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The Murder At the Vicarage
By Agatha Christie

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The Murder At the Vicarage

The Murder at the Vicarage
A Miss Marple Mystery
By Agatha Christie
Ulverscroft Large Print, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-44480-238-2
Genre: Crime, Mystery

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - July 30, 2010

The parson of the St. Mary Mead Parish church made a most unusual statement one day while at luncheon, "...that anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe would be doing the world at large a service." Someone, apparently, took the parson at his word, for a short time later, Colonel Protheroe was murdered. His body was found in the parson's study, by the Reverend Leonard Clements, himself. Inspector Slack is called in to investigate the murder. He soon finds that in addition to the parson, almost everyone, it seems, in the village had a grievance against Colonel Protheroe. And those few who are not outright suspects are anything but displeased about his death and are reluctant to give evidence that might help point out the culprit. A plethora of false confessions and a lack of witnesses to the murder complicate the investigation. Left on his own, Inspector Slack might never have solved this insidious crime. His investigation quickly goes stale and he finds himself making very little progress. Luckily for Slack, Miss Marple steps in to help and puts her considerable skills to the task of helping to clear the parson's name and to discover the identity of the real killer.

The Murder at the Vicarage is the first novel that Agatha Christie wrote that featured the elderly spinster, Miss Marple, as the principle sleuth. Unlike many of her other books, this one is narrated by the parson, giving the reader unique insights into Miss Marple's investigative techniques and providing considerable information about Miss Marple's personal history and the going ons in St. Mary Mead.

This is a fine story, filled with the requisite red herrings, multiple suspects, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end about the identity of the murderer and his motivation to kill the universally despised Colonel Protheroe. Miss Marple is in her element and so comfortably at home in St. Mary Mead that you truly get a feel for the village and the many alliances that the residents have formed between each other. It also shows how Miss Marple's intimate knowledge of her neighbors and her keen observational skills are essential when it comes to solving this mystery.

The Murder at the Vicarage is a fantastic Miss Marple mystery and a great introduction to a character that many consider one of Christie's most beloved characters. It is an all-round great cozy and a must for both fans of Miss Marple and lovers of cozy mysteries.

The Murder at the Vicarage can be purchased directly from Ulverscroft.

Click Here for a complete list of all the books written by Agatha Christie.

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