Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Murder at the Vicarage” as Want to Read:
The Murder at the Vicarage
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple #1)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  98,021 Ratings  ·  2,113 Reviews
A new tie-in edition of Agatha Christie's bestseller, to coincide with the broadcast of the new movie on ITV. 'Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe, ' declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, 'would be doing the world at large a service! 'It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come back and haunt the cler ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 3rd 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (first published October 1930)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Murder at the Vicarage, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Simone Frost It's a question of alibis. It is, of course, important to know the real time a crime is committed at. The Vicar keeps his clock running late so that…moreIt's a question of alibis. It is, of course, important to know the real time a crime is committed at. The Vicar keeps his clock running late so that he, in turn, is able to be on time for his appointments. The time shown when the clock broke down is assumed to be the time of the murder.

It is rather important (for the police) to be aware of the clock running ahead because
--> alibis need to be obtained for the correct time

if the clock was set to show this specific time --> did the perpetrator know that the clock was always set ahead and take that into account or not? (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 10, 2017 Brina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dame Agatha Christie is the queen of mystery writers who all modern aspirants strive to emulate. I enjoy reading her cases featuring detective Hercule Poirot because he knows the outcome well before the reader. Christie's cases are multilayered and keep unraveling until a book's conclusion. Enjoying these thought provoking cases, I decided to introduce myself to her other famous sleuth, Miss Jane Marple. There is no better place to start than Murder at the Vicarage, the book that introduced Miss ...more
Jason Koivu
Mar 02, 2012 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Murder most proper.

Agatha Christie's Murder at the Vicarage was my first Miss Marple. Now that I've had her I can say with the experience of knowledge, she ain't half bad! Still, I'm not sure I'd want to be caught by my more macho, football playing friends reading a tea cozy mystery. The characters are dapper dandies and old teetotaler biddies. The high manners and speech abound, aside from that of the occasional parlor maid, flatfoot, or old age pensioner. Beyond primal embarrassment, this sor
Who doesn't know the famous Miss Marple and her investigation talents? When it comes to well-known detectives in classic literature, along with Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot she will belong to those who are mentioned first. I can almost imagine the gossipy, annoying and very inquisitive lady snooping around the village, and it's easy to understand why a smart character like her earned such a recognition beneath crime and mystery novels. "Murder at the Vicarage" is called the first book in t ...more
Dec 20, 2016 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 introd

"Ubistvo u parohijskom dvoru" je prva knjiga još jednog veoma popularnog serijala Agate Kristi o detektivu amateru - gospođici Marpl. Lično, više mi prijaju dogodovštine gospođice Marpl od avantura mesje Poaroa. Daleko od toga da mi se ne sviđa šarmantni Poaro, ali gospođica Marpl me je kupila nekako "na prvu loptu".
Gospođica Marpl je jedna sredovečna, radoznala dama koja me u mnogo čemu podseća na jednu moju komšinicu, a pre svega po tome što uvek zna šta se dešava "u tuđem dvorištu". Međutim,
Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕
I pondered (and pondered!) my rating but have decided to go enjoyment and how good this was for the first in a series - The Divine Christie had me completely fooled!

There are faults - too many characters (some very similar) and the characterisation of Miss M is very uneven - she is a right old bat at the start, but by the halfway point she is the amateur sleuth I love. The trademark fluffiness hides great powers of observation and deduction.

Like The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4) by Agatha Christie there is a lot more humour in this novel than mo
Araz Goran

أجاثا كريستي ~ جريمة في مقر الكاهن

القضية الأولى ورحلة البداية لـ مس " ماربل "

لا أستطيع القول سوى أنها أجمل ما قرأت لأجاثا، رواية عجيبة مدهشة أذهلتني حقيقة لم أستطع أن أبعدها عن تفكيري، لقد شغلتني هذه الرواية خلال ثلاثة أيام ، فكرت فيها بجهد وحاولت الوصول الى القاتل وملابسات الجريمة ..

وكانت النتيجة أني توصلت للقاتل والحمدلله ^_^ وللعلم هذه هي المرة الأولى التي أصل فيها إلى القاتل فيما يتعلق بروايات أجاثا.. كنت مقتنعاً منذ البداية وبشكل شبه مؤكد بهوية القاتل.. الأمر لم يكن سهلاً طبعاً ولكن ينبغي أ
Jul 22, 2016 Wilma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love British detectives!! Alhoewel gedateerd...ik heb genoten van de typische Engelse sfeer in deze detective van Agatha Christie met natuurlijk Miss Marple...lekker kneuterig, ongecompliceerd!!
Feb 01, 2014 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Agatha Christie could have called this book a comedy as easily as she called it a mystery. She is so funny! This book had me chuckling from beginning to end.

Our protagonist, the Vicar, is married to a woman half his age and is always a little suspicious that she may be looking at other men. He's the long-suffering clergyman of the town - all the little old ladies come to him with their troubles and gossip - including the incredibly sharp Jane Marple.

