Thursday, July 26, 2012

Best Miss Marple Books

I used to dislike Miss Marple stories a lot, I say a lot because I read thirteen of them in the 13 problems and then I read Murder is Announced and I was hooked for life. Miss Marple books are easy reads and the identity of the murderer can be guessed by a smart reader half way through the book, but that does not take anything away from this wonderful series. I have already done a best of Hercule Poirot and Best of Agatha Christie books and now its time for my list of best Miss Marple books or the top 5 Marple books. Lets start the countdown for the top Miss Marple mysteries

No 5. 4:50 From Paddington -  Mrs McGillicuddy is travelling in a train to see her friend Jane Marple. On her way she sees a woman being murdered in a crossing parallel train. The Problem is that she could not identify either the murderer or the victim and the police are unable to locate the dead woman's body on the train. The Police think of this incident as hallucinations of an old women and curb any further inquiries. Mrs McGillicuddy narrates this incident to Miss Marple, who hatches up a scheme to nab the killer.

No 4. The Body in the Library - The Bantry's wake up to an unexpected visitor in their house. The servants have found the dead body of a platinum blonde in the Library, The Bantry's say they do not know who the girl is or how she got inside the house, but that denial by the Bantry's is no consolation to the wagging tongues of the villagers who accuse and start incriminating Colonel Bantry. Mrs Bantry realizes this fact and calls in the cavalry AKA the old St Mary Mead sleuth herself Miss Marple.

No 3. The Moving Finger - A pair of siblings move to a sleepy English Town to find peace and solace in the country side. but the city slickers dream turn sour very soon. The town's folk are the victims of malicious machinations by a crazed lunatic who sends anonymous hate letters to these people, very soon one of these letters proves to be fatal as the wife of a lawyer takes her own life after being accused of adultery in one of the letters. The police start a hunt for the person responsible but Miss Marple thinks that this might not have been a suicide after all. With a truck load of suspects and with endless Red Herrings. We get a classic Agatha Christie.

No 2. A Pocket full of Rye - A highly successful Banker after drinking a cup of tea falls seriously ill and dies within hours from poisoning, the banker's pockets are found to be full of rye!! no one knows why there was cereal in the dead man's pocket until his wife is also poisoned eating bread and honey and his maid is found strangled with a clothes pin on her nose, Miss Marple deduces that someone is arranging the murders along the nursery rhyme 'Sing a song of Sixpence'.

No.1 A Murder is Announced - If you want to read Miss Marple book then this is the one I will suggest to read first, it is just absolute fun. The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are agog with curiosity over an advert in the gazette which reads - A murder is announced and will take place on Friday October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30pm, a childish practical joke? Or a hoax intended to scare poor Letitia Blacklock? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, a crowd begins to gather at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out and a gun is fired! When they come back on a Murder which was announced has taken place and suddenly the sleepy town of Chipping Cleghorn is awakened to Mystery and Death


  1. intelligent story!! keep working this great stuff
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  2. I have never been too fond of Miss Marple though her Murder with Mirrors is pretty good. I liked The Body in the Library the best of this lot but then I've forgotten all about A Murder is Announced.

    1. I know a lot of people who aren't too fond of Miss Marple I think she kinda grows on you after you gave read a few. you must give Murder is Announced a try, it is one of those books which is unanimously liked.

  3. Thanks for this list and a trip down memory lane! I used to devour Christie when I was a young teen, before moving on to stronger stuff! I've just used your list to choose the best one for a present for my niece.

    1. hi Claire,

      Glad to know that my blog rekindled some of your pleasant memories.

  4. I would also list "A Murder Is Announced" as my favorite Miss Marple novel. But the other four are also favorites of mine:

    2. "Sleeping Murder"

    3. "A Caribbean Mystery"

    4. "4.50 From Paddington"

    5. "A Pocketful of Rye"

    1. hi Rosie,

      What an interesting and different list you have there. Us Christie admirers have such different and wonderful choices. I did not like Caribbean mystery, tend to think of it as the weakest entry in the Marple series but I loved 4:50 especially the character of the nurser.

      Yet to read Sleeping murder, that will be my last Marple so saving it for a later date.

  5. My top five would be
    1. Murder is Announced
    2. Mirror Cracked
    3. Thirteen Problems
    4. Moving Finger
    5. Murder at the Vicarage!

    1. Great list except I honestly did not enjoy thirteen problems.

  6. 1 murder at the vicrage
    2 the body in the library
    3 sleeping murder
    4 a pocketful of rye
    5 The moving finger
    6 a murder is anounced
    7 a Caribbean mistery
    8 Padington 4:50
    9 They do It with mirrors
    10 the mirrors crack'd from side to side
    11 at bertrams hotel
    12 nemesis


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