Series: Miss Marple #1
Publisher: Collins Crime Club
Released: October 1, 1930
Murder at the Vicarage marks the debut of Agatha Christie’s unflappable and much beloved female detective, Miss Jane Marple. With her gift for sniffing out the malevolent side of human nature, Miss Marple is led on her first case to a crime scene at the local vicarage. Colonel Protheroe, the magistrate whom everyone in town hates, has been shot through the head. No one heard the shot. There are no leads. Yet, everyone surrounding the vicarage seems to have a reason to want the Colonel dead. It is a race against the clock as Miss Marple sets out on the twisted trail of the mysterious killer without so much as a bit of help from the local police.
Murder at the Vicarage is about, and I hope this is not too much of a spoiler: a murder that takes place in a vicarage. The vicarage is situated in a village which also happens to be the home of a Miss Marple, and this is the first book in which she makes an appearance.
Overall, this book didn’t quite reach the bar set by The Seven Dials Mystery but it is none the less enjoyable. The story is fun, and interesting enough, but in my opinion the mystery crossed the fine line from being justifiably elaborate, to being a bit messy. Fortunately the story continues, more or less, in the fun style set out by Seven Dials, making it an entertaining read none the less. While this isn’t a book to pick up for a murder mystery, it is worth picking up for the “glances into human nature and interaction” element of it. And there is a bit of a mystery to go with it.