Murder at the Vicarage: A BBC Full-Cast Radio Drama

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Overview

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatization starring June Whitfield as Miss Marple, the sharp-witted spinster sleuth

In the sleepy little English country village of St. Mary Mead, all is not as it seems. Under a seemingly peaceful exterior lurks intrigue, guilt, deception—and murder.

Colonel Protheroe, local magistrate and landowner, is the most detested man in the village. Arrogant, unpleasant, and overbearing, ...

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The Murder at the Vicarage

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Overview

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatization starring June Whitfield as Miss Marple, the sharp-witted spinster sleuth

In the sleepy little English country village of St. Mary Mead, all is not as it seems. Under a seemingly peaceful exterior lurks intrigue, guilt, deception—and murder.

Colonel Protheroe, local magistrate and landowner, is the most detested man in the village. Arrogant, unpleasant, and overbearing, everyone from his own wife to the local vicar wishes he were dead. And very soon he is—shot in the head in the vicar’s own study.

A visiting artist confesses to the murder, but residents saw him elsewhere at the time the Colonel was shot. If he didn’t do it, who did? Is he protecting the Colonel’s wife whom he loves?

Faced with a surfeit of suspects, only the inscrutable Miss Marple can unravel the tangled web of clues. A trap set, and Miss Marple’s theory is put to the test when the true killer is finally unmasked.

This full-cast dramatization of Agatha Christie’s very first Miss Marple mystery stars June Whitfield as the indomitable amateur detective, with Imelda Staunton and Nigel Davenport.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
James Saxon delivers a memorable and absolutely masterful performance of Christie's first Miss Marple mystery. When the wildly unpopular Colonel Protheroe is found murdered in the vicar's study, it seems that everyone—his unhappy wife, his daughter, a visiting artist, an embittered poacher, the vicar—has a motive in a mystery that confounds the authorities, consumes the village and can only be untangled by observations and deductions of our heroine: the elderly gossip-cum-sleuth Miss Marple. Saxon's artful and enthusiastic portrayal of a host of characters—male and female, guilty and innocent, young and old—will delight Christie fans, mystery lovers and anyone lucky enough to listen. (June)
Library Journal
These are the initial eight volumes in what will grow to 24 over two years in Black Dog's new "Agatha Christie Collection." The books are all decent-quality hardcovers for a bargain price. If you're regularly replacing your Christies, gives these more durable editions a try. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780563494225
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/19/2011
  • Series: The Miss Marple Series , #1
  • Format: CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 4.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became the bestselling novelist in history. She wrote 79 crime mysteries and collections, and saw her work translated into more languages than Shakespeare.

Biography

Agatha Christie is the world's best-known mystery writer. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language, and another billion in 44 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her writing career spanned more than half a century, during which she wrote 79 novels and a short story collection, as well as 14 plays, one of which, The Mousetrap, is the longest running play in history. Two of the characters she created, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the irrepressible and relentless Miss Marple, went on to become world famous detectives. Both have been widely dramatized in feature films and made-for-TV movies. Agatha Christie died in 1976.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Mary Westmacott (used for her romantic fiction)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 15, 1890
    2. Place of Birth:
      Torquay, Devon, England
    1. Date of Death:
      January 12, 1976

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 789 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(261)

4 Star

(256)

3 Star

(171)

2 Star

(62)

1 Star

(39)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 789 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Murder at the Vicarage

    This is the first story Christie wrote that includes Miss Jane Marple. My Christie-reading career began with the Hercule Poirot series. After reading something like 6 Poirot books in a row I felt I'd give Miss Marple a try. This was a fantastic choice on my part. Miss Marple is extremely clever and cunning. I read this book in only a couple of days--because it was that fantastic and it was only 250 pages. When I first began reading I had made the mistake of thinking that Miss Marple, like Poirot, was a retired detective who was being asked favors by her friends.... But i was wrong: Miss Marple is just an old lady who observes human nature; and because of this she is able to find the murderer. This, in a sense can be better and worse than Poirot. The solution to the murder is nothing short of surprising. Christie delivers twists and turns like she does in all of her books. Nevertheless i recommend this book to all Christie fans and to those who, like me, want to deviate from the professional styles of Hercule Poirot.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2001

    Superb!!!

