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Miss Marple Stories

The Origins of Miss Marple

The elderly spinster Jane Marple appears in 12 full length novels and a further 20 short stories. The first of these was Murder at The Vicarage published in 1930 although the character had appeared some three years before in a short story published in a magazine. Agatha Christie herself seemed quite surprised at the emergence of a sleuth to rival that of Hercule Poirot and suggested that the character had begun to form in her mind from one of the characters in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, namely the spinster sister of Dr. Sheppard. There was also a little of Agatha's grandmother in Jane Marple and in particular her almost uncanny ability to predict bad events. Finally, there was inspiration from who she described as "my grandmother's Ealing cronies"; the elderly women who were part of her mother's social circle.

Joan Hickson as Miss Marple visiting Torquay, birthplace of Agatha Christie

The full list of Marple novels:

  • Murder at The Vicarage publsihed in 1930
  • The Body in the Library published in 1942
  • The Moving Finger published in 1943
  • A Murder is Announced published in 1950
  • They Do it with Mirrors published in 1952 ( Also known as Murder with Mirrors)
  • A Pocket Full of Rye published in 1953
  • 4.50 from Paddington published in 1957 ( Also known as What Miss Mcgillicuddy Saw)
  • The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side published in 1962 (Also known as The Mirror Crack'd)
  • A Caribbean Mystery  published in 1964
  • At Bertram's Hotel published in 1965
  • Nemesis published in 1971
  • Sleeping Murder written around 1940 but published in1976


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