Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories

Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories
Agatha Christie
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Feb 14, 2024

This Christie short story collection focuses on the titular Miss Marple, an elderly woman who has lived nearly her entire life in the same small town. In each of the 20 stories, she ends up in one way or another listening to a retelling of a mystery (often a murder) and, through her wealth of experience and observations on human nature, arriving at a solution that eluded the other party guests (or book club members, or detectives). Most of the stories are only just over ten pages long, but contain a surprising amount of depth with subtle clues that the reader could potentially decipher. 

A thoroughly enjoyable book. Easy to read and light enough to read just one chapter (story) at a time, while just heavy enough that one chapter will feel satisfying – although it’s easy to get drawn in and read much more than one. The individual stories are quite short, which may not be everyone’s style – readers who prefer lengthier, deeper mysteries may like Christie’s Poirot stories, which each take a reasonably sized book to complete (my personal favorite of his so far has been Murder on the Orient Express). The mysteries are each told by a different narrator, and some by multiple people at once. Readers who prefer consistent third-person narration might find the style of some stories jarring. However, it also adds some personality and flair to the stories. 

The stories vary in subject, style and difficulty, so even if a few of the mysteries aren’t to your taste, it’s likely that some will be. The mysteries are complex. While some readers may prefer puzzles they can easily solve themselves, most of these stories are quite tricky and present a real challenge (and most, although not all, are solvable without Miss Marple’s eclectic knowledge and impressive observation). Finally, the writing and storytelling are simply entertaining and enjoyable to read, and it’s fun to watch the unassuming Miss Marple solve mysteries that stumped the area’s greatest detectives. 

Overall – a fun and interesting read whether it’s a chapter at a time or all at once. The mysteries are difficult, yet fairly solvable depending on how much effort the reader is willing to spend on it – but enjoyable to read whether the reader wants to challenge Miss Marple’s wit or just enjoy her impressive powers of deduction. Definitely recommended for fans of Christie’s, mystery fans, or readers in general. 

Final rating: 4.5

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