March 26, 2007
" Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories" by Agatha Christie
“ Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories” sounds like a total old lady book. This is because:
a) it’s about an old lady
b) it’s by Agatha Christie, the #1 old lady author
That being said, it’s really an enjoyable book. The mysteries are tame, but one has to appreciate Christie’s attention to criminal detail and her love of imagining settings for the greedy impulses of humankind.
This is not a book I recommend sitting and reading story after story, because each story in the book follows a pretty noticeable pattern. Someone in the group tells a story of a mysterious death (accompanied by varying numbers of questionable wills, adopted nieces and wealthy old people) and then everyone hazards a guess about the true perpetrator of the crime. Miss Marple, of course, always totally nails the right answer, but does so through various charming observations of human nature from her own sleepy little village.
Still, these are great little mysteries, even if Agatha Christie tends to lean a little heavily on poison as a plot device. Each story is no more than 4-5 pages and provides a pleasant interruption to say, an evening of studying, without being too wholly distracting. Miss Marple is a classic character in mystery circles, and this collection is a good way to appreciate her in small doses.
Sara, reference assistant
Posted by jnardine at March 26, 2007 09:17 AM