Genre: Mystery/Cozy Mystery/Crime/Classic
Publication Date: October 1930
Story Perspective: First-Person
Themes: Deception, Working Together, Cleverness
There has been a murder at the vicarage, and poor Mr. Clement is in the middle of all of it. After all, the vicarage is where he lives.
After a series of analyzing, questioning, and investigating, who is to solve the murder mystery? If you guessed, Miss Jane Marple, then you would be correct!
Though I am a bit late on this one, I decided to pick up Murder at the Vicarage because of the Agatha Christie Readathon that James @ThisIsMyTruthNow hosted last month. Due to circumstances, I wasn’t able to complete the read/review during the last week of the readathon, but decided to finish it anyway since I was close to the end.
This was a hard read for me to fully appreciate. As I have mentioned in my other Agatha Christie’s book reviews, the author doesn’t seem rely heavily on character development. This one was no exception. We do get to know the vicar, Mr. Clement, the most, but not enough to care too much about. I also found it odd that though the series is named after Miss Marple, we don’t really get to spend much time with her until the end. As she pops in and out of the book giving her unclear thoughts, I found her and this writing choice frustrating. What is the point in naming a series after a character who isn’t present in most of the book? Not only was there no well-developed characters, I didn’t find any of the relationships between people compelling.
The plot was also somewhat choppy. Toward the beginning, I felt excited to read about the murder and wanted to know the motive behind it. However, around the middle and most of the end, I found myself caring less and less about the outcome. As I reached the last few chapters, I was itching to just finish. As a random side note, the multiple negative comments toward women was also off-putting. I believe only one character had these negative views, but it was mentioned often enough that it bothered me.
After reading four of Agatha Christie’s books, I don’t know if I will continue reading her works. It doesn’t seem like she took precedence in developing her characters. This writing style could be of the time, but it is a turn-off for me as I would like to get to know characters when I read. If I don’t feel connected and/or can’t understand the characters, then it is challenging for me to care about them.
Overall, I found the plot of Murder at the Vicarage to be somewhat interesting, but my interest wasn’t sustained throughout and the characters weren’t developed well enough for me to care about them.
For those who enjoy cozy mysteries and other Agatha Christie’s works, perhaps this book is for you.
Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
20 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!