Friday, February 12, 2021

2021 - #21 - The Murder at the Vicarage; Agatha Christie



TITLE/AUTHOR:   The Murder at the Vicarage; Agatha Christie

PUBLISHER / YEAR PUBLISHED1930 (2011 - Harper Collins Ed)

GENREFiction Vintage Mystery

FORMAT:  PP/LENGTH: 256 pp.

SOURCE: Library

SETTING(s): England - Small village of St. Mary Mead

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  This was the first book in the Miss Marple mystery series, just who killed Colonel Protheroe?


BRIEF REVIEW: When I first read the intro paragraph to this book sometime back, I figured I'd be in for a fun ride, I liked the humor here:

"It is difficult to know quite where to begin this story, but I have fixed my choice on a certain Wednesday at luncheon at the Vicarage.  The conversation, though in the main irrelevant to the matter in hand, yet contained one or two suggestive incidents which influenced later developments.

I had just finished carving some boiled beef (remarkably tough by the way) and on resuming my seat I remarked, in a spirit most unbecoming to my cloth, that anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe would be doing the world at large  a service."

Locals are shocked by the murder of Colonel Protheroe, a local magistrate whose body is found is the study of the Vicar.  The Colonel had many enemies and, he had a pretty, younger, second wife as well.  

The Vicar, Rev. Len Clement, narrates the story.  He is a fun, observant and a gentle soul and smart too (well maybe, he did marry wife Griselda after just knowing her for 24 hours.)  She's not the type of woman you would expect to be a vicar's wife.  When Miss Marple does eventually enter the picture,  she's not what I expected: she a nosy, next door neighbor of the vicarage, a spinster with binoculars in tow, she's quite clever in her process.  While I did like the humor in this mystery, I wished I liked it more .  There were at least seven potential suspects and the story seemed like an unlikely mess.  It got somewhat confusing as well with all the characters and everyone telling half-truths.

Unfortunately, bottom line, I think I'm just not an Agatha Christie fan. I've tried a few of her books over the years and they just don't seem to work well for me. While I liked the narrator, I just struggled with this one and set it aside several times to pick up other books.

Are you an Agatha Christie fan?


RATING: 3/5 stars

39 comments:

  1. I need to get on this. It's a sad state of affair that I've never read a book by her. Travesty, I tell you!

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  2. I've only read one book by Christie (Murder on the Orient Express) and while I enjoyed it, I didn't rush out to read any more.

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    1. We saw the movie at the theatre but other than the gorgeous scenery, the movie was just okay.

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  3. I am a Christie fan and I remember reading this one so many years ago. I was always more a fan of the Poirot stories than those featuring Miss Marple.

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    1. I'm glad you've had success with Christie Dorothy. I've read one Poirot - The Affair at Styles. It was ok for me.

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  4. We were never really fans of her books either but some of the resulting movies were okay.

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    1. Yes, people either seem to love her or not. We only saw Murder on the Orient Express but, we were not too impressed in the movie except for the scenery.

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  5. Oh, I feel so relieved. I too have read a few books by this author and except for one, I was severely underwhelmed. She has so many devoted fans that I usually am afraid to give my opinion. I am currently reading Laura Lippman's first book, Baltimore Blues. I had loved her book Sunburn from a couple years ago. It has a few debut novel problems by her budding PI, Tess Monaghan is just so my kind of female!

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    1. That makes me feel better Judy:) As I mentioned to Sam, I plan to try one more of hers: "The ABC Murders" as it was considered one of the Eight Perfect Murders in a book by the same name. It is Book #13 in her Hercule Poirot series.

      I like Laura Lippman's Sunburn as well but then I tried to read Lady in the Lake and it was a DNF so...

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  6. I STILL have not read Agatha Christie, and that seems remarkable to me based on how many mysteries I've read over my lifetime. What do you think? As a sample of her work, would I get the best feel by reading a standalone or a series book?

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    1. Sam, this one was the "first in the series", she definitely isn't for "every" mystery lover. I plan to try one more of hers: "The ABC Murders" as it was considered one of the Eight Perfect Murders in a book by the same name. It is Book #13 in her Hercule Piorot series.

      http://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/2020/05/eight-perfect-murders-peter-swanson.html

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    2. Thanks for the link. I'm starting to think that the reason I haven't read her is that I've been exposed to several movies made from her novels already - and can't remember really enjoying a single one of them. Your reaction to her work kind of makes me think that she's just not for me, but I still do want to satisfy my curiosity.

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  7. I’m a Christie fan, I’ve read the majority of Marple and Poirot. There are so many good books.

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    1. Heather, I'm glad you enjoy her books. I always feel badly but, hey not every kind of book works for every reader.

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  8. I've been wanting to read this series.

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    1. Hope you will like it, many libraries seem to have quite a few on audio as well.

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  9. I quite enjoy the occasional Christie but would not call myself a fan as such. I think I'm more into the TV series to be honest, Poirot and Miss Marple.

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    1. I haven't seen the series either Cath. I should check that out.

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  10. I haven't read an Agatha Christie in decades and wonder how I would feel about them now. They must feel really dated at this point.

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    1. It's something about the writing style that just doesn't work for me.

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  11. I'm a massive Christie fan but she's not for everyone. I will say that I don't think this is one of her best ones. I think her best books were written in the 40s and early 50s and I adore her short stories.

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    1. I bought a short story collection in December and need to try it.

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  12. I love Agatha Christie reads. This is my comfort read.

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    1. I am happy she works well for you Mystica. Something about the writing and flow isn't to my liking.

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  13. I am an Agatha Christies fan, but I do like her Hercule Poirot mysteries better than her Jane Marple ones. And I've loved some of her standalones. :)

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  14. I don't think I've read a Miss Marple mystery. I like most of the Agatha books I've read, but I haven't read a lot to date. I've started reading her books in order, which should be interesting.

    There really are so many good books out, great mystery series, it's really not worth spending your time with an author that just doesn't make you sing!

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    1. I agree Jane. I guess I just prefer modern day mysteries or psych thrillers these days.

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  15. I usually feel disappointed that Agatha Christie's books don't have a lot of depth to them but I do enjoy the occasional foray into some of them. It's mostly for the mysteries and not much else.

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    1. I haven't given up yet and want to try the ABC Murders as well as some short stories.

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  16. Yes, I really am a big fan. I just found my post on this book, if you want to read it. https://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2010/09/murder-at-vicarage-by-agatha-christie.html

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    1. Nan, that was a great review and it almost make me want to try this one again --- well, almost.

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  17. I enjoyed And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express well enough, but have been underwhelmed with the couple of others I've tried. Guess I'm not a bug Agatha Christie fan either.

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    1. I would why some love her style and others of us are just lukewarm?

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  18. I've tried Agatha Christie and struggled. I keep meaning to try again though.

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    1. I know Greg, I'm not ready to give up either - I feel like I must be missing something?

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  19. I haven't read many Agatha Christie books but the few I have, I've enjoyed. Maybe not my favorite mystery author but would definitely try more.

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    1. Iliana, yes, I plan to try a few more - maybe short stories will be easier for me?

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