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.
©1930 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
Avid listener on my daily commute!
I grew up reading only the Agatha Christie mysteries featuring my favorite detective, Hercule Poirot, but my husband, keen on Miss Marple from his early youth, urged me to give that deceptively benign-looking old lady a try. So I started with this, allegedly the first installment in the series. While I did enjoy listening, I was not bowled over. The story is just so-so; there's some humor to lighten the mood, but overall this is just the typical cast of villagers (and almost too many of them for a casual listener to keep track of), many benign-seeming but most of them acting suspiciously in one way or another, and lots of clues and red herrings but not a lot of what could be called real action. The killer, it turns out, is just who you'd have suspected if you'd been the detective. Also: Maybe because Christie didn't know at the time she wrote Vicarage that she was going to make Miss Marple a recurring character, Miss Marple actually plays a fairly small part in the story.
But the narrator, Richard E. Grant (who happens to play the shrewd butler in that fabulous Robert Altman/Julian Fellowes period mystery film Gosford Park), is out-of-this world fantastic. So that's what elevates the whole experience from three stars to four. He's one of those rare narrators who can do a distinct voice for each character and have them all sound great, entertaining, and intelligible, and without ever mixing them up. I sure will be looking for more titles narrated by him!
I would certainly listen to it again. The story was brilliant and had me second guessing everything I thought. The clues were all there, but I missed them. I enjoyed trying to piece them together, and the brilliant humor that Christie manages to weave into her books.
I really loved the vicar and his wife both! They were great characters and had lots of commentary and humor. All of the characters,m however, were wonderful.
Yes! I would have to say that this was just as brilliant as the first one to which I listened, "The Moving Finger". He has a wonderful range in his characters and, once again he has proven that he understands Christie's style of writing. It is often hard to fall in love with a book when you aren't reading it yourself, but Mr. Grant makes this possible by his wonderful interpretation.
"Running a church can be murder"
A definite must-read!!!
I would not buy another audiobook with Richard Grant as the narrator. He adores putting emphasis on completely innocuous words and phrases and making things sound sinister at the wrong moment. I'm buying the book with another narrator.
So nice to go back to a time when Britain was a cozy spot where everyone knew each other and intelligent Miss Marple could figure out dreadful murders.
Somehow in my teenage Agatha Christie binge, I missed the introduction of Miss Marple. Not a bad thing, because it was a lovely treat to uncover now. Seeing how this iconic character snuck on the scene was so much fun. And if you love those English countryside mysteries, this has got everything: busybody neighbors, the cockeyed caste system, red herring and a murder that doesn't get in the way of the fun (I know, tsk, tsk. But it's true.)
Love Richard E. Grant's reading. The different characterizations help you keep track of the players, and keep things lively.
All the requisite plot twists,plenty of red herrings and a good chuckle or two.
I especially liked the performance. The narrator did a terrific job of changing characters with different focal intonation. Well done!
Thankfully this was not my first experience with Agatha Christie. My first was actually The Body in the Library, which was SO good, it made me want to get into the Miss Marple series. Though the performance by Richard E Grant was extremely well done, I found the story slow moving, uneventful, and really difficult to finish. I don't really enjoy Miss Marple as a character, but I love mysteries and Agatha Christie is one of the best to write them. I plan on listening to one more at least before giving up. I would say that if you start with this book as your first taste of Miss Marple or Agatha Christie and find it uneventful, give both another shot. Im holding on to hope that they just keep getting better, which is why The Body in the Library was so good. Perhaps Miss Marple will not be for me, but there are so many other books Agatha Christie has written I'm not too worried. In sum, not the worst book, but certainly not the most exciting. Decent twist in the end with a few unexpected nuggets, but for me it was a tad painful getting there.
I've listened to this one several times now. Very fun story with a fun farewell at the end. Looking forward to more in this series. can't decide if I like these or Poirot better.
The performance is well done and captures the vicar's perspective very well.
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