Title: The Murder at the Vicarage
Author(s): Agatha Christie
No. of pages: 244
Genre: Murder mystery, Classic
Publication date: October 1930
Date read: February 27th 2018
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.
This is the mystery where we meet Miss Marple for the first time, and this was also my first Miss Marple ever. I have read two of Christie’s novels with Hercule Poirot in the role of the detective, which I really liked! The outcomes of both the books (Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) were very original and the twists nothing like the ones I’m used to. So, I had high hopes for my first Miss Marple.
I loved reading The Murder at the Vicarage! I only have two things that bothered me: the disrespectful remarks about (elderly) women. I mean, I can handle remarks about how stupid and fickle women are – once, twice or three times. But this book was full of it! Yes, okay, Miss Marple proves them all wrong in the end, but that didn’t take away my bothers about the remarks, unfortunately. The other thing that was kind of a let down was the anti climax when the murderer was caught. It was nothing like the perfect plot twists in the two Christies I’ve read before.
To end this review on a positive note: I loved, loved, the setting. The Murder at the Vicarage is set in the small village of St. Mary Mead and it’s the perfect setting for a murder mystery with all its gossipy inhabitants. On the one hand I’d love to live in such a small village (in Britain of course) myself, but on the other hand – I think it’d drive me nuts real fast! To top it off: the book came with a map of the village which made the experience of solving a murder even better!