    This book was great!! Jane Marple is truly in a class by herself! I personally prefer her over Hercule Poirot! She's not only quick and clever, i found at times she is also often quite humorous!! Agatha Christie is definatley one of the greatest writers ever, and as far as characters go, Miss Jane Marple is also one of the best!! Readit! i doubt you will be dissapointed!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Classic Christie for young and old

    I just finished reading this 2 weeks ago in an e-book from our library. Written in the thirties, Christie's wry humor and wonderful vocabulary make this a great read! I enjoyed reading mysteries and challenging my vocabulary when I was young, so this is a good book for 11 to infinity. For Anglophiles, a Christie mystery is great with a cup of hot tea and a biscuit (cookie to you Yanks). I'm more familiar with Poirot, but I loved reading the first Miss Marple.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2005

    Murder At the Vicarage

    I read this book for a seventh grade English project and I loved it! This is Christie at her best, and definitly my favorite of all. I prefer Miss Marple over Hercule Poirot.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 3, 2011

    Great book!!! Little kids should read this and learn proper spelling.

    This is a great book and I was thrilled to see it as a Free Friday download. These children giving bad reviews because it is not a child's book should have mommy and daddy go buy them a nook book! I agree with other reviewers. I worked hard for the money to buy this. I would be upset it Barnes & Nobles started catering to these spoiled, whiny, illiterate brats. Great book, great download.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Love Agatha Christie novels but....

    Out of all the stories I have read, or in this case listened to, this one is my least favorite. The writing is good but doesn't seem up to par to her normal but I think that maybe reading the book myself might have been better. The person they used to narrate the story really wasn't right for it and his way of talking was disjointed. I think that may be why it seemed so "bad". My daughter got this one and I got Nemesis, then we exchanged and she told me that this one wasn't as good as normal and she was very right. Now, Nemesis was excellent and definitely in the "best" category of the ones we have gotten on audio and listened to. Between my daughter and I we have a6 of them. I could suggest many others of hers over this novel for sure! Understand though, Agatha Christie was a superb writer and her "bad" is better than some peoples "good" writings. It is just that comparing her work to her work, this one was by far my, and my daughter's, least favorite.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is one of my favorite books.

    The characters were good. The plot is awesome. I was even thrilled a bit and kept me guessing who the murderer was. I love the writing style. Agatha Christie have always originality. It is a bit dramatic and romantic. The ending was so surprising. I recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2012

    Miss Marple starts her "career"

    It took me a little while to "get into" this story, perhaps because of the British-isms or the older style of writing. I'm glad I persevered, though. The characters are interesting, the plot has great twists and turns, and Miss Marple is a gem. A very good read, worth your time and money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2011

    I would and have read others by Agathie Christie.

    Most of Miss Marple books are very good, this one was a little slow for me. Could be because it had been a while since I had read one of hers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2014

    slow at times but a good story

    I enjoyed the book as a whole but it was slow at times

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    Not as good as the Miss Marple movies.

    This is the first Agatha Christie book I have read, Though I have seen most of the movies made from her books. The plot was OK, but it was more about the Vicker than about Miss Marple. I think I prefer the movies in this case.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 3, 2013

    "...anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe would be doing th

    "...anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe would be doing the world at large a service" remarked the Vicar of St. Mary Mead, Len Clement. But what he didn't anticipate at that time was the fact that this statement of his would come back to trouble him when Colonel Protheroe is found shot in his own library some hours later.

    Colonel Protheroe is a thoroughly despised man. There is not one person in the whole village who likes him. His first wife left him, his daughter hates him and his second wife is also on the verge of running away from him! He is pompous, a self imposed authority on things he has little knowledge of and a little deaf too so that his voice is always loud. Therefore his death leaves everyone restless because it seems all have a motive for wanting him dead!

    A place filled with old, nosy ladies who know the ins and outs of everyone there is Miss Marple who is the next door neighbor to the Vicar and who it seems has her own seven suspects who she thinks had perfect opportunity and motive to kill the Colonel. As she goes sleuthing, shocking secrets are revealed and what with everyone confessing to the murder, the police are left clueless and its up to Miss Marple to pick out the real murderer.

    But can she find the real murderer or will she also find herself lost in the web of deception and lies surrounding the murder?

    A classic first novel that introduces Miss Marple. I have lost count of the number of times I have read books by Agatha Christie and its no different with Murder at the Vicarage which has always intrigued and hooked me irrespective of all the times I have already read it!

