can highly recommend it.
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