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The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple Mysteries) Paperback – April 12, 2011
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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“Agatha Christie taught me two things: that plotting mysteries was an art, and that a woman detective could be as strong a character as a male detective.” (Charles Todd, New York Times bestselling author of the Ian Rutledge mysteries and Bess Crawford mysteries)
“When she really hits her stride, as she does here, Agatha Christie is hard to surpass.” (Saturday Review of Literature)
From the Back Cover
The first Miss Marple mystery, one which tests all her powers of observation and deduction.
“Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,”declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, “would be doing the world at large a favor!”
It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come back and haunt the clergyman just a few hours later—when the Colonel is found shot dead in the clergyman’s study. But as Miss Marple soon discovers, the whole village seems to have had a motive to kill Colonel Protheroe.
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The story is told from the perspective of the town Vicar, at whose home the murder took place. Elderly spinster Jane Marple lives next door to the vicarage. At first, Miss Marple is not around very much but as the case progresses, she pops up more and more. She really is mostly a background character, which surprised me. I'm interested to read more books to see if that's how they all are.
Anyway, this was a great mystery and I can't wait to read more Marple!
I read this book on Kindle while simultaneously listening to the work on audiobook. The narrator was Richard E. Grant. Mr. Grant was excellent. Mr. Grant was able to convey the wry humor that I certainly believe Agatha Christie wishes to convey.
I have been reading numerous modern detective stories. In the event that it matters, and it may not in this case, I am also a retired homicide detective. This story by Agatha Christie seems to depend more on clever twists and withheld bits of information. Early on I came up with a hypothesis about the homicide itself, but not the identity of the killer, and I was completely wrong, even on how the homicide occurred. There is a lack of scientific description of sounds which made it impossible for me to examine my own hypothesis.
I had no idea who actually did it, not even a "prime suspect". There are many personalities involved in the story. I had trouble keeping track of everyone and probably need to read the story again if I really want to fully understand it. There are also side stories that constantly throws one off the scent. I believe these are referred to as "red herrings". Agatha Christie made liberal use of red herrings in this novel. Between all the different personalities and all of the red herrings, when the inevitable solution finally occurred, I was neither surprised or not surprised.
I read a story awhile back with my book club and a lady there said she felt like she needed a "scorecard" to keep up with all the characters in that book. I sort of felt that way in this story. I may reread it, but not right now...
In summary, I really like this novel and plan on reading more Agatha Christie novels. Thank You.
Agatha Christie will always be one of the finest mystery novels that we have the pleasure of reading. I especially like her books for their lack of profanity, sexual exploits, and gruesome scenes. Mrs. Christie reminds us that you don't have to resort to any of those things to have a book that keeps you up all night!!!
I was in middle/junior high school when I first read all of her novels and fell in love with her style of writing. Now almost 30 years later, a grown lady, she is still one of my top 5 favorite authors-- and an author that I would not hesitate giving to a 12-13 year old child if they enjoyed mysteries. Unfortunately, so many of the current fiction right now I am unable to say the same about because of the profanity or inappropriate sexually explicit scenes or gruesome violence.
I cannot highly recommend any Agatha Christie novel highly enough!!!