    I have always loved Christie's expertise at sketching her characters and this book also showcases her skill.
    The character sketch of Miss Marple, who is compared to another busybody of the village Miss Wetherby, is very interesting and creates an instant picture of an old and frail grandmother like figure in our minds.

    'Miss Marple is a white-haired old lady with a gentle, appealing manner - Miss Wetherby is a mixture of vinegar and gush. Of the two Miss Marple is much the more dangerous.'

    This is the only book that has her sketched in a bad light. She is disliked by Griselda who describes her as "..the worst cat in the village..And she always knows every single thing that happens- and draws the worst inferences from it." Even the Vicar's nephew, Dennis calls her the "terrible Miss Marple".
    In all her other novels she is always sketched as the very tame and perfectly harmless old spinster who is so old that often people thinking her a little gaga share their secrets never once suspecting that behind her facade of fragility is a mind most sharp and alert!

    I also loved the character of Griselda, the Vicaress, who is introduced in a very engaging manner by the Vicar.
    "My wife's name is Griselda- a highly suitable name for a parson's wife. But there the suitability ends. She is not in the least meek."

    The narration is from the point of view of the Vicar and it adds a fresh perspective of a common spectator to the already very interesting plot. Though not the best Miss Marple case yet this is a very challenging case which exercises all the reader's investigative prowess.

    But I think the most appealing aspect of this book which lures me again and again to read it is the humor in it. There is Griselda who is extra protective of her maid Mary, despite her being a terrible cook, because as long as she’s a bad cook nobody else will want to hire her! 
    Then there are the old gossipy women who know everything about everyone and news through them spreads faster than even an eye blink!

    As the Vicar aptly puts it
    "It is a mystery to me how any one gets any nourishment in this place. They must eat their meals standing up by the window so as to be sure of not missing anything."

    and "Miss Marple always sees everything. Gardening is as good as a smokescreen, and the habit of observing birds through powerful glasses can always be turned to account."

    A typical Christie mystery where any and everyone is a suspect and when the real culprit comes to light at the end its always someone who was as far down in our list of possible murderers as expecting snow to fall in the summers! :)

    I give Murder at the Vicarage 4.2 out of 5 and recommend that you read and meet the enigmatic Miss Marple as she solves her first case. :)

    "Miss Marple is not the type of elderly lady who  makes mistakes. She has got an uncanny knack of being always right."

    This review is also available on blog Njkinny's World of Books.. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013

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    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    Excellent

    What a treat! I Couldn't put it down. Wonderful plot twists. I suspected everyone in the village! This is a well written, intelligent, timeless read. We can count on Agatha Chrisite to give us a fantastic mystery that isn't gruesome and gory, with no worries about offensive language, or bedroom scenes. Am looking forward to reading more of her work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    Cute...

    Pretty good. Completely obvious. Had a happy ending. A good book, I ust prefer something more gritty. Also there are about 60 pages in the middle that I had to force myself to read. A bit trying.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    Completely threw me off!

    I have never been so clueless reading a mystery as I was reading this! How nice to be kept on my toes all the way to the end!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    AMAZING

    Agata christie, you did it!...again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Bearcub

    Go to cubbie res two

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 3, 2012

    I had never read anything by Agatha Christie until this book. I

    I had never read anything by Agatha Christie until this book. I had heard of the “Miss Marple” mysteries, and I assumed that these stories would be narrated by Miss Marple herself. I surprised to find that the story is narrated instead by the vicar of St. Mary Mead. I felt the same way reading this book as I feel watching reruns of “Keeping up Appearances” or “Are You Being Served Again?” on BBC America. There is so much of the charm of the British village where everyone goes to the same church, neighbors know everybody’s business, and the smallest deviation in the daily routine is fuel for the local gossips for weeks. I wanted to snuggle up under a blanket with a cup of tea and watch Miss Marple figure out who murdered who and why.

    The premise of the book is that the vicar, Mr. Clement, returns home one evening to find Colonel Protheroe (a cranky old man that nobody thought much of) has been shot in the vicarage study. Mistakes and misunderstandings ensue, all carefully watched by Miss Marple, as Clement tries to help the local police unmask the murderer. Christie has a very dry sense of humor, and I found myself smiling frequently as I read Miss Marple’s observations of Peculiar Things. I thought the pace of the book was great. You suspect almost every character of murdering Protheroe at one point or another, and Christie tosses up clues or red herrings at the end of almost every chapter. I will certainly more of these mysteries.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2012

    Good story line

    Very typical for this author. A fun book to read.

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