The Miss Marple Mysteries by Agatha Christie


This blog post meant to be a private note, but I thought afterwards it might be of some interest to any potential reader. Having finished reading the Hercule Poirot mysteries, it seemed to me a good idea to follow it up with Miss Marple mysteries. Stay tuned.

Miss Marple first came into being in 1927 in “The Tuesday Night Club”, a short story pulled together into the collection The Thirteen Problems. It was first published in the December 1927 issue of Royal Magazine. Christie never expected Miss Marple to rival Poirot in the public’s affections but since the publication of The Murder at the Vicarage in 1930, Marple’s first full length novel, readers were hooked. While Agatha Christie acknowledged that her grandmother had been a huge influence on the character, she writes that Miss Marple was “far more fussy and spinsterish than my grandmother ever was. But one thing she did have in common with her – though a cheerful person, she always expected the worst of everyone and everything, and was, with almost frightening accuracy, usually proved right.” Mellowing with appearances (if not with age) Miss Marple graced twelve novels and twenty short stories during her career as an amateur detective, never paid and not always thanked. The Miss Marple of The Thirteen Problems is decidedly more shrewish and Victorian than the later character, who is often more forgiving. She certainly changes with the times, even down to wearing plimsolls in 1964’s A Caribbean Mystery. Miss Marple never married and her closest living relatives are her nephews and nieces. Her nephew, the well-known author Raymond West and his wife Joan (initially Joyce) crop up most commonly in her stories. Marple also employs a selection of maids, all young women from the nearby orphanage, training them in her Victorian way. (Source: The Home of Agatha Christie)

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(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. Collins The Crime Club (UK), 1930)

The Murder at the Vicarage [1930] ,The Body in the Library [1942], The Moving Finger [1943], A Murder is Announced [1950], They Do it with Mirrors apa Murder With Mirrors [1952], A Pocket Full of Rye [1953], 4.50 from Paddington apa What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! [1957], The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side [1962], A Caribbean Mystery [1964], At Bertram’s Hotel [1965], Nemesis [1971], Sleeping Murder [1976], and Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories [1985].

Sleeping Murder, although published in 1976, was written during World War II and portrays a sprightlier Miss Marple than Nemesis.

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