Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Murder at the Vicarage

(Miss Marple #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  156,311 ratings  ·  4,806 reviews
The murder of Colonel Protheroe -- shot through the head -- is a shock to everyone in St Mary Mead, though hardly an unpleasant one. Now even the vicar, who had declared that killing the detested Protheroe would be 'doing the world at large a favour,' is a suspect -- the Colonel has been dispatched in the clergyman's study, no less. But the picturesque English village of S ...more
Kindle Edition, 307 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by William Morrow Paperbacks (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
Laurie Beth Your library! They have regular books, audio books and kindle books available. I do almost all my reading through the library. With digital books thes…moreYour library! They have regular books, audio books and kindle books available. I do almost all my reading through the library. With digital books these days, you don't even have to go to the library in person (except to get your library card/account set up). It's a fantastic resource.(less)
Joshua It doesn't really matter they are independent stories.…moreIt doesn't really matter they are independent stories.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  156,311 ratings  ·  4,806 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1)
Apr 10, 2017 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
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
A solid 4.5 stars for Murder at the Vicarage, the first novel in the Miss Marple cozy mystery series, written by Agatha Christie in 1930. I've read ~ten novels by Christie and this one is near the top of the list for me. From the characters to the setting and the plot to the tone, it's an intriguing and immersive read. It started out a bit slow for me as the scene was being set, but once the murder happened, it took off in quick force. I can happily say that I had 2 potential guesses as the culp ...more
Miss Marple's 1st book!


But beyond that, this is really just a fabulous example of Agatha Christie at her best.
This was my first time reading (actually listening) The Murder at the Vicarage and I was blown away by how enjoyable it was. Especially considering I've read a ton of her books and pretty much knew what to expect out of her mysteries.


I knew I didn't know who did it, but I swear I thought I knew who didn't do it!
I was (as always) dead wrong.

So the gist is that the town Vicar gets caught u
2021 English Mysteries - Miss Marple Group Read
Having read this less than 4 years I was surprised at how little I remembered of the book. Is it age or just the fact that in the intervening years I have read a large number of detective mystery stories. I'm plumping for the latter option. 😊
This book, the first with Miss Marple, is set entirely within St Mary Mead, in fact the vast majority is within 100 yards of The Vicarage, and guess who happens to live next door ? Yes, thats right, the redoubt
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Murder At The Vicarage (Miss Marple #1), Agatha Christie

Original Publication Year 1930

Abstract: Debut of Miss Jane Marple, village busybody who applies human nature to crimes. Colonel Protheroe, magistrate universally despised, was shot in his study, unheard. His wife Anne admits newly arrived artist Lawrence Redding is an old flame, and both confess to murder. The local inspector and Jane sort through to the truth.

Characters: Miss Jane Marple, Inspector Slack, Lawrence Redding, Len Clement,
Amalia Gkavea
“The young people think the old people are fools -- but the old people know the young people are fools.”


In the tale that started it all, Miss Marple doesn’t need to move away from her lovely sanctuary in St Mary Mead. Colonel Lucius Protheroe is a loathsome creature. No one likes him, no one wants to even look at him. Therefore, the suspects are plenty once he is found murdered in the study of the local Vicar. A young artist, a flighty daughter, a troubled priest, an isolated wife, a r
Jason Koivu
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
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 knowledge born of experience, she ain't half bad!

The characters are dapper dandies and old teetotaler biddies. High manners and speech abound, aside from the occasional parlor maid, flatfoot, or old age pensioner. These sort of tea cozy mysteries are just a little too quaint, even for me...and I've read all of James Herriot.

Murder at the Vicarage has some clever misdirecti
Fiddledesticks! How could you not enjoy a book where the word fiddledesticks is used. I'm a fan of Agatha Christie. I read her a lot when I was much, much younger. But I don't remember most of the books I read. So every now and then I plan to pick up one of her books and indulge. And what a better place to start that the first in the Miss Marple series.

Murder at the Vicarage tells the story of well, a murder in the vicarage. St Mary Mead is a sleep town where not much happens. However, the ladie
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2020
I am amazed I have not read this before. Or maybe I have but it was so long ago I have forgotten. Anyway it was really good, as good if not better than any of the other Miss Marple stories I have read.

It was certainly an interesting look at Jane Marple as she appeared for the first time and really as a lesser character. The main character and story teller was the Vicar, an apparently honest and caring man if a little too serious and unemotional at times. None of which prevented him being in the
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
So, I finished this one and I've come to a conclusion... I'm not a Miss Marple fan. Yes, yes, I know, I'm one of those basic Christie fans that she couldn't stand that delights every time Poirot says something witty/arrogant, and looks at all her other characters with a "that's very nice... could you write more Poirot now?" stance. Sure, I would have been polite enough not to say that... but the thought would have occurred (that said my favorite Christie novel is Crooked House which does not fea ...more
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 Support me

“The young people think the old people are fools — but the old people know the young people are fools.”

Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors and her books are a comfort read for me when I want to distance myself away from my usual fantasy reads. Up to this point, I have been a bigger fan of Poirot and Miss Marple books were okay! This is my third book in the Miss Marple series that I read and is actually the book that in
Dec 20, 2016 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
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
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
Fabian {Councillor}
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
Jay Schutt
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, mystery
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave...when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott
Of Agatha Christie - "The champion deceiver of our time." - New York Times
"A right clever one, this." - Jay Schutt
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.
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Murder at the Vicarage is the first Miss Marple book to be written and published. Within the sleepy small village of St Mary Mead murder arrives when Colonel Protheroe, a much disliked prominent member of society is found dead in the study of Vicar, Reverend Clement’s study. Told through a first person narrative of Rev Clement, we observe and bumble along with the vicar the progress of the investigation to discovery of the murderer(s) through the deductions of Miss Marple.

A slow but delightful s
Ms. Smartarse
All appearances point to St. Mary Mead being the usual English small town. It has its share of colorful inhabitants, but for the most part it's a rather peaceful place.

There's the vicar, who, as the local sounding board, can indulge his newly discovered amateur sleuthing hobby. He is frequently accosted by several of the old cats, as the local busybodies are lovingly dubbed by the younger generation. And of course, we cannot forget Colonel Protheroe: most respected magistrate, as well as most d
It was difficult to rate this book. I wanted to do more justice to Agatha Christie and her brilliant mind, but my conscience nags at me; it tells me that in honesty I was not drawn into the story as I normally do when I read her novels. So here I'm divided and trying to justice to her and me both.

It was overall a good plot though not a novel one. The setting is a small village in England where life is slow and stagnant. In such a small village, it is not surprising that everybody knows everybod
Iryna *Book and Sword*
Turned out that this was a re-read. Like with many of Agatha's books, as I read tons of them a few years back and can't remember which ones I did read.

Also, for such a short book it took me ages to read it. Mostly, because I was very busy.
But also because I was so bored.

It seems that last time I read it, I've enjoyed it more. But this time around there was just too much "going around the bush" and "useless plot twists" for my liking.

I still enjoyed it, but not as much as I enjoy some of her
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Yet again Christie manages to craft a mystery so intricate it’s all you can do to keep up, never mind get ahead of her. 4 stars instead of 5 as it took me ages to get invested in these characters for whatever reason, and because I got tired of Clement remarking upon how clever Miss Marple is (we get it). But the resolution was fantastic and I thought the humor in this one in particular was great.
Feb 01, 2014 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
Katie Lumsden
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable, clever and great fun - I love Agatha Christie's work so much. ...more
Steven Walle
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a very well written book. It kept me in suspence. Agatha rarely disappoints.
Enjoy and Be Blessed
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A good mystery. I loved the humor in the book and all the characters. Miss Marple is a sweetheart!😊
Simona B
“My dear young man, you underestimate the detective instinct of village life. In St. Mary Mead every one 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.”

It's no mystery that I am no aficionado of Miss Marple's, but with Murder at the Vicarage, her very first adventure, I found myself gradually warming toward her in a way I didn't expect. This happened, I believe, because in this novel Miss Marple is no
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. ...more
Rachel Hall
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is thanks to my Goodreads friend, Roman Clodia, that I am belatedly coming to read Agatha Christie and what an utter joy she is! The debut appearance of Miss Marple in 1930 is a plotting masterpiece and full of wit and tongue-in-cheek observations which prove a delight for readers. More interesting still is the proliferation of suspects and with all and sundry in the sleepy village of St Mary Mead having expressed their antipathy to the deceased churchwarden, Colonel Lucius Protheroe, often v ...more
Dannii Elle
Fooled again! Thank you, Christie, for always delivering!
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 1st book in the Miss Marple series by Agatha Christie.
A great quick read with lots of twists and turns keeping you guessing until the very end.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The New Bedside, Bathtub and Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie
  • The Unexpected Guest
  • A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1)
  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #1)
  • Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks
  • Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wimsey, #1)
  • A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone, #1)
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes, #5)
  • Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot, #45.5)
  • Death Comes to Pemberley
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volume II
  • Shroud for a Nightingale (Adam Dalgliesh #4)
  • Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks
  • Candy Darling: Memoirs of an Andy Warhol Superstar
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3)
  • The Burden
  • Giant's Bread
  • Untouchable
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in t

Other books in the series

Miss Marple (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple, #1.5)
  • The Body in the Library (Miss Marple, #2)
  • The Moving Finger (Miss Marple, #3)
  • A Murder Is Announced (Miss Marple, #4)
  • They Do It with Mirrors (Miss Marple, #5)
  • A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple, #6)
  • 4:50 from Paddington (Miss Marple, #7)
  • The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (Miss Marple #8)
  • A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple, #9)
  • At Bertram's Hotel (Miss Marple, #10)

Articles featuring this book

Have you ever thought your smart devices are spying on you? This is a thoroughly modern fear that Ruth Ware’s new book, The Turn of the Key ,...
87 likes · 19 comments
“The young people think the old people are fools -- but the old people know the young people are fools.” 382 likes
“I often wonder why the whole world is so prone to generalise. Generalisations are seldom if ever true and are usually utterly inaccurate.” 117 likes
More quotes…