Murder at the Vicarage - Agatha Christie
I've made many motivational reading goals this years, which I intend to carry over into the new year as part of my resolution to read more. Already I have lists of all the Pulitzer fiction winners and that "Top 100" list from Random House, but on the mystery side of things I'm making it a point to read everything Agatha Christie ever wrote. Murder at the Vicarage begins my re-acquaintance with Miss Marple.

Narrative by the harried and harassed vicar of Miss Marple's little neck of the British woods, Vicarage concerns the murder of the prominent Colonel Protheroe, natch in the vicarage. Seeing as this is so small a town where nothing ever happens (think Cabot Cove with a British accent), of course everybody offers their theories on the murder, from the vicar's wife and son on down to the congregation of little old ladies who frequent the vicar's service.

Of these little old ladies who have nothing better to do than keenly observe the movements of everybody else in town, none is more observant than the spinster Miss Marple, who surprisingly is not as prominent in this story as I had thought a sleuth would be. She appears in brief visits to the narrator, providing information on wayward secretaries and other people creeping around the vicarage, while the local officials make do with their own hypotheses and problems with a local doctor with suspicious credentials.

If you've read Christie before, you will no doubt enjoy Miss Marple's debut. I find Christie's stories a bit wordy at times and difficult to keep up with if I've set the book down for a few days (so always read them in one sitting :-) ), but nonetheless this is a great story for "cozy" fans.