The residents of Chipping Cleghorn are astonished to read an advert in the local newspaper that a murder will take place the following Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Little Paddocks, the home of Letitia Blacklock. A group gathers and at that precise moment, the lights go out and a young hotel employee, Rudi Schertz, is shot. The police assume he had placed the ad and planned it as a robbery, but for Miss Marple it’s not that obvious. She believes that the killer was likely one of the people in the room. When two of those present the evening of the murder are subsequently killed, it is left to Miss Marple to unravel a complex series of relationships and false identities, all centered around Randall Goedler a wealthy industrialist who had died 10 years earlier.
A Fabulous Version
This is a fantastic version of one of Agatha Christie’s best novels. This version competes very favourably against the earlier BBC version. The screenplay works particularly well, it moves along nicely. As always the costumes, hair, styles etc work on all levels, it looks wonderfully stylish.
I like the camera work too, it’s shot in a very interesting way, it looks so different to the three previous stories.
Some truly fine performances, notably Zoe Wannamaker, Elaine Paige and Frances Barber, but I think Geraldine’s performance is simply brilliant, she’s sparky, nosey and somehow worldly, but she showed a different side to her character, it was a heartbreaking scene when she discovered Amy’s body. Geraldine bounced of Alexander Armstrong so well too, they had some great scenes together.
The ending is absolutely brilliant, it’s truly powerful and sad, the episode manages to hold your attention throughout. I think it was so well acted that each murder made a difference, they mattered, I think that was down to the acting, and the effects on the other actors, very well done.
As a story I think it’s one of Christie’s finest, it’s such a clever murder. I’m glad they stayed fairly close to the original book, they only tinkered a little bit.