The Murder at the Vicarage

By: Agatha Christie

Leonard Clement is the Vicar of a small parish in a sparsely populated village. One thing that always holds true for villages is that everyone always has their nose in someone else’s business. Miss Marple is the most successful of the resident snoops, however, the gossip of her life is never as exciting as a murder. Everyone seems to want a good murder, and there is one resident in particular that people have wished dead, Colonel Protheroe.

That wish will, unfortunately, come true, but the details are so mixed up that it would be a wonder if the culprit can be found at all.

I made the decision after I read Murder on the Orient Express that I would commit myself to read at least another couple of Agatha Christie books just to see what they were like. I picked up this copy by chance after perusing the isles of my local HPB, and said “What the hell? Sounds like fun.” This book was anything but fun. It was straight-up dull and made me fall asleep at one point.

All-in-all, it wasn’t….horrible. It just wasn’t good. I think part of my feeling towards this book may be due to the fact that Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries are so much tamer and cozy that other books I read. Take Stephen King who you likely know I’ve read a lot of. He’s twisted as fuck. Agatha Christie writes like the old aunt you want to have tea and biscuits with. Bless her.

I guess what I’m getting at is that I like a little more excitement with my fictional murders. I also don’t like the Sherlock Holmes style of taking a bunch of random details and trying to arrange them in such a way that the answer should have been “obvious” from the beginning. The logic used to reach some conclusions either is dubious or hasn’t aged well. For example, the assertion that a woman wouldn’t use a gun and would favor poison instead is so archaic as to be laughable. I don’t think anyone in 2019 believes that anymore, and if they do, they need to get their asses out of the 1800s.

I also expected the novel to be from the perspective of Miss Marple since it’s a book in her series. For Hercule Poirot’s books, we usually get his perspective. Instead, we get the perspective of the Vicar, which I guess was supposed to keep up from getting the answer to the mystery right away since Miss Marple had pretty much already solved the mystery, more or less.

I don’t intend to ever read this story again, but I will still read at least one more Agatha Christie novel before I decide to throw in the towel. I’d never heard of The Murder at the Vicarage, which means it likely wasn’t popular. They can’t all be winners.

Right, Stephen King?

Overall rating: 2

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