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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

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    326
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    42
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    7
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Performance

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    40
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!!!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great first book but series not for the sensitive

Since this is the first in the series, I want to warn people. There are consistent racist themes, and derogatory language. Not excessive or aggressive, but you'll notice it often throughout the series, across many contexts and characters.

The books where written at a time of social unrest and change so it's hard for me to believe the offensive language and themes are simply reflections of their time. The idea some of it was wrong wasn't entirely unheard of at the time.

I liked the books a lot but after 4 it became hard to ignore, and knowing in later books it would continue to be an issue kind of spoiled some of the fun for me.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Strange Narrative

Richard E Grant is wonderful to listen to, but this is Miss Marple. It doesn’t work. Somewhere Agatha Christie is turning cartwheels in her grave.
I give it high marks for falling asleep to, but he’s hardly Stephanie Cole or June Whitfield. It is unfortunate that the Whitfield performances are abridged.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jb
  • Dallas, TX United States
  • 10-26-15

Meet Miss M

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.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A wickedly good one from the Queen of mystery.

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!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful