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Marple: Twelve New Mysteries

Review

Marple: Twelve New Mysteries

by various authors

Miss Jane Marple was featured in 12 novels and 20 short stories by the great Agatha Christie, and she has become one of the most legendary and beloved sleuths in all of fiction. Not an actual detective or a member of any police squad, Miss Marple is an elderly woman with one of the keenest eyes and sharpest wits you will ever come across. Any unsolved mystery or murder will be met with her full attention to detail and often a solution that even the so-called professionals are not capable of.

"MARPLE is a true treat for fans of Agatha Christie and Miss Marple. It is a thrill to see this unforgettable character kept alive through the talents of some of the best writers in the business."

In MARPLE, Miss Marple is celebrated with 12 stories, each penned by some of today’s top mystery and thriller authors. In this review, I will highlight four of these tales that especially stood out to me.

  • “Evil in Small Places” by Lucy Foley: In the small town of Meon Maltravers, Miss Marple is visiting with her old school friend, Prudence, who has become the victim of local violence. When a woman turns up dead bearing a note that reads I KNOW YOU. I KNOW WHAT YOU REALLY ARE. PAY WHAT YOU OWE OR EVERYONE WILL LEARN THE TRUTH, Miss Marple realizes that she must locate this “truth” before they are all put in harm’s way.
     
  • “The Second Murder at the Vicarage” by Val McDermid: This tale is told from the perspective of the vicar, who states that one murder in his vicarage is unfortunate, but a second is pure carelessness. The victim of the latter is a maid whom the vicar says was never even a part of their household. Miss Marple lends her own point of view that once again usurps that of the local constabulary.
     
  • “Miss Marple’s Christmas” by Ruth Ware: Miss Marple’s nephew, Raymond West, and his pregnant wife have been invited to spend Christmas with her. As it turns out, Miss Marple also receives an invitation to enjoy the holiday with her friends, the Bantrys, who are hosting a handful of others. During the festivities, one of the guests claims to have had a rather expensive pearl necklace stolen, and it is nowhere to be found. With the Bantrys now feeling obligated to pay for the missing item, the extremely sharp Miss Marple is able to solve the mystery thanks to a collection of detective stories featuring Lord Peter Wimsey.
     
  • “Murder at the Villa Rosa” by Elly Griffiths: This story is as much about setting as it is about anything else. Perhaps that is why it begins like this: “It’s not necessary to travel to a beautiful place to commit murder, of course, but sometimes it does help.” The locale in question is a gorgeous villa in the Tuscan Valley of Italy, where Miss Marple is vacationing. Of course, a nasty murder threatens to spoil her trip, but she and her “sharp blue gaze” will help restore order in swift fashion.

MARPLE is a true treat for fans of Agatha Christie and Miss Marple. It is a thrill to see this unforgettable character kept alive through the talents of some of the best writers in the business.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on September 16, 2022

Marple: Twelve New Mysteries
by various authors