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Murder at the Old Vicarage Hardcover – 1988


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 215 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press; Book Club Edition edition (1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1299556558
  • ISBN-13: 978-1299556553
  • ASIN: B000PAOIQ2
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,309,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read quite a lot of crime fiction written either by British writers or by other nationals who based their story in Britain and Jill McGown clearly is one of the best in her genre - if not the best at the moment. Her characters are people like you and me and the stories are brilliantly written. This book is another masterpiece.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Fletcher VINE VOICE on March 3, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm struggling with this review of what was a really fun book that had loads of my favorite police procedural elements and serves as the introduction to a writer I hadn't previously read, but have seen very well reviewed. So why am I struggling? Because it was a fun book and I enjoyed it, but it is not particularly dynamic. It is actually more like the "Cornwall" books by Janie Bolitho. But I don't want to damn it with faint praise because it was a wonderful character study and frankly, I couldn't read a "Minette Walters-style" book every time - too exhausting. So let me just say that this is a nice, quick fun read and I see nothing here that doesn't make me want to read more McGown books. Ouch! That sounds like faint praise. Let me try again: as much as this is a murder mystery (the murdered is completely unsympathetic so no pathos there), this is a fine character study of the true motivations and desires of people we assume have their lives all figured out and a small meditation on how time and place can drive decisions that should not be so easily influenced. There...that's better.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. Schwartz on June 6, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book because it was an Amazon recommendation. I was pleasantly surprised. It's a pretty good little mystery. The plot keeps you guessing right through. It's also a twist when you have too many self-confessed killers in the classic "closed door" mystery story. Lloyd and Judy are an interesting detective pair. It's intersting to see their personal story unfold along with the plot. I think I may try to read more in this series to see if Ms. McGown continues to create classic little puzzles like this one.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "cajasu@aol.com" on December 31, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have just discovered Jill McGown. Her books are similar to Deborah Crombie'e in that her lead is a Scotland Yard detective with his female Sergeant. I am trying to begin at the beginning and read them all in succession. Excellent procedural and vivid descriptions make this a wonderful series. Character development is very good and thorough. On to the next....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian J. Oneill on December 18, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've dabbled in the more recent 'Lloyd and Hill' (or 'Hill and Lloyd') novels before, but it wasn't til I went back and read this earlier entry that I began to really appreciate the two lead characters. The frustration at this stage of their relationship reminded me of Cynthia Harrod-Eagles' 'Bill Slider and Joanna'.

The story itself was worthwhile, even if the 'Christie' references were just passing comments in the book, which were emphasized in the reviews at the front.

McGown gave both the romantic subplot and the main murder story enough time and space to breathe. For whatever reason, this is more of a problem later in the series, when the supporting characters crowd out the regulars.

The 'guest' characters here all seemed believable, though none of them were too sympathetic or likable.

The downside was that the revelation of the murderer seemed a bit forced and 'tacked on' but it still had an emotional impact.

For those unfamiliar with the series, this would be a good starting point if you can find the earlier books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda Pagliuco VINE VOICE on February 22, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's Christmas Eve at the old English vicarage, and daughter Joanna is back living with her parents, recovering from the last beating delivered by her husband. Graham suddenly appears desperate to reunite with Joanna. Then why does he hit her yet again? The vicar Wheeler and his wife are fit to be tied, yet are obligated to carry on with the church's holiday traditions. But someone takes a fireplace poker to Graham, and Inspector Lloyd and assistant Judy Hill know with certaintly that one of the Wheelers has done it. But all three have iron clad alibis.
Murder at the Old Vicarage is an intricately crafted mystery ala the master of the genre, Agatha Christie, who wrote the famous Murder at the Vicarage. This new novel pays homage to Christie, and is as full of twists and turns and cul de sacs as any English hedge maze. A most intelligent, intriguing, and enjoyable classic mystery story.
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