Monday, April 25, 2011

Murder at the Vicarage (1930)

A man no one likes is found dead with a gun shot wound to his head. Threats have been made against him; his wife is now free to marry another and his scatter-brained child can do what she wants with his money. The police must first establish the exact time of death and then determine who has a motive. As new clues are uncovered, no one is above suspicion, not even the clergy! Agatha Christie's "The Murder at the Vicarage" is told by Leonard Clement, a fair-minded vicar, but it is the elderly spinster Miss Marple who, through local gossip and an interest in human nature, solves the crime.

Genre: Crime Fiction
Sub-category: Classic Detective Fiction (Golden Age)

  • Reader can unravel the mystery and solve the puzzle before the murderer is disclosed.
  • Curiosity is aroused and gratified at the end.
  • Novel includes multiple suspects, all of whom have a motive or secret to hide.
  • Red herrings disguise the real events of the murder.
  • Supernatural elements are avoided.
  • Solution does not rely on clues or information unavailable to the reader (as it does in Sherlock Holmes novels).
The following 'cosy mystery' traits also apply:
  • Gentle, no graphic violence, no profanity, no explicit sex.
  • Detective = amateur, usually a female. (Miss Marple)
  • Police force connection through spouse, lover, friend, or family member. (Clement, who shares information with Miss Marple, has access to police knowledge)
  • Murder takes place off-stage, usually bloodless. (gun shot to the head)
  • Setting = country house, small town or village to allow for closed group of suspects where it is believable they would all know each other. (small village of St. Mary Mead)
Murder at the Vicarage is well written and quick to read. Best of all, my intelligence wasn't insulted by its simplicity (as is was with Mortar and Murder). It is recommended that the Miss Marple books are read in sequence because many of the characters are reoccurring throughout the 12 novels.

To find on amazon: The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple Mysteries)


Mostafa said...

Hello :)

This is kinda interesting with a moderate method to write, Excellent.

Keep it up!!

Leslie in Adams Morgan said...

thank you, Mostafa! I will write more of these posts soon!

Evil Pixie said...

Nice. I once attempted to write a murder mystery; however, I made it so complicated that those I let read it ended up giving up about 3/4 way through it. :)

PS. Miss Marple rocks!

Leslie in Adams Morgan said...

send your mystery to me, EP. I will read it!

and, yes, Miss Marple, rocks!

Hariklia said...

Which one should I start with Leslie? What's the title? I've only ever read one A.C. and that was in high school, '10 little niggers' - very un-p.c. title these days!

Leslie in Adams Morgan said...

Start with this one: murder at the vicarage. It's the first other than a short story where Miss Marple was introduced. Ive read miss marple gets nicer as the series continues but i didn't find her unpleasant.