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    September 03, 2012

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    Margot Kinberg

    Les - Well said on all counts. I do like the groundwork Christie lays here in terms of her "regular" characters. And the mystery itself is in my opinion quite reflective of the times.

    Les Blatt

    Thanks, Margot. It's always fun to see how the characters (including the secondary ones) develop over the years. But St. Mary Mead itself was, and is, always much the same!

    Curtis Evans

    I was mediocre on this book when I read it as a teenager, but love it now, for all the wicked village satire.

    Les Blatt

    Curt, I think we see more of St. Mary Mead in "Vicarage" than we do in the later books - and it's a lovely sight indeed, particularly when the descriptions and dialogues are written with tongue firmly planted in cheek... ;-)

    Yvette

    In my mind and heart, I would love to live in St. Mary Mead. :)

    Although an awful lot of murders occur there....It must be the English Village murder capital of the world.

    This is one instance in which the PBS adaptation (with Joan Hickson) is actually better than the book. How dare I say that? Well, I just do. :)

    I also kind of remember the Jane Marple introduced in this first book isn't the same Jane Marple we grow to like and admire over the years. Christie tweaked her for the better as time went on.

    Les Blatt

    I agree with you, Yvette. Miss Marple became a much more believable (and, in a lot of ways, endearing) character as the series progressed. She's also very effective in the short stories about her. But, as you say, St. Mary Mead can be a dangerous place... ;-)

    MarkB

    I'm more familiar with the Hickson television series and the BBC radio versions, but I did read MATV recently. It seemed like Christie didn't know who Miss Marple was yet. She seems more simply the local gossip who happens to solve the crime than the later sage old wise crone she becomes. There are quite a few dismissive comments by various characters that really aren't gainsayed by Christie anywhere. Sometimes we tend to think of series character as static, when actually they evolve through time.

    Les Blatt

    Mark, she definitely develops in the later stories and books into a far more interesting character. I think that's true of most interesting series characters - if they don't develop, most readers are going to lose interest.

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