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By FictionFan on 23-12-12
Excellent reading of a classic mystery novel...
This is my top favourite of all of Agatha Christie’s books, and this reading by the marvellous Joan Hickson is pretty much perfect.
Although this is a Miss Marple tale, she doesn’t in fact appear until the last quarter of the book. The story is told in the first person by injured airman Jerry Burton who, accompanied by his sister Joanna, has moved to Lymstock to recuperate in the peace and quiet of village life. But there’s no such thing as peace in a Christie village. Spiteful gossip, anonymous letters, jealousy, resentment and murder – not quite what the doctor ordered. However, as always with Christie, there’s plenty of humour, likeable lead characters and a little bit of romance. And when the vicar’s wife finally calls in Miss Marple to act as an ‘expert in wickedness’, we know she’ll dig the truth out from under the pile of red herrings that Christie has carefully strewn in our path.
Listening to Joan Hickson is like being read to by a favourite grandmother. This is a straight reading – she doesn’t ‘act’ the various parts, but her tone is full of expression and her rather old-fashioned accent is perfect for the period of the novel. Sometimes when listening to an audio book I find my attention wandering a bit – but not with this one. Ms Hickson sucked me in (despite the fact that I know the book so well) and held my attention throughout. She brought out the lightness and humour that make Christie’s books such a pleasure and her obvious affection for the book was contagious.
This is an excellent reading of one of the very best of classic mystery novels – highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 24-06-14
Not the right narrator
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A good, solid Agatha Christis story, but as it is told in first person by a young male protagonist, Joan Hickson really isn't the right narrator. Miss Marple does appear, but only in what amounts to a cameo role near the end. Some of her voices, in particular the younger female ones, sound very peculiar. It is not helped by the fact that Joan Hickson sounds rather as though she is recovering from a bad cold, and occasionally mumbles her words. I would have enjoyed this more if it had been narrated by Hugh Fraser or someone similar.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful