I'm one of the publishers of All About Romance. I love reading romance, as well as mysteries, fantasy, history and historical fiction, and all kinds of other things. Staying on Goodreads for now but trying this out in case I decide to switch.
Agatha Christie is very much a hit or miss author for me. I did enjoy reading A Murder is Announced, though. Set in the small village of Clipping Cleghorn, we get a somewhat contrived(but nevertheless intriguing) murder mystery.
The basic setup is this: the small village is home to a gossipy little gazette and when an ad announcing a forthcoming murder is posted, every curious villager must of course stop by the announced location (home of Miss Letitia Blacklock) to see what will happen at the appointed time. After everyone is in the home, the lights go out and in the confusion, everyone hears shots fired and a dead man is discovered among the company.
The rest of the book covers the investigations of the police as well as the visiting Miss Marple, and give an interesting picture into Postwar English life. We see the various secrets of the village folk being aired and also see the day to day world with its rationing and cringeworthy racial attitudes that existed at the time. And yes, the constant refrain of shifty, untrustworthy Central European refugees was no doubt realistic for the time, but it does get a little old.
The plot of this book is well-crafted and the various characters have idiosyncratic touches to them, both qualities that made me want to keep reading. However, things did fall apart for me a bit at the end. As with many books of the time, this one ends with a Big Dramatic Reveal. And as with many of these revelations, it's an unlikely, convoluted story and just didn't work for me. Even with the unlikely ending, I did enjoy most of the book, though.