January 14, 2016

Book Review || The Murder at the Vicarage

The Murder at the Vicarage
Miss Marple #1
Agatha Christie

Originally Published: 1930
My edition: 2002 Signature Collection edition

HarperCollins, mass market pbk, 380p., b&w ill.
ISBN: 0007120850

"Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,' declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, 'would be doing the world at large a favour!"

It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth to make.  And one which was to come back to haunt him a few hours later - when the Colonel is found dead, shot through the head in the clergyman's study. . .

Well, to be brutally honest, I enjoyed the adaptations more.  I disliked seeing the world, both the village of St. Mary Mead, and it's inhabitants, through the eyes of a rather dour, insecure, and fuddy-duddy character like Len Clements.  He is not a very likable character (to me), and I just found it to be a rather tedious book to slog through.  What should have taken a few hours was stretched to nearly 2 weeks!

In regards to other characters, I do love Miss Marple.  She can do no wrong, and whatever the format, I adore her.  However, most of the remaining characters were unlikable enough that if I wasn't a fan of the adaptations (and knew what happens), then I would have a whole host of characters to throw under the proverbial bus as suspects.

A special mention must be given to Lettice Protheroe, who was just as annoying as portrayed in the adaptations, not to mention Inspector Slack, who I found extremely arrogant, and who is exactly who was needed as a contrast to the seemingly incompetent Miss Marple. 

The murder/mystery aspect of it was rather good.  It doesn't help that I already know who did it, but the book was different enough from the adapations that I wasn't bored.  Some of the characters seemed superfluous, but I suspect that they are there mainly as potential suspects.  The addition of Raymond West, Miss Marple's nephew, was unexpected - he isn't in the adapations - so I was pleasantly surprised . . . until he opened his mouth.  Bit of a bummer that.

So while I did not have the reading experience I was hoping for, I am glad I picked up this book.  Could have been a 5 star read, if only it was from Miss Marples POV.

That's all for my quick review of The Murder at the Vicarage.  Let me know if you agreed with me, or if you loved - or hated - the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts about this.

Until next time,

Challenge Update || January

Well, it's nearly half way through the month and I've finished both of the books for January.  I wasn't sure that I'd get them both read in time as I struggled to make myself read The Murder at the Vicarage.  Yep, that's right.  I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would.

The Murder at the Vicarage seemed like a great fit.  I love the TV adaptations, both Joan Hickson and the newer series, and although not my favourite episode, I enjoyed it none the less.  But I found out that I really did not like following the story - or seeing the village - through the eyes of Len Clements, the Vicar.  I found him to be most unlikable.  It took me over a week to finish this!  Very unlike me.  

Then, on Tuesday night, I picked up Playing Beatie Bow.  I thought I'd only read a page or two . . . 17 pages later I had to stop as I was so tired.  Again last night, I was hoping to get a few chapters done - and I finished the whole thing!  Woo-hoo! ;-D

I am hoping to get a short review up soon on both of these books.  Just a quick run down of the hits and misses I discovered when reading them.  Now my only problem is deciding which classic to read in February?  Should I go for The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, or The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald . . . or Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov?  Let me know in the comments which book you think I should tackle next ;-D

Until next time,

January 10, 2016

Off to a great start

Last night's reading quandary... went with Copper Beach

After a blah reading month in December, I was surprised to find that January has been a huge reading months so far.  Although I've only read 4 new books, I have re-read 2 series to far!  Yes, I had a case of the I-must-read-that-again's, and devoured both the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh, and the Arcane Society/Harmony series by Jayne Ann Krentz (Jayne Castle).

"This is how we blog from bed, blog from bed, blog from bed..."  using EvieNyxx as the keyboard holder

I have been aided in this reading frenzy since due to the fact that I've been laid up for a little while with a bad back, and achilles tendonitis.  Not good for everyday chores that need to be done - don't even start with the vacuuming or hanging out the washing! - but reading books by the handful has helped me pass the time and forget about all my aches and pains.

On the Murder at the Vicarage front, I'm still making my way through at a snail's pace.  Up to page 72 now.  We have a murder, and now with the introduction of Inspector Slack (still an arrogant asshat), it should become a faster read.

My classic for the month, Playing Beatie Bow, is still sitting on top of the basket, waiting for me to pick it up.  Will have to get on that soon as January is just flying by.

Have three new books that should arrive in the post later this week.  Ordered Les Miserables (I know, but I just couldn't resist it), and two of the four books I was missing in the Psy-Changeling series, Shield of Winter and Shards of Hope.  Want to get them all finished before the next release later this year.

Surrounded on all sides by cats!  This is Phrynekinns.

Have a huge stash of books on lay-by in town that I will be picking up later this month, but they will need a post of their own there are so many of them.  Then my self-imposed book ban goes into effect.  I can only buy books that are part of a series that I am already reading - and not the start of a new series - and no stand alone books either, unless they are for a book challenge.  Thrift shop books are a no-go, and unless I get books as gifts, my one and only 'splurge' will be the annual Bookarama held in October.  Thankfully I read a lot of series, so I'm not going to be totally book deprived.

So, that's all from me.  I hope you're having a great January and curling up with a good book.

Until next time,