Miss Marple - Sketch of a Famous Fictional Detective

Miss Jane Marple is one of Agatha Christie's most famous fictional characters. She is a spinster who acts as an amateur detective, and lives in the English village of St. Mary Mead. Miss Marple appears in twelve of Christie's mystery books. In 1927 the Royal Magazine published Christie's short story The Tuesday Night Club. It was Miss Marple's first appearance. The Murder at the Vicarage was her first debut in a full length novel. In this first Miss Marple mystery book she is portrayed as a bit of a gossip. Later, Christie changes the character into a more likable person.

Miss Marple looks like a sweet old English lady, knitting or caring for her garden. Because of this, most people underestimate her mental acuity. Marple's long life in St. Mary Mead has given her endless examples of the darker side of human nature. Acquaintances are often annoyed by her stories of people and events from the small hamlet. But these analogies aid Miss Marple in understanding motivations, which in turn helps her solve the crime before the police. When it comes to solving murder, Miss Marple has a keen logical mind that easily puts together the jumbled pieces of a puzzle.

Mystery Books featuring Miss Marple

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, or Murder With Mirrors (1952)
A Pocket Full of Rye (1953)
4.50 from Paddington, or What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! (1957)
The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side, or The Mirror Crack'd (1962)
A Caribbean Mystery (1964)
At Bertram's Hotel (1965)
Nemesis (1971)
Sleeping Murder (written around 1940, published 1976)

Miss Marple Short Story Collection

The Thirteen Problems (short story collection featuring Miss Marple, also published as The Tuesday Club Murders) (1932)
Miss Marple's Final Cases and Two Other Stories (short stories collected posthumously, also published as Miss Marple's Final Cases, but only six of the eight stories actually feature Miss Marple) (written between 1939 and 1954, published 1979)

Miss Marple also appears in Greenshaw's Folly, a short story traditionally included as part of the Poirot collection The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (1960). Four stories in the Three Blind Mice collection (1950) feature Miss Marple: Strange Jest, Tape-Measure Murder, The Case of the Caretaker, and The Case of the Perfect Maid.

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