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Miss Marple Books In Order

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Publication Order of Miss Marple Books

The Murder at the Vicarage (1930)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Body in the Library (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Moving Finger (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Murder is Announced (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
They Do It With Mirrors (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Pocket Full of Rye (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
4:50 From Paddington / What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Caribbean Mystery (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
At Bertram's Hotel (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nemesis (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sleeping Murder (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Miss Marple Collections

The Thirteen Problems (1932)Description / Buy at Amazon
13 Clues for Miss Marple (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Miss Marple's Final Cases (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Miss Marple Short Stories (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Miss Marple series is a series of crime fiction and mystery novels written by the world famous English author named Agatha Christie. This series is comprised of a total of 14 books and features the chief protagonist in the form of a fictional character named Miss Marple.

The character of Miss Marple also appears in 20 other short stories written by Agatha Christie. Author Christie has described Miss Marple as an elderly spinster living in a village called St. Mary Mead. Her real name is Jane Marple, but people usually refer her by her popular name ‘Miss Marple’.

Throughout the crime fiction series, Miss Marple is shown as acting as a consulting amateur detective. Along with the other famous characters of Agatha Christie, she is also very popular and has been cast on screen for numerous times.

The first appearance of Miss Marple was in a short story published in 1927, titled ‘The Tuesday Night Club’. As part of a full length novel, Miss Marple was first depicted in ‘The Murder at the Vicarage’ in 1930. Miss Marple’s character is inspired from the step grandmother and Aunt Margaret West of author Christie, as well as her cronies.

But, Agatha Christie has attributed the character’s inspiration to many other sources. According to her, Miss Marple is a type of old lady, who would have been like the Ealing cronies of her step grandmother. She had met these old ladies in numerous villages where she had gone to stay when she was a small girl.

Some of the materials to create the character have also been taken by author Christie from her other creations, like the spinster Caroline Sheppard. When one of the novels featuring Caroline Sheppard was adapted as a stage show by Michael Morton, he decided to replace Caroline Sheppard with a young girl.

When author Christie came to know about this change, she was very much saddened and decided to create Miss Marple’s character. However, there is no definite source from where the name of Miss Marple has been derived. Some critics believe that author Christie adopted the name from the Marple railway station, located in Stockport, from where she used to pass regularly.

Others also believe that the name is taken from a family that used to live near the home of her sister Madge at Marple Hall. The depiction of the character is somewhat different in the later books of the series from what how it is shown in the first book. Previously, Miss Marple was depicted as a gossiping woman. The people of her town liked her, but were often bored with her.

As the series progresses, Marple is shown as a kinder and a modern person. With the help of her shrewd intelligence, she likes to solve difficult crimes. Throughout her stay in St. Mary Mead, Miss Marple comes across a number of incidents which make her deal with the human nature’s negative side.

Marple also has the ability to pass a casual comment and then relate it to the case she is working on. In many books of the series, Miss Marple is shown as relying on her friendly relationship with the retired Metropolitan Police commissioner named Sir Henry Clithering, to obtain official information as and when required by her.

Miss Marple remained unmarried throughout her life and even did not have any close relatives. In some novels, she is shown as having a nephew named Raymond West, who is a popular author. He has an artist wife named Joan. Raymond always underestimates the mental abilities of her aunt and overestimates himself.

Miss Marple is shown employing young women from an orphanage and training them for serving as housemaids after her long-time maid and housekeeper named Florence retires. For a brief period, Marple was looked after by an irritating maid called Miss Knight.

Miss Marple never looks worried about her means of living as she is financially supported by her nephew. She is depicted to be a highly educated woman, having knowledge about a few art courses involving human anatomical study.

In one of the books in the series, author Christie has shown that Miss Marple grew up in a cathedral and completed her schooling from an Italian school. There is little knowledge about the background of her, except that she has a couple of sisters.

Raymond’s mother is one of them and the other is the mother of a murder accused named Mabel Denham. One of the initial books written by Agatha Christie in the Miss Marple series was released under the title ‘The Thirteen Problems’. This book was published in the year 1932 by the Harper publication.

The start of the novel shows that the local people of St. Mary Mead, often meet at the club called The Tuesday Night in order to challenge Miss Marple for solving the recent crimes. On the evening of one such Tuesday, a group of people arrive at the house of Miss Marple and begin the conversation of unsolved crimes in the city.

Some of those crimes include disappearing bloodstains, a thief committing the same crime two times, the invisible will case, the message written on the death bed of a dying man, and the case of the spiritualist who informed the locals that Blue Geranium can cause death. Now, Miss Marple faces the tough challenge of going after all the cases one after the other and solve them to the best of her abilities.

Only then, the local citizens of St. Mary Mead can live peacefully. Later in the novel, it is depicted that the venue of the ‘Tuesday Night Club’ becomes a regular place where people approach Miss Marple with their unsolvable cases. And she too does not hesitate to take them up, knowing that she has that mental ability to solve any criminal case.

One of the other books released initially in the Miss Marple series is titled as ‘Nemesis’. This novel was released by the Signet publication in the year 1971. Author Christie has described the main characters in this novel as Mr. Rafiel and Jane Marple. The beginning of the book shows that Marple is astounded to read a letter sent to her by the deceased tycoon named Mr. Jason Rafiel.

She had met him recently on a vacation in West Indies. Miss Marple reads that Mr. Rafiel has awarded her a part of his property as well as has asked her to investigate his murder. It appeared that Mr. Rafiel already knew that he was going to be murdered and so he had written the letter to Miss Marple in anticipation.

However, Miss Marple does not find the name of any suspect in the letter and therefore, she does not know where to start the investigation from. Later, it comes to her knowledge there are more than one person involved in the murder of Mr. Jason Rafiel and they will try to stop Miss Marple from inquiring about the murder case.

Miss Marple knows that she might become their next target if does not stop the investigation. She also knows that no matter how strong or dangerous the criminals are, she is not going to stop until she has solved the case and caught the culprit.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Miss Marple

One Response to “Miss Marple”

  1. Alan Beattie: 10 months ago

    If I were to complain, the leading one would be that Miss Marple does not have enough novels! Try forty, as opposed to twelve. Another is Dame Agatha’s insistence on referring to the U.K. as England. In the Hercule Poirot short story, she goes so far as to refer to the English Prime Minister – whose surname is MacAdams, by the way – and to the English Army. WHAT WERE HER PUBLISHERS’ THINKING???


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