October 2015 Book of the Month - The Murder at the Vicarage
Tuppence City of London, United Kingdom
in All stories
The Murder at the Vicarage was first published 85 years ago this October, making it the perfect fit for our October Book of the Month. It was the first full length book to feature Miss Marple. In Christie's autobiography, she reflects on the story and states that there were 'far too many characters, and too many sub-plots' and that she was not so pleased with it as she was when she wrote it.
Do you agree with Christie's own criticisms on The Murder at the Vicarage?
Leave your thoughts and theories about the book below.
I like very much the vicar and his wife. He's funny and understandable. The plot is so good and the Miss Marple is very clever and sharp to solve the murder.
Apart from the gratuitious flash backs to a fictious Miss Marple youth, and the horrendous plot change to make two characters know each other before who didn't really, the tv dramatisation was well-cast, and well-acted.
Is the manor house the one that later Dolly Bantry bought, and then the one the actress acquired in The Mirror Crack'd from side to side?
It is indeed. AC comments on this in the MM books - in Murder in the vicarage, everybody knows everybody, and the one stranger - Mrs. Lestrange - stands out and awakens a lot of curiosity. In The Body in the Library, even the bohemian Basil Blake is connected; Mrs. Bantry says "I knew his mother". However, by "A Murder is announced", A lot of people have moved into Chipping Cleghorn (a place similar to St. Mary Mead) so that the possibility of imposture has to be considered; and by "The Mirror Cracked", not only have several old inhabitants died and newcomers taken their place, but the development (the newly built mass-produced neighbourhood) Is filling up with people nobody knows.
Another interesting thing is the change in hired home-help. There is mention of old,efficient maids who really took full responsibility (like faithful Florence mentioned in 4.50 from Paddington), then we meet a series of untrained girls from the orphanage, whom MM trains in housekeeping and who treat her with respect for her superior class, and then go on to better paid jobs. Then we meet the annoying middle-aged Miss Knight, who completely ignores her employer's wishes and dignity, and really tries her patience; and finally Cherry from the development, whose housekeeping is rather sketchy, and who doesn't keep a polite distance, but who treats MM with affection and real respect for her own sake (when MM appreciates the care Cherry takes of her, Cherry responds: "Got to. Good people are scarce"). One of the lovely things about MM is her willingness to adapt to change, especially evident in her happy acceptance of Cherry.
I meant Captain Scarlet, Moderator; this site needs a delete facility.
What does anyone think about this?