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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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Christie's Story+Grant's Performance = Great Book!

Would you listen to The Murder at the Vicarage again? Why?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

Have you listened to any of Richard E. Grant’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

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.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Running a church can be murder"

Any additional comments?

A definite must-read!!!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Narrator Ruins It

Would you try another book from Agatha Christie and/or Richard E. Grant?

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.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

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A Nice Introduction to the Series

This is my first Agatha Christie novel. And I think it's better to have started with the Ms. Marple series than Hercules Poirot. As she's not front and center or the teller of this story.

Richard E. Grant is so diverse! He gives unique choices to so many characters (practically a whole village).
However, when the characters are being sombre, his voice gets gravely and at some points I could not distinquish which man was speaking during the conversations between all male participants. =S
It would be easier at that point to read the book, but I hesitate as to whether the story would become more dull without the accents and expressions (especially with the old English).

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Bless Miss Marple

I’ve read quite a lot of Poirot, but only one of Miss Marple’s before this one, but I really loved it! It reminded me of The Mysterious Affair at Styles in more ways than one. The vicar and his wife are CUTE and I don’t care what ANYBODY says. I was skeptical of Richard Grant but he did beautifully. A very good introduction to an excellent detective!

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A little too long

For the mystery of this complexity, it ran about 2 hours too long. But because this is an early Agatha Christie, so she can be forgiven.

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Lovely listen

Am listening to books while on long drives. what a delightful way to travel. I highly encourage it for long flights also.

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Fun story

This is a really fun story, but make sure you get the right version! Richard E. Grant does a good job narrating, but before getting this version I bought a two for one version (Murder at the Vicarage/The Mysterious Affair at Styles) which had a horrendous narrator! She didn't ever pause or change her inflection when going from one character to the next or back to the general narrator! So make sure you buy the version with Richard E. Grant narrating because he does a fantastic job.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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AMAZING NARRATION; So-So Mystery

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!

Grade: B.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Bland Narrator

What disappointed you about The Murder at the Vicarage?

The narrator drones

Would you recommend The Murder at the Vicarage to your friends? Why or why not?

No, the narrator isn't right

Would you be willing to try another one of Richard E. Grant’s performances?

No

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Agatha Christie is a fantastic writer, and the narrator is enthusiastic, just poorly chosen

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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An intriguing time in prewar England.

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.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful