Last Updated on December 27, 2023 by BiblioLifestyle
When it comes to mystery novels, there is no one better than Agatha Christie. She has written some of the most well-known and beloved mysteries of all time, and her character Miss Marple is a legend in the genre. If you want to get into Miss Marple’s books, or are just curious about who she is, read on! In this article, we will discuss who Agatha Christie is, her writing of Miss Marple, and all the Miss Marple books in order.
Who is Agatha Christie?
Agatha Christie is one of the most famous mystery writers of all time. She was born in England in 1890 and wrote her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920. Agatha Christie then went on to write more than 70 novels and short story collections during her lifetime, many of which are considered classics of the mystery genre. In addition, her books have been adapted for stage, film, and television and translated into over 100 languages. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Christie remains the bestselling fiction writer of all time, with global sales exceeding over two billion copies worldwide.
Agatha Christie is best known for her detective novels, which feature the characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. She is also the author of the world’s longest-running play, The Mousetrap. Agatha Christie’s books are still as popular today as they were when they were first published, and her work continues to influence authors and readers worldwide.
Interested in learning more about Agatha Christie? Check out The Mysterious World of Agatha Christie.
Interested in reading Agatha Christie? Check out The 5 Must-Read Books by Agatha Christie.
All About Agatha Christie Miss Marple Books
Who is Miss Marple?
Christie first wrote about the character Miss Jane Marple in 1927 in a short story that was first published in The Royal Magazine. Then, in 1930, Agatha Christie debuted the legendary character in the full-length novel The Murder at the Vicarage.
Miss Marple is an older woman who lives in the fictional village of St. Mary Mead. She is known for her keen powers of observation and deduction, which she uses to solve crimes that have baffled the police. Christie wrote 12 novels featuring Miss Marple, as well as several short stories. The Miss Marple books are some of Christie’s most famous works and have been adapted for television, film, and radio.
How many Miss Marple books are there by Agatha Christie?
Agatha Christie wrote a total of 12 full-length Miss Marple novels. In addition, there are 20 short stories featuring Miss Marple, which are collected in different volumes such as “The Thirteen Problems” and “Miss Marple’s Final Cases.” The books and stories were released between 1930 and 1976, providing over four decades of intriguing and suspenseful reading.
The Top Five Agatha Christie Miss Marple Books
- The Body in the Library
- The Moving Finger
- A Murder is Announced
- A Pocket Full of Rye
- Sleeping Murder
Which Miss Marple Book is the Best?
The best Miss Marple book is hands down “The Body in the Library” (Amazon or Bookshop.) In the novel, a young woman’s body is found in a wealthy couple’s library, and it’s all up to Agatha Christie’s famous detective Miss Marple to solve the case. With plenty of suspects and red herrings along the way, this is an excellent introduction to Agatha Christie’s work and will keep you guessing until the end.
The first Agatha Christie I read was “The Body in the Library.” It’s very much a personal favorite of mine, and it’s one of Christie’s best books. Plus, during my chat with author Sophie Hannah, who is the author of the new Hercule Poirot novels authorized by the Agatha Christie estate, she recommended readers start with “The Body in the Library.”
In What Order Should You Read Miss Marple?
If you plan on reading all 12 Miss Marple novels, I recommend reading the Miss Marple books chronologically.
New Editions: The Miss Marple Collection
Agatha Christie’s classic Miss Marple novels and short stories get a whole new look! Explore the eye-catching new covers that are decorated with deadly flowers, clues, and a hidden Miss Marple silhouette on each cover. The new cover designs are by Holly Ovenden.
List of Miss Marple Books in Order
Miss Marple Novels
The Murder at the Vicarage (1930)
“The Murder at the Vicarage” is a captivating debut novel featuring Miss Marple, a sharp detective unraveling the murder of Colonel Protheroe in the idyllic English village of St. Mary Mead. With her keen observation and understanding of human nature, Miss Marple exposes hidden clues, unveiling a web of secrets and solving the perplexing murder.
The Body in the Library (1942)
“The Body in the Library” is a classic Agatha Christie Miss Marple book filled with mystery and suspense. Miss Marple, with her keen observational skills, untangles the web of clues to uncover the identity of a young woman and her killer, showcasing Christie’s masterful storytelling.
The Moving Finger (1942)
“The Moving Finger” is a captivating Agatha Christie novel featuring Miss Marple. Set in the town of Lymstock, the arrival of poison pen letters triggers a series of tragic events, leading to an intriguing investigation by Miss Marple to uncover the truth.
A Murder is Announced (1950)
In the village of Chipping Cleghorn, a seemingly harmless murder announcement in the local gazette turns deadly when the murder occurs exactly as stated. Miss Marple, invited by her friend Mrs. Harmon, uses her keen observation and understanding of human nature to solve the intricate puzzle and unravel the unexpected twists in this quintessential Agatha Christie suspense novel.
They Do It with Mirrors (1952)
In “They Do It with Mirrors” (1952), Miss Marple investigates a murder at a rehabilitation center for delinquent boys, unraveling the illusions of a cunning manipulator. Agatha Christie showcases her talent for characterization and intricate plotlines, as Miss Marple’s astute observations expose the truth behind the crime and the mysterious events at the estate.
A Pocket Full of Rye (1953)
“A Pocket Full of Rye” is a gripping murder mystery where the sudden death of a wealthy businessman leads to a series of perplexing events. Miss Marple, with her sharp observations and understanding of human nature, unravels the intricate web of deceit surrounding the Fortescue family. Agatha Christie’s ingenious plotting keeps readers guessing till the very end.
4:50 from Paddington (1957)
In “4:50 from Paddington,” Miss Marple takes on a unique case after her friend witnesses a murder on a passing train. Despite the lack of a body or any evidence, Miss Marple’s dogged determination leads her to the crackling tension and dark secrets of Rutherford Hall. This gripping novel is another testament to Agatha Christie’s ingenious storytelling, as Miss Marple unravels a trail of cleverly disguised clues.
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (1962)
“The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side” is an enthralling Miss Marple novel where a fatal dose of poison meant for the famous actress, Marina Gregg, takes another woman’s life at a local charity event. Miss Marple, with her sharp wit and keen observation, untangles the twisted threads of past secrets and jealousy to reveal the unexpected murderer.
A Caribbean Mystery (1964)
“A Caribbean Mystery” sees Miss Marple trading her quiet English village for a tropical island getaway, only to encounter a mysterious death at the glamorous resort. Using her sharp wit and keen observational skills, Miss Marple uncovers the deadly secrets beneath the island’s sun-soaked facade, showing Agatha Christie’s storytelling prowess.
At Bertram’s Hotel (1965)
“At Bertram’s Hotel” is another intriguing Miss Marple mystery, set in a luxurious London hotel that seems frozen in time. As Miss Marple investigates the mysterious goings-on, she uncovers a plot of deception and crime hidden beneath the hotel’s elegant facade.
“Nemesis” is a thrilling Miss Marple mystery, where she receives a posthumous request from an old acquaintance, Mr. Rafiel, to solve a crime. As Miss Marple unravels the clues left by Mr. Rafiel, she navigates a web of dark family secrets to expose an unexpected murderer, displaying Agatha Christie’s signature suspense and storytelling mastery.
Sleeping Murder (1976)
In “Sleeping Murder” a young woman, Gwenda Reed, is haunted by fragments of her past. Guided by Miss Marple’s keen intuition, she uncovers a chilling murder from her childhood, showcasing Christie’s unforgettable blend of suspense and intrigue.
Miss Marple Short Stories
The Thirteen Problems (1932)
“The Thirteen Problems” (1932) is a captivating collection of short stories by Agatha Christie featuring her beloved character, Miss Marple. This assemblage presents a series of puzzling mysteries shared by a group of friends, each portraying a unique set of circumstances and suspects. Every tale becomes a challenge for the group to solve, but it’s Miss Marple, with her astute observational skills and understanding of human nature, who consistently comes to the correct conclusions. As the group convenes for their regular Tuesday night gatherings, they are enthralled by these unusual and intriguing problems, allowing Christie’s signature blend of suspense and intrigue to shine through. The collection includes some of the most popular Miss Marple mysteries, solidifying her position as one of the most beloved characters in detective fiction.
