I don’t feel the need to do an actual review for this one, so instead I’ll just say that Jane Marple is my favorite character that ever came out of Agatha Christie’s mind. As the good vicar said:
If I were at any time to set out on a career of deceit, it would be of Miss Marple that I should be afraid.
I read this for the Halloween Bingo 2018 Terror in a Small Town square.
The first Miss Marple mystery that showcases a different Miss Marple than the one I am used to. This one seems nosy and at times to have ill meanings/feelings. However, in the end we get to see our first glimpse of Nemesis in action with her wanting the person or persons responsible for the murder of Colonel Protheroe brought to justice.
The narrator in "Murder at the Vicarage" is the vicar of St. Mary's Mead, Leonard Clement. Leonard ends up admiring Miss Marple by the end of this book, but initially he thought that she and many other in his flock were gossiping and mean spirited. It doesn't help that he married someone who sounds decades younger than him who seems to have little interest in his work or with the village.
St. Mary's Mead villagers are concerned after one of the most despised men that livest there, Colonel Lucius Protheroe is murdered. When the Colonel is found dead in the Vicar's study, everyone quickly starts to suspect the other. Things get even more confusing when two separate people confess to the murder.
When Leonard starts his own investigations he keeps running into one of the residents, Miss Jane Marple. Slowly but surely we work through the village and wonder which one of them killed the Colonel. Pretty much everyone is a suspect at one point and some even wonder if the vicar could have done it.
What I loved about this book was that the only one who figured out what was going on was Miss Marple. A lot of people had ideas and there are a lot of red herrings to throw things off, but the final solution was quite clever. I also loved that we get introduced to characters we are going to see again in future Miss Marple books such as the vicar and his wife. And we will hear about them in some of the later books. I also got a kick out my book showing the layout of the vicar's study and home so you star working through how someone was able to enter and exit without being seen.
You should probably read "Thirteen Problems" before this one if you want to read about Miss Marple since some of the events take place prior to the events in this one.
First five bingos (bottom row, second column from right, center column, diagonal top left to bottom right, and 4 corners + central square) -- plus two more in the making (top row and diagonal top right to bottom left). Not that it greatly matters, but still. :D Progress!
1. A New Era Dawns: Ernest Bramah - The Tales of Max Carrados;
2. The Birth of the Golden Age: A.A. Milne - The Red House Mystery
3. The Great Detectives: Margery Allingham - The Crime at Black Dudley, Mystery Mile, Look to the Lady, Police at the Funeral, Sweet Danger, Death of a Ghost, Flowers for the Judge, The Case of the Late Pig, Dancers in Mourning, The Fashion in Shrouds, Traitor's Purse, and The Tiger in the Smoke;
Patricia Wentworth - Miss Silver Intervenes, Latter End, The Watersplash, and The Traveller Returns;
4. 'Play Up! Play Up! and Play the Game!': Freeman Wills Crofts - The Hog's Back Mystery;
5. Miraculous Murders: Anthony Wynne - Murder of a Lady;
6. Serpents in Eden: Agatha Christie - The Moving Finger (reread);
7. Murder at the Manor: Mavis Doriel Hay - The Santa Klaus Murder;
8. Capital Crimes: Mavis Doriel Hay - Murder Underground
9. Resorting to Murder
10. Making Fun of Murder: Edmund Crispin - The Moving Toyshop;
11. Education, Education, Education: Mavis Doriel Hay - Death on the Cherwell
12. Playing Politics
13. Scientific Enquiries: Christopher St. John Sprigg - Death of an Airman;
Freeman Wills Crofts - Mystery in the Channel
19. The Ironists: Anthony Rolls - Family Matters;
20. Fiction from Fact: Josephine Tey - The Franchise Affair
Free Square / Eric the Skull: Martin Edwards - The Golden Age of Murder
The book that started it all:
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 6 & 7
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 8-10
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 11-15
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 16-20
The story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 21-24
Finished last night.
To the resident Christie (and Miss Marple) fans: Do you recall Christie saying anywhere that Colonel Melchett is a Scot? Because that's the accent that Richard E. Grant gives him. I totally wouldn't rule out that he's got a point -- he picked up on Christie's characterization of Lawrence Redding as Irish, too, and that's easy enough to miss as it is -- but if he's right about Melchett, then boy do I have to reread all of the Miss Marple mysteries that are actually set in St. Mary Mead to see what I've been missing about Melchett.