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Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple: The Life and Times of Miss Jane Marple

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  203 ratings  ·  46 reviews
The definitive companion to the MISS MARPLE novels, short stories, films and TV appearances, now revised and updated.

‘I have had a lot of experience in solving different little problems that have arisen.’

Most of the ‘little problems’ tackled by Miss Marple occurred in the pretty rural village of St Mary Mead and came in the shape of murder, robbery and blackmail. In the 40
Paperback, 151 pages
Published May 2nd 2019 by HarperCollins (first published 1985)
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Over the course of 2017, I have rediscovered how much I enjoy reading Agatha Christie mysteries. While my favorite character has always been Hercule Poirot and his use of little gray cells, this year my reading has expanded to stand alones and Miss Marple. At first I was not sure if I would like cozy mysteries featuring an older female detective; however, Miss Marple is shrewd and more often than not solves cases before the police force considers whodunit. Yet, who is Miss Marple? Canadian autho ...more
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short book makes a nice companion to the Miss Marple series; acting as something of a fictional biography of the character and bringing together all the elements that can be gathered from the novels to explain her background, her career as an unlikely amateur detective and the settings for her adventures. Indeed, Anne Hart becomes something of a sleuth herself, as she tries to recreate Miss Marple from the hints in the books and stories. These can, sometimes, be conflicting. In the earliest ...more
Vikas Singh
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
Excellent reading . Well researched , it is a must read for any Agatha Christie fan. Sadly the book seems to be out of print now, but I managed to get my hands on an old edition from Amazon. It is best to read this book only after one has read all Miss Marple short stories and the novels
Jan C
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I have been re-reading Miss Marple this year. Tried this "biography" (she also has one on Poirot).

Best thing about it was the enlarged map of St. Mary Mead.

The book was interesting enough. However, it was pretty repetitive. Maybe she was being asked to stretch it out - it is only 143 pages, so it wasn't stretched that much.
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: marple fans
Shelves: cozy-mystery, 2020
This was a fun read and I'd recommend it to any Jane Marple fans. The author takes the reader on a tour of Miss Marple's world beginning in the village of St. Mary Meade. A locale with more than a fair number of murders, schemes and crimes. All of Jane's cases are referenced and the vast array of law enforcement, friends, maids, relatives and vicars pass through as they've been part of the landscape of Marpelian fiction.

There are an extensive bibliography and a list of film, tv and radio adaptat
Anne Hart has done an excellent job mining the Miss Marple series for details about our favorite sleuthing spinster. She carefully read all of the Marple stories and tells us every little tidbit that she has found--from who Miss Marple's relatives are to what might have been her very first case to what a day in the life of Miss Marple is like. Sprinkled throughout are bits of Marple wisdom on life, her fellow man....and the wickedness of the common man.

The trouble in this case is that everybody
A nice overview of all the things we can know about Miss Marple from Christie's books. Of course there are inconsistencies, which the author notes. There are also big holes and I appreciated that the author didn't fill in the missing years with guesses, though she does conjecture that MM stayed at home and took care of her aging parents. This is quite likely and may explain her reference to experience nursing, but it's also possible that she worked in some unskilled capacity during the war, I th ...more
John Frankham
A pleasant and amusing 150 page book summarising what we know about Miss Marple from the 12 novels and 21 short stories. Her early life, her home life during the time of the books, the village and its people, her relatives and friends, the maids, the detectives, etc. Good fun. While the books and their basic plots are referred-to, nothing here will spoil one's reading and one's failure to work out whodunnit! ...more
Judy Tate
I was disappointed in this. I thought it would have more about the world she lived in. For example; what the home front was like during the world wars, how the average citizen lived after WWII. Things of that nature. Instead the author recapped Miss Marple's cases and discussed to the point of boredom how her age fluctuated. I completed it, but I would never have it in my Marple library. ...more
A must-read for anyone who loves Miss Marple. Hart gathered so much information, from the short stories, novels, and superfluous writings to form a portrait of the wonderful old lady. Stripping away the crimes, we were able to learn about Miss Marple, her personality, her day to day life. It was fun and has made me want to read and reread more stories with Jane.
Vicki Cline
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-mysteries
This is a delightful compendium of all the data you would ever need to know about Jane Marple, sleuth extraodinaire. The author has collected all the bits of info we have learned about Miss Marple from the many novels and short stories and put them into separate chapters, such as "Miss Marple's Earlier Life", "The 1930's", "The Four Last Cases" and "Little Maids All in a Row." I especially liked the latter chapter, about how her various maids have figured in different stories, sometimes as victi ...more
Mark Pearce
I suppose one has to hand it to Ms Hart for compiling a biography of Miss Marple. It is interesting to see how she has snapped up the various clues Agatha Christie included in her writing of Miss Marple, to create a coherent piece of writing.
It was well researched and well written if a little dry in many part. I suppose most biographies will be dry and it must be even harder if you can't ask the subject any questions!
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Title: The Life and Times of Miss Jane Marple.

