Between the years, 1927–1931, Agatha Christie introduced Miss Jane Marple, an elderly spinster in the quaint English village of St. Mary Mead, who solved all manner of mysteries with intense concentration and intuition.
Although Miss Marple is believed to be based on Agatha Christie's grandmother there is no definitive source for the derivation of the name 'Marple'. Suggestions are that the name was either taken from the railway station in Marple, Stockport or alternatively Marple Hall which was near her sister’s home. Christie is reported to have attributed inspiration for the character of Miss Marple to her grandmother’s friends or old ladies she met in villages she stayed as a girl.
The character of Miss Marple was born following an incidence where one of her fictional creations was removed from a stage adaptation and replaced with a young girl. It is said Christie was determined to give ‘old maids a voice’.
Miss Marple exemplifies the cozy form of mystery fiction. Tall, slender, and forever curious Miss Jane Marple lives in the Village of St Mary Mead. Although Miss Marple looks sweet, frail and old, she appears to be fearless and solves difficult crimes because of her shrewd intelligence, Jane Marple’s character was initially portrayed in the first Marple book ‘The Murder at the Vicarage’ as a nosy gossip, expecting the worse of everyone, to later develop into a kinder person. She never married and had no close living relative although she had a nephew ‘Raymond West’.
- The Murder at the Vicarage (1930)
- The Body in the Library (1942)
- The Moving Finger (1943)
- A Murder is Announced (1950)
- They Do It with Mirrors, or Murder with Mirrors (1952)
- A Pocket Full of Rye (1953)
- 4.50 from Paddington, or What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! (1957)
- The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side, or The Mirror Crack'd (1962)
- A Caribbean Mystery (1964)
- At Bertram's Hotel (1965)
- Nemesis (1971)