Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Murder at the Vicarage

Sunday, October 23, 2022

The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) Agatha Christie (Miss Marple)

The Murder at the VicarageThis is the first Miss Marple novel.

I’d somehow forgotten that it’s told from the point of view of the vicar, and Miss Marple is only a secondary character–even if she does solve the mystery.

Miss Marple is a white-haired old lady with a gentle, appealing manner – Miss Wetherby is a mixture of vinegar and gush. Of the two Miss Marple is much the more dangerous.

The vicar really is lovely.

‘I was thinking,’ I said, ‘that when my time comes, I should be sorry if the only plea I had to offer was that of justice. Because it might mean that only justice would be meted out to me…’

I do love reading about English life in the time between the wars.

Village opinion is divided as to whether she is no better than she should be, or else a young woman of iron virtue who purposes to become Mrs Stone at an early opportunity.

‘The poor man will be caught before he knows where he is. He’s as innocent as a babe unborn, you can see that.’

Curious what turns of phrase we employ. None of the ladies present would have dreamed of alluding to an actual baby till it was safely in the cradle, visible to all.

‘Is he really ill?’

‘There’s nothing radically wrong with him. You know, of course, that he’s had Encephalitis Lethargica, sleepy sickness, as it’s commonly called?’

‘No,’ I said, very much surprised, ‘I didn’t know anything of the kind. He never told me anything about it. When did he have it?’

‘About a year ago. He recovered all right – as far as one ever recovers. It’s a strange disease – has a queer moral effect. The whole character may change after it.’

Reminder that the after affects of the 1919 Influenza were long lasting.

Publisher: William Morrow

Rating: 7.5/10


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