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The Murder at the Vicarage
on 18 February 2013
This first Miss Marple mystery is deceptively gentle, with much of the story narrated by the mild mannered vicar. When he returns to the vicarage to find the body of Colonel Protheroe shot in his study, the vicar becomes involved in the murder investigation, aided by his neighbour Miss Marple. There is a wonderful list of suspects, motives and false trails along the way, until Jane Marple untangles the threads and makes everything clear.
Not only is this a masterfully plotted story, but it introduces us to St Mary Mead and a cast of characters who will become familiar friends in later books. There are surly housemaids, ne'er do well poachers, gossipy old ladies and crotchety old men in abundance. As Miss Marple is keen to point out, you can see all of life quite well in a small village and nobody understands the undercurrents of life quite like she does. Wonderful fun, well written and utterly delightful, if you have never tried this series, this first book is a great place to start.