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Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories (1985) Agatha Christie (Miss Marple)

Miss Marple The Complete Short StoriesThese stories were published between 1927 and 1957.

“(S)o many people seem to me not to be either bad or good, but simply, you know, very silly.”

The Thirteen Problems (previously published as The Tuesday Club Murders) (1932)
The Tuesday Night Club (1927)
The Idol House of Astarte (1928)
Ingots of Gold (1928)
The Blood-Stained Pavement (1928)
Motive versus Opportunity (1928)
The Thumb Mark of St. Peter (1928)
The Blue Geranium (1929)
A Christmas Tragedy (1930)
The Companion (1930)
The Herb of Death (1930)
The Four Suspects (1930)
The Affair at the Bungalow (1930)
Death by Drowning (1931)

The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories (1939)
“Miss Marple Tells a Story”
“The Dream” (1937)
“In a Glass Darkly” (1934)

Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1950)
Strange Jest (1944)
The Tape-Measure Murder (1942)
The Case of the Perfect Maid (1942)
The Case of the Caretaker (1942)

Double Sin and Other Stories (1961)
Sanctuary (1954)
Greenshaw’s Folly (1957)

Miss Marple has always felt timeless to me, which is why it is a surprise to discover that many of the short stories were published between the two world wars and several during the second world war. Perhaps that is what made them so popular at a time when people were dealing with war and upheaval–they were outside of that.

What my nephew calls ‘superfluous women’ have a lot of time on their hands, and their chief interest is usually people. And so, you see, they get to be what one might call experts.

And there’s something so banal and almost calming about being scolded by an elderly relative.

“What is your opinion?”

“You wouldn’t like my opinion, dear. Young people never do, I notice. It is better to say nothing.”

“Nonsense, Aunt Jane; out with it.”

“Well, dear Raymond,” said Miss Marple, laying down her knitting and looking across at her nephew. “I do think you should be more careful how you choose your friends.

The last stories published are probably the weakest, and some have theorized that the books and stories he wrote at the end of her life show early signs of Agatha Christie’s dementia. But the early stories are marvelous.

“Now, as I expect you know, there is nothing more cruel than talk, and there is nothing more difficult to combat.”

There is just something so calming and reassuring about Miss Marple, and she’s the perfect reading for right now.

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Rating: 9/10


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