Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
Series: #1 in the Miss Maple series
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: Originally published 1930. This edition 1992
The Short Version:
The first novel featuring Miss Marple has her solving a murder which has everyone including the local police baffled.
Why I Read It:
I read a collection of short stories featuring Miss Marple last year and enjoyed them. I’ve had this first novel featuring her for a while and the time finally felt right to dive in.
From the publisher:
The first Miss Marple mystery, one which tests all her powers of observation and deduction.
“Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,” declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, “would be doing the world at large a favor!”
It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come back and haunt the clergyman just a few hours later—when the Colonel is found shot dead in the clergyman’s study. But as Miss Marple soon discovers, the whole village seems to have had a motive to kill Colonel Protheroe.
I like Miss Marple. She’s a busybody and she doesn’t miss a thing that happens in the village St. Mary Mead. Her gift for observation and her talent for listening both to what people say as well as what they don’t say.
As with many of the short stories I’ve read it seems that pretty much everyone in town had a reason and an opportunity to kill Colonel Protheroe, The lies build upon each other and it seems that Miss Marple is the only one who can keep them straight.
The shadow of suspicion weaves in and out among the characters and I changed my mind several times about who I thought had committed the murder. The comments dropped here and there by Miss Marple are both entertaining and provide clues but as usual she’s way ahead of me and had me surprised when she revealed her solution.
It was fun to read more than a short story by Agatha Christie and I will definitely be reading more of these. I think I’ll continue with the Miss Marple series for now. I haven’t read any of the Hercule Poirot stories yet but eventually I’ll get to those.