Author: Anne Hart.

Genre: Fiction, Fictional Biography, Fictional Character Profile, Miss Marple Companion Book.

Plot: One of Agatha Christie's most famous sleuths is the ladylike Miss Marple, with her knitting needles and harmless appearance disguising her sharp mind. Miss Marple is also famous simply as a lady sleuth, in a world dominated by male detectives, sleuths, investigators and those yucky people who are always in the wrong place at the right
Nov 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful overview of what we know about the wonderful Miss Marple. The answer, you realize, is quite a lot. You come away with some admiration for Christie's talent that she takes a static character and imbues her with enough personality that we feel not only that we know her, but she lived a full life before we met her. ...more
Oct 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Miss Marple fans
I enjoyed this little book in which the author attempted to construct Miss Marple's biography from clues in Christie's novels. Christie did not pay a lot of attention to consistency: indeed, Miss Marple first appears as a fluttery old lady in the 1920s but is a much more active character, appearing middle-aged rather than elderly, in the novels set in the 1940s and 50s. Hart does her best to contain this discrepancy. Her descriptions of St. Mary Mead and of Miss Marple's travels are fun. In the ...more
May 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Miss Marple is awesome ... but not as well depicted in the films of the books (vs. David Suchet who masters the Poirot character). My imagination of Miss Marple is superior to the icky portrayals by actresses Margaret Rutherford. Recent actress Geraldine McEwan is too rigid compared to Joan Hickson who I think does the best job of conveying what Agatha Christie intended!
Aug 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marple fans
Shelves: nonfiction
Read in preparation for book discussion. The author gathers together all of the biographical material in the Marple stories to create a biography. While a fairly good life story can be made, there really is very little of the old lady herself in the books. Consequently the same quotes are used to illustrate different points. But as a fictional reference it is very good.
Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)
Frankly I wasn't all that impressed with this, I found it very repetitive and as the people that would be interested in reading it are Marple afficionados then it provided nothing new.  Frankly it would have been better off as a small booklet than a book! ...more
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A solidly good book. Apparently, I'm a better observer than I thought, since none of this info was new to me. ...more
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: agatha-christie
I found this to be a bit boring. It was well researched and would be great for the trivia buff.

Madelyn Flammia
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a result of reading this book, I became aware of some Miss Marple short stories that I had not read. It is just a compilation of information from the various books, but it is very well done.
George Dean
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
I bought this book all the way back in September of last year, but I wanted to save it until I’d read my last few remaining Miss Marple books because it apparently covered information in all 12 novels and 20 short stories that feature her as a character. I’m incredibly glad I did because reading this felt like the perfect send-off after finishing Sleeping Murder, as this book discusses and examine’s Miss Marple’s life by piecing together different scraps of information Agatha Christie revealed, ...more
Maya Gopalakrishnan
This was a nicely written fictional biography of the famous Miss Marple starting with the layout and neighborhood of St Mary Mead, Miss Marple's childhood, youth and an exploration of her career as a well respected yet atypical sleuth. Characters from all of the books and their relationship to Miss Marple is well explored and Miss Marple's opinions and ideas on various issues from dinner table, linen cupboard to feminism are hypothesized with zeal based on evidence from the books. For a hardcore ...more
Apr 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read for Miss Marple (and Agatha Christie in general) fanatics such as myself. If you have read all Christie novels and short stories featuring Jane Marple the sleuth distinguished as everybody's favourite great aunt (as I have), there may be nothing new in it for you, as the author hasn't unearthed or made up anything never read before regarding Miss Marple. But still, lovely to read it all condensed in one book, and perhaps to jog one's memory about some details one might have forgotte ...more
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading Anne Hart's biography of Hercule Poirot, I had to see what she wrote about Miss Marple, my favorite Agatha Christie detective. She did not disappoint. She pulls facts and reminiscences from all of Miss Marple's stories and books and puts together a picture of Miss Marple's life and times. An enjoyable read and one that can be done in a day. I'd like to read it again sometime. ...more
Isaiah Vianese
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
In this charming pseudo biography, Anne Hart compiles clues from Agatha Christie novels and stories to give the reader a comprehensive look at Miss Marple's life and career. Hart writes with a light, comedic, and affectionate tone about everyone's favorite old lady sleuth. As a Marple fan, I adored this book. Highly recommended. ...more
Frances Duncan
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure I'd want someone pulling out inconsistencies in my books!

There is a lot of detail.
Karen Cowgill
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quick read, very informative and fun. Love Miss Marple!!
John Bohnert
I've long been a fan of Miss Jane Marple. I loved Joan Hickson's portrayal of Miss Marple. This charming book covers a lot of ground in a small book that lives by my Agatha Christie collection. ...more
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As charming a biography of a fictional character as I have ever read. This is a true account of an imaginary woman who lives forever in our imagination.
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Anne Hart has written a book a year since 1963 and specializes in mystery novels, adventure, and suspense. She also teaches part-time online writing courses for a university and holds a graduate degree.

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