The Vicar at the village St Mary Mead returns home to find a distressed man leaving his vicarage. When he enters his study, a man lies dead sprawled across the vicar's desk. Shortly thereafter Miss Marple arrives on the scene, much to he consternation of the police detective. More than one person confesses to the crime, the dead man having been a very unpleasant and wealthy colonel. Meanwhile, the local biddies are full of gossip about a rather mysterious woman who is new to the village and is being visited a little too often by the local doctor.