Nothing even happens in the sleepy little town
What a marvellous book, I had forgotten how enjoyable it is to read Agatha Christie's books. I read this many years ago but only remembered the Joan Hickson TV adaptation, and even then I didn't guess who did it prior to the denouement. Every time Miss Marple is mentioned I just see Joan Hickson (not Geraldine McEwan, nor Angela Lansbury, nor Margaret Rutherford, nor Julia McKenzie), always Joan Hickson, I can see her hesitating and saying "oh well" in a self deprecating manner as she does in th ...more
May 02, 2016 Cherie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
My admiration for Agatha Christie grows with each new book I read. I loved this interesting mystery and my introduction to the one and only, Miss Marple. I enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek humor and language from another time and place, with so many new words and phrases to look up. The investigation for the murderer progressed rather slowly, but I was constantly marking pages to keep new facts in mind. I liked the Vicar and his family and hope to meet them again someday.
Bark's Book Nonsense
I'm giving it a 3 because I didn't hate it and I didn't love it and because I can.

I’ve never read an Agatha Christie novel.

There, it has been said.

I received this audio free from the SYNC summer reading program last year. Apparently it’s the first book in a series. Yay SYNC. I usually pick up series books mid-series and only manage to aggravate myself and anyone unfortunate enough to be reading my reviews.

In the beginning, I very much enjoyed it despite the male narrator and his often grating/c
Bill  Kerwin

The first Miss Marple mystery. The usual red herrings and mechanical Christie plot. This early Miss Marple is more acerbic and less endearing.
Jan 19, 2017 BrokenTune rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
‘Nobody knows a thing about it except you, Padre.’ ‘My dear young man, you underestimate the detective instinct of village life. In St Mary Mead everyone knows your most intimate affairs. There is no detective in England equal to a spinster lady of uncertain age with plenty of time on her hands.’

The Murder at the Vicarage was the first Christie I have ever read, and although this was a long time ago, my recent re-read of this book still held the same enchantment as my first encounter with the b
This was Christie's 10th novel overall but the first to introduce the character of Miss Marple. She was a secondary character to the Vicar, and rightly so because the murder occurred in his study, but she ultimately does solve the mystery of "who done it". An entertaining and fun read but not considered one of her better novels.
Nov 24, 2008 Phayvanh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Phayvanh by: library book sale
After reading a couple Miss Marple mysteries, and suffering all those hints as to her background, I decided the first introduction to the lady would be most appropriate.

But this book doesn't offer much more than any of the other stories, to Miss Marple's backstory. The genius of this novel is our narrator, the Vicar of St. Mary Mead. He is as transparent and honest a storyteller as one ever wants (what more could you expect from a parson?), in rendering the townsfolk in true color, in reflecting
Dec 18, 2016 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For some reason I've never read much Agatha Christie, even though I love many of her contemporaries. I'm now putting that right by reading the Miss Marple mysteries with the Reading the Detectives group at Goodreads, starting off with this first in the series.

As someone who tends to love first-person narration, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this story is told by the vicar of St Mary Mead, who is an appealing character and would probably have made a good series detective himself. Miss M
Nandakishore Varma
This is the book where Miss Jane Marple makes her first appearance.

Even though I am a Poirot fan, I must confess that Miss Marple is more interesting - in fact, she must be unique in the world of fictional detectives. She uses her sharp intellect and unerring knowledge of human nature to arrive at her solutions. This is possible only to an old maid who had the opportunity to observe human nature close at hand for a whole lifetime.

This novel has as narrator a reticent vicar, married to a pretty w
Kakashi  Hatake
Every great crime novel(say murder mystery) consists of three parts or acts.

The first part is called "The Pledge".

The writer shows you something ordinary: a murder is committed and motive ,clues ,circumstantial evidence all indicate a single person . The author shows you the crime scene . Perhaps he/she asks you to inspect it through his/her narratives , to see if it is indeed that simple and easy. But of isn't.

The second act is called "The Turn".

The author takes the ordinary some
I've read all the Agatha Christie stories way back at one time or other, so picking them up feels like reading for the first time.

I'm not sure what my impression was when I first read this one, but this time around it was all I could do to get through the story. I just couldn't get into it nor could appreciate any of the characters, either.

And, does ANYONE in St. Mary Mead have a clock that works right?? All that business of who was where and when down to the minute went on and on. I know many o
January 2017 review: Just as good this time around :)

June 2014 review:
Richard E. Grant did a fine job narrating this Christie classic, the first Miss Marple book. His Irish accent for the artist was especially good (at least to this American's ears).

