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by Agatha Christie
HarperCollins, February 2004
Unabridged audiobook pages
ISBN: 0007179448

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Several stars have portrayed Agatha Christie's most famous amateur elderly sleuth. Amongst some of the distinguishing actresses who have portrayed her were Margaret Rutherford, Angela Lansbury, and Helen Hayes. However, there is one person who has portrayed her the most, mainly on English television and that is Joan Hickson. Some consider her to be the true Miss Marple.

As a special treat HarperCollins has managed to get her to read some of Agatha Christie's novels for her fans and this one is rather special. It is called MURDER AT THE VICARAGE and it was the first appearance of this great detective.

In the British town of St Mary's Mead, the body of Colonel Protheroe has been found inside the local vicarage. He was a rather nasty man and few had anything to do with him. There is a small group of suspects each of which had a good motive for killing the Colonel -- but each one has insurmountable evidence that there is no way they could have done it.

Enter Miss Jane Marple. She considers herself an expert in human nature and can see what others tend to ignore. She will study in her own special way each one of the suspects until she is convinced that she knows who did it and reveal to all. This book will only be the beginning because it will lead to dozens of more books in which the character continues to evolve and astound readers.

It is a real treat to have Joan Hickson read the unabridged recording of this classic novel, but alas, this is where the weakness of the narration stands. The book is told through the point of view of the vicar in St Mary's Mead and not through Miss Marple. Ms Hickson uses only one voice in reading the book and listeners would assume that it was Miss Marple instead of someone else. Once you get past all that you can get to enjoy the book. It fails on good intentions, but it is worth listening to. There is a reason why Agatha Christie's books have passed the test of time.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, June 2004

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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