Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

Vintage Mystery Challenge - Location

The Vicarage
St Mary Mead
St Mary Mead is a fictional small, quaint English village somewhere about twenty-five miles south-west of London. At the end of a lane that branches off the one road passing through the village lies the vicarage, home to the Reverend Leonard Clement and his wife, Griselda. On the other side of the lane are three cottages, all occupied by spinsters whose life purpose revolves around knowing everything that is going on and gossiping about it. The cottage opposite the vicarage is called Danemead , the occupant, Miss Jane Marple.

The most disliked person in the village is Colonel Protheroe. Even the vicar has been heard to say the world would be better off without him. But nobody expected that the Colonel would be found shot dead while sitting at the desk in the vicar's study! Being so unpopular there are numerous suspects , many of whom have hidden secrets which could have been motivation for the crime. Reverend Clement decides to do a little sleuthing on his own and at first is not at all appreciative of Miss Marple's observations. He thinks she's a busybody and dangerous beneath her 'gentle and appealing manner'. But as his investigations progress he begins to rely on her sharp instincts and eagle eye....
"Miss Marple always sees everything. Gardening is as good as a smoke screen, and the habit of observing birds through powerful glasses can always be turned to account."
.......until by the time the murder mystery has been solved he has come to the conclusion that " Really, Miss Marple is rather a dear."

First published in 1930 The Murder at the Vicarage was the first full length novel that featured Miss Marple. It's entertaining reading with the village dynamics and the introduction to what will become very familiar characters adding as much to the story as the mystery. A twist with a difference threw me right off the scent although it didn't fool Miss Marple.

What's In A Name Challenge 5 - a type of house.


  1. When I was a teenager and first reading Christie's books, I didn't really appreciate Miss Marple. I have to admit that I've come to love her and St Mary Mead.

    1. She's probably not the sort of character who appeals to teenagers - I'm very fond of her and love the stories set in St Mary Mead.