The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple #1) | Agatha Christie | Book Review

by Agatha Christie

First published 1930
288 pages
Kindle edition
Purchased from Amazon

The murder of Colonel Protheroe — shot through the head — is a shock to everyone in St Mary Mead, though hardly an unpleasant one. Now even the vicar, who had declared that killing the detested Protheroe would be ‘doing the world at large a favour,’ is a suspect — the Colonel has been dispatched in the clergyman’s study, no less. But the picturesque English village of St Mary Mead is overpopulated with suspects. There is of course the faithless Mrs Protheroe; and there is of course her young lover — an artist, to boot.

Perhaps more surprising than the revelation of the murderer is the detective who will crack the case: ‘a white-haired old lady with a gentle, appealing manner.’ Miss Jane Marple has arrived on the scene, and crime literature’s private men’s club of great detectives will never be the same. – GOODREADS


As a kid I have great memories of watching Agatha Christie on tv and loving the way Miss Marple and Poirot solved mysteries. It recently dawned on me that I had never actually read one of her books, so I made it happen. Choosing which book was a task in itself, but I decided to start at the beginning of Miss Marple and work my way from there.

It took a little time for the voices of the characters in my head to match the time and setting. But, using my memories of the tv shows and movies I’ve seen I soon had the accents, fashions and visions down pat. I enjoyed the charming characters and the authenticity of the old fashioned dialogue. It’s something that can only come from Ms Christie’s own life experience of those times.

The vicar is very likable and is very social, constantly moving from one meeting to the next without a break. Mrs Marple plays less of a role than I expected, but in true Marple fashion she is instrumental in finding the vital clue that ultimately reveals the murderer. Keep an eye out for the old style email – hand delivered notes… LOL.

Favourite quote:

“The young people think the old people are fools; but the old people know the young people are fools!” – Agatha Christie

In a nutshell

This is such a cosy mystery written many years ago, in much simpler times. IMO, the real strength of this book is the authenticity of the characters and the signature mystery synonymous with Agatha Christie. She really is a true mystery solver.

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More from Agatha Christie

Miss Marple 1 Miss Marple 2 Miss Marple 3

Miss Marple 4 Miss Marple 5 Miss Marple 6

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.

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