One of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple mysteries. The story is told from the pov of the Vicar, but Miss Marple is viewed as an older woman who knows all that is happening in the area and keeps track of all those who live around her. She can tell what they are wearing, what they are carrying and who they are with. The inspector sent out to investigate the murder of the Colonel refuses to let anyone tell him anything no matter how hard they might try and he has an obvious bias against women so that he doesn't like them very much. It makes him seem incompetent in his investigation. He then needs the help of the Vicar to find the truth because he does take time to listen to the women and dismisses them. There are unsigned notes being sent around that are meant to cause problems with people and spouses.
I had been listening to this, over reading it and feel that there was much I may have missed through listening over reading. I will be revisiting the story in the written form so I can see what I may have missed. I did enjoy the story and the movement of people through the village and the hunting to find the truth.
There are two competing, rather than complimentary stories in this book. Part of the blurb:
Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder—a “ghettoside” killing, one young black man slaying another—and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities—and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped.
The problem is that the "quintessential" American murder she picks is the son of an LAPD detective. Of course they solve that murder. It's absurd that they have to work around their own department to solve this or any crime, but they do it. If it's possible to be more disgusted by the LAPD as an institution, reading this book may have done it for me.
It's clear that Leovy has been charmed by the men with whom she's been "embedded" for a year. At times it reads like glorification of the hardworking, put-upon detectives with complete disregard for the murder victims they are supposed to be serving. The only thing that saves it is the detectives themselves and her increasingly critical eye toward the middle and end of the book.
It's very slow to start as she introduces us to every detective mentioned with a long character study, and only around the middle does "action" happen, but even that action is fairly muted. The personalities are interesting, but I thought of putting it down once or twice. The climax comes with an interview of the suspect in the "featured murder." There are a lot of murders, a lot of statistics, a lot of complaints about the LAPD brass, a lot of passing judgement on the people they police and a lot of surprising love for those very same people.
The sheer frustration of being anyone who isn't related to the police wasn't presented. There are mountains of problems quickly tossed out, some of which could be cleared up fairly quickly if anyone cared to do so (ie, stop melting down guns that are possibly evidence.) Many of the problems are much more intractable though, and like all police departments, the LAPD has a culture that gets in its way more often than not. I wish the urgency had been imparted. I wish the case chosen wasn't the only one solved that month. I wish the problems in getting even the police department to take these homicides seriously had been the entire book. Instead Leovy covers a huge mountain of issues and offers no solutions.
I´m afraid the story of Luke Fitzwilliam and his search for a mass murderer in the small English village of Wychwood isn´t my favorite Christie.
Which is a shame, because the last third of the book and the solution of the murder were really, really good and I enjoyed them immensely. Agatha Christie knows how to mess with her readers.
Unfortunately I had to drag through two hundred boring pages before getting to the good stuff, in which Luke is interrogating the residents of Wychwood while falling in love with Bridget for no apparent reason at all. I liked neither of the two main characters and Luke has to be the most moronic police officer ever. Not caring about the characters has made this book a much less enjoyable read than some of Christies other novels.
It still was a fun read, despite it not being my favorite mystery by Agatha Christie. But in my opinion Murder is Easy not as good as some of her other books.
I wonder why Lord Whitfield isn´t on Luke´s suspect list? And why hasn´t Luke considered him just once of being the suspect?
Apparently Bridget, the female part of the half-baked lovestory, keeps distracting his thought processes. Not that they are an item just yet. But Luke is in love and honestly, I don´t get why.