The Murder at the Vicarage, published in 1930, is the first book to feature amateur sleuth, Miss Jane Marple of St. Mary Mead. Miss Marple is my favorite fictional character. Her hobby is human nature and a lot of what she says about people and drawing parallels that often gives her insight into other people’s behavior is realistic. In a village where there hasn’t been a murder in the last 15 years, Miss Marple along with the vicar try to figure out who killed the unpopular Colonel Protheroe, the churchwarden, found shot to death in the study at the Vicarage.
I found this mystery rather difficult to suss out on my own but a joy to read anyway. For a small village it has a con man paying a visit, an embezzler, a secret love affair and a murderer. The story’s told in first person by the vicar, Leonard Clement. His role as clergy made him privy to gossip or inside knowledge and goings on in the village. Even with the police, he’s able to get privileged information. The vicar as narrator worked well in providing the necessary details and acting as a go between the police and the villagers. (More)