February 1, 2022: So I started this last night and fell asleep on it. Probably due to the sugar high I had (I ate a whole box of girl scout cookies, I regret nothing. I just finished this up today since I have been waiting on my boss to finally get back to me on something I sent him to review last week.
I honestly will say that this one goes back to being a 4 star read for me instead of the initial 5 stars I gave it back in 2018. The only reason why it’s more of a 4 star read for me is that I just don’t like this version of Miss Marple at all. The later Miss Marple books rounds out the characters and she’s not a fussy or nosy person, she’s just a damn good detective. I will always be sad that Christie didn’t have as many Marple books as she did Poirot.
Most of the Marple books are always told via another person’s point of view and she just kind of pops in there. I wish that we had someone similar to Hastings for these books so we can get more insight into Miss Marple in these earlier books.
Original review: The first Miss Marple mystery that showcases a different Miss Marple than the one I am used to. This one seems nosy and at times to have ill meanings/feelings. However, in the end we get to see our first glimpse of Nemesis in action with her wanting the person or persons responsible for the murder of Colonel Protheroe brought to justice.
The narrator in “Murder at the Vicarage” is the vicar of St. Mary’s Mead, Leonard Clement. Leonard ends up admiring Miss Marple by the end of this book, but initially he thought that she and many other in his flock were gossiping and mean spirited. It doesn’t help that he married someone who sounds decades younger than him who seems to have little interest in his work or with the village.
St. Mary’s Mead villagers are concerned after one of the most despised men that livest there, Colonel Lucius Protheroe is murdered. When the Colonel is found dead in the Vicar’s study, everyone quickly starts to suspect the other. Things get even more confusing when two separate people confess to the murder.
When Leonard starts his own investigations he keeps running into one of the residents, Miss Jane Marple. Slowly but surely we work through the village and wonder which one of them killed the Colonel. Pretty much everyone is a suspect at one point and some even wonder if the vicar could have done it.
What I loved about this book was that the only one who figured out what was going on was Miss Marple. A lot of people had ideas and there are a lot of red herrings to throw things off, but the final solution was quite clever. I also loved that we get introduced to characters we are going to see again in future Miss Marple books such as the vicar and his wife. And we will hear about them in some of the later books. I also got a kick out my book showing the layout of the vicar’s study and home so you star working through how someone was able to enter and exit without being seen.
You should probably read “Thirteen Problems” before this one if you want to read about Miss Marple since some of the events take place prior to the events in this one.