I am reading this for Locked Room Mystery square.
I already finished "The Murder in the Vicarage" and loved every bit of it. But it's definitely a transition from a Miss Marple that feels barely tolerated to the Miss Marple that we all know and love that shows up in "The Body in the Library."
I also think that having the Vicar (Leonard) be the main narrator for the first story definitely colors how you think of Miss Marple as well.
Review for The Murder in the Vicarage:
So this is a classic locked room murder mystery. Told from the point of view of St. Mary's Mead, local vicar, Leonard Clement we have him starting to wish harm upon the head of Colonel Lucius Protheroe. The colonel is despised by many of the residents and eventually winds up dead, he is found murdered in the vicar's study.
What makes this murder mystery even more intriguing is that two people confess to the murder, but it seems that the real suspect could be far sinister.
The vicar goes around and through being around when discussions are held and clues abound he digs around into who could be behind the colonel's murder. One of St. Mary's Mead resident, Miss Jane Marple always seems to be on the scene too, helping along the vicar.
We get a lot of characters who show up in later Miss Marple books.
I really did get a kick out of this one, especially when we get to the reveal. Miss Marple reads as stuffy and gossipy though by the vicar. I am glad that Christie changed that up in later books.