Final Cases (1979)
“Final Cases” is the last collection of short stories featuring the indomitable Miss Marple. This compilation showcases Agatha Christie’s trademark blend of suspense, intrigue, and insightful commentary on human nature. Each tale further underlines Miss Marple’s deftness in observing minute details and her uncanny ability to unravel even the most intricate mysteries. Despite her advancing age, her astuteness and understanding of human nature remain unimpaired, allowing her to solve cases that leave traditional detectives baffled. The stories also provide an intimate look at Miss Marple’s life in St. Mary Mead, offering readers a deeper appreciation of Agatha Christie’s beloved sleuth. The collection, while marking the end of Miss Marple’s literary journey, leaves a lasting impact, echoing the timeless appeal of Agatha Christie’s most famous detective.
Marple is a brand new authorized collection of short stories featuring the Queen of Crime’s legendary detective Jane Marple as she faces twelve new cases, penned by twelve bestselling and acclaimed authors. Each author reimagines Agatha Christie’s Marple through their own unique perspective while staying true to the hallmarks of a traditional mystery. Marple features stories from: Naomi Alderman, Leigh Bardugo, Alyssa Cole, Lucy Foley, Elly Griffiths, Natalie Haynes, Jean Kwok, Val McDermid, Karen M. McManus, Dreda Say Mitchell, Kate Mosse, Ruth Ware.
Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories (2022)
A captivating compilation of Agatha Christie’s short stories featuring the brilliant detective, Miss Marple. Set in the tranquil village of St. Mary Mead, Miss Marple’s astute observations of human nature prove invaluable in solving perplexing mysteries. With her unparalleled insight and remarkable deductive skills, she has earned the reputation of being one of the greatest detectives ever created. This omnibus is a must-read for all fans of Christie’s crime fiction, offering a thrilling assortment of murder, mayhem, and intrigue.
More about Miss Marple
What is the best Miss Marple book to read first?
The best Miss Marple book to read first is “The Body in the Library” (Amazon or Bookshop) and it’s very much a personal favorite of mine. Plus, during my chat with author Sophie Hannah, who is the author of the new Hercule Poirot novels authorized by the Agatha Christie estate, she also recommended readers start with “The Body in the Library.”
For those readers who are planning to read all of the Miss Marple books, it’s always a good idea to start from the beginning. Hence, “The Murder at the Vicarage” (Amazon or Bookshop) is often recommended as the first book to read. This novel marks the debut of the beloved character, Miss Jane Marple, introducing readers to her intuitive style of solving mysteries. Reading this book first allows you to appreciate the character’s development and the evolution of Christie’s storytelling through the series.
Did Miss Marple and Poirot ever meet?
Contrary to what some might think, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s two most famous detective characters, never meet in any of the author’s stories. While both characters share a knack for uncovering the truth and solving seemingly unsolvable mysteries, their paths never cross. Christie kept these characters in their own separate worlds, allowing each to shine in their own right.
Who was Miss Marple’s boyfriend?
Interestingly, Agatha Christie chose to keep Miss Marple’s personal life relatively private throughout the series. Miss Marple is portrayed as a spinster living in St. Mary Mead, with no mention being made of any romantic relationships in her past or present. Despite the absence of a romantic partner, Miss Marple leads a fulfilling life, her days filled with gardening, knitting, and of course, her unparalleled ability to solve the most confounding of mysteries.
Who played the best Miss Marple?
While several actresses have portrayed Miss Marple over the years, the question of who played the character the best is subjective and dependent on personal preference. However, two actresses are often highlighted for their performances. Dame Margaret Rutherford’s portrayal in the 1960s brought a comedic and eccentric touch to the character, making her a favorite among many fans. On the other hand, Joan Hickson’s interpretation in the 1980s BBC series is often lauded for closely resembling Agatha Christie’s original character description in the books. Hickson’s performance was even endorsed by Christie herself, making her a standout among those who have taken on the role.
Have you read any Miss Marple books?
Have you read any books by Agatha Christie? Are any of these books or her other works on your TBR? What book by Agatha Christie is your favorite? Let talk all about Miss Marple in the comments below.