Mysteries by Agatha Christie are hard to review. Christie is so well known and so revered that it is hard to add anything new. I am on a quest to read one Agatha Christie novel a month this year, and discover what I like and dislike about her novels. I have read only four of her novels (including this one) in the last few years, and I enjoyed three of them. Very encouraging. (The one I did not enjoy was her first published novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.)
It has been so long since I read a Miss Marple mystery that I don't remember which ones I read, how many, or anything about the stories. I was surprised to find that this one was told in first person, and also that there were no further Miss Marple mysteries for another twelve years. A book of short stories was published in 1932, and six of those stories were actually written and published prior to the publication of Murder at the Vicarage.
This is part of a brief description of this book from Robert Barnard, in his book, A Talent to Deceive:
Our first glimpse of St Mary Mead, a hotbed of burglary, impersonation, adultery and ultimately murder. What is it precisely that people find so cosy about such stories?I will be counting this book for the Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge, hosted by Socrates Book Reviews because it fits the definition perfectly. But I agree with Robert Barnard, this book describes the dark side of English village life.
What did I like?
I liked the way the story was told: first person narration by the Vicar. There is a lot of subtle humor. I enjoyed the relationship between the Vicar and his much younger wife. The mystery was interesting. I did guess who did it, but I was never sure until the solution was revealed.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable read for me.
I read this book for the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge, hosted by Mysteries In Paradise. If you are interested in joining in, here are instructions on how to do that.
Also submitted for the Vintage Mystery Challenge (Scene of the Crime).