The Murder at The Vicarage (Miss Marple #1)
When Colonel Protheroe is found shot through the head, Miss Marple finds herself on her first case. Despite lack of testimonies and leads, everyone surrounding the establishment seems to have a reason to want the Colonel dead. Can Miss Marple uncover the identity of the mysterious killer without help from the local police?
Although I really wanted to like this book, I found that it wasn't as captivating and intriguing as I wanted it to be. I've heard wonderful things about Murder at the Vicarage and the Miss Marple series, and was disappointed to find that I didn't enjoy this as much as my peers have. While the writing was superb and the ending took me by complete surprise, the characters appeared monotonous. Neither was memorable, neither made a long-lasting impact.
I didn't like the fact that Miss Marple was viewed by most characters as a nosy elderly woman. Before reading this, I had hoped that she would be (for lack of a better explanation) a badass detective, much like Hercule Poirot. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.
The other characters also seemed uninteresting to me, especially the protagonist (Mr. Clement) and the others who lived at the vicarage. Because the story was told from the vicar's perspective, I found it extremely hard to stay focused and engaged. While reading the novel I found myself constantly wondering when the plot would get better and hook me- it never did. Most of the time, I felt eager to finish just so it would be over and done with. With that said, I wouldn't recommend this book to my peers, but am not completely discouraged from picking up another Miss Marple mystery in the future.
Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Hercule Poirot #20)
It's Christmas Eve, and the Lee family is filled with holiday cheer. Suddenly, there's a deafening crash followed by a piercing scream. Upstairs, Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, a deep cut across his neck. When Hercule Poirot offers his services, he comes to realize the situation is much worse than he suspected.
Unlike Murder at the Vicarage, Hercule Poirot's Christmas hooked me from the very beginning. Each character was constructed brilliantly. Every single character had a motive for wanting the victim dead, and so, everyone became a suspect. Because of this, reading the book was fun and exciting. I could not wait for Poirot to solve the mystery. While the ending was a bit predictable, I once again admitted defeat at the hands of Agatha Christie. This is definitely a quick and enjoyable read for fans of classic detective mysteries!