Writer Agatha Christie created a fan favorite when she introduced amateur detective Miss Jane Marple in a short story in 1927.
Christie opened doors by creating a female detective who was also an elderly spinster. Miss Marple was based on Christie’s grandmother and her elderly friends.
Miss Marple, a resident of the English village of St. Mary Mead, was somewhat ordinary in that she enjoyed gardening, knitting, gossiping, and being a busybody. But her independent nature, acute intelligence, her understanding of human nature, and her passion for justice led her to become an amateur detective. She was masterful at observation and would hear a casual comment and realize there was more being said.
Readers also appreciated Miss Marple’s ability to network – when the 70+-year-old needed help, she turned to friends, acquaintances, and police friends for assistance.
The character was so well received, Christie featured her in 21 short stories and 12 novels, through 1976. Miss Marple was also depicted in radio series, television shows, movies, and on stage.
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