I had read this (more than once) in paperback, but although parts of it were familiar, I didn't recall the solution, so this audiobook version really held my attention! One thing I particularly liked was the way the vicar (who is the first person nar
I have seen groups and postings on Goodreads referring to "cozy mystery". I enjoy the mystery genre and often wondered which books I have read would qualify as a "cozy mystery". The Murder at the Vicarage I think is undoubtedly one.

Colonel Lucius Protheroe of St. Mary Mead is not well liked. Even the vicar says "that anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe would be doing the world at large a service". When the Colonel is found murdered in the vicar's study Miss Marple states she can think of seve
Jun 04, 2012 Knight rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christie
One of Christie’s best. It is told in the first person by Len Clement, Vicar of Saint Mary Mead. He and his much younger wife, Griselda, are a charming couple. Griselda is irritating, laughs when she should be sober, is hopeless regarding cooking and household management, and is altogether an unsuitable wife for a vicar. Yet he absolutely adores her. I wish that Christie had written more of them. (My Christie encyclopedia says that Griselda appears, much older and a widow, in What Mrs. McGillicu ...more
Jun 03, 2017 Yousra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: agatha-christie

I'm finally finished with the book ^^ ... I've even forgotten when I first started reading it just to realize that it took me 6 months to read it... It took me that long thanks to my little baby who made me read half minded .

I dunno what's up with Agatha Christie's main characters, it took me time to like Poirot and more time to accept Miss Marple. And this book in particular was weird as it took Christie almost half the novel to draw characters and relationships, I had to read almost half
Good times with Miss Marple. I wish there would have been a bit more scenes with her, though.

Maybe it's just my own expectations of the role titular detectives should play in their own series, though. There is no written rule saying that the detectives must play the largest role in their books over other characters, it's just what we're used to. The vicar was a good pair of eyes to see this story through, after all. I admit it would be fun to see through Miss Marple's eyes, but Agatha Christie'
Classic murder mystery investigation brilliantly solved by shrewd Miss Marple. What I liked most about the book is Agatha Christie’s humour. 3 stars

Favourite quotes:

Melchett is a wise man. He knows that, when it is a question of an irate middle‐aged lady, there is only one thing to be done ‐ to listen to her.

Nothing is more dangerous than the well-meant efforts of the younger generation to assist you and show their sympathy.

His poems have no capital letters in them, which is, I believe, the ess
Feb 18, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun to see the birth of Miss Marple, where she isn't even the main character of the book though she is an acknowledged force in the village of St. Mary's Mead. The reasoning skills are already in place. All that was needed was a murder and that was provided quickly enough. I plan to read/re-read more over time just to enjoy the stories, unless/until they become tiring in their similarities. I read too many at a time in the past.
May 26, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Murder at the Vicarage, aka: Miss Marple: Origins, is the first Miss Marple mystery by the indomitable Agatha Christie. Interestingly enough, this was written from the point of view of the eponymous Vicar and Miss Marple herself appears in only a minority of the book. Like any Miss Marple murder, this takes place in a small English village with a seething under current of gossip, hidden affairs, love, hate, envy, classicism (so much classicism), and a police force who simply cannot solve the mur ...more
Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)
Author: Agatha Christie
Published: 01/09/2006 (first published 1930)
Recommended for: fans of murder mystery novels

A really great Miss Marple novel, no matter how many time I read Miss Marple books I can never guess who was the one that did it. They are expertly written and such brilliant novels! I thought that this was an amazing first book in the Miss Marple series you get such a great sense of who Miss Marple is and how her mind works to piece everything together. I love the character of Miss M
Feb 28, 2015 Poonam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the 1st book by agatha christie that I have read and it was a good one as I could not suspect the murderer or the way it was carried out.

The setting is in early 1900's in a small village where everyone knows everyone's business. There is a murder and everyone is a suspect. Thoroughly enjoyed how at the end of each chapter there is a new suspect.

Even though this is Miss Marple series the story is narrated by the vicar. As this is my first read of this author I am not sure about the oth
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey, #3)
  • First, There Is a River (Spirit of the River, #1)
  • The Hunt
  • Artists in Crime (Roderick Alleyn, #6)
  • Footsteps in the Dark
  • County Line
  • Summer of Fire (Yellowstone, #1)
  • Untouchable
  • Bone Rattler (Duncan McCallum, #1)
  • Grace (Virtue, #1)
Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is t
More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Miss Marple (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple, #2)
  • The Body in the Library (Miss Marple, #3)
  • The Moving Finger (Miss Marple, #4)
  • A Murder Is Announced (Miss Marple, #5)
  • They Do It with Mirrors (Miss Marple, #6)
  • A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple, #7)
  • 4:50 from Paddington (Miss Marple, #8)
  • The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (Miss Marple, #9)
  • A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple, #10)
  • At Bertram's Hotel (Miss Marple, #11)

Share This Book

“The young people think the old people are fools -- but the old people know the young people are fools.” 286 likes
“At my time of life, one knows that the worst is usually true.” 81 likes
More quotes…