Maybe I should take up knitting…

Sep 15, 2022 | 0 comments

I’m re-reading Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, The Complete Short Stories, a 1985 compilation by G.P. Putnam’s Sons of previously published stories.  I’m sure I’ve read them several times before — certainly when this book was published and probably, for most of them, when they were first in print, as well.

As I read the stories now, I have a vague recollection of each — but not a “full disclosure” sort of memory, so I still read with interest.  And, besides… now that I am “older and wiser,” I’d like to think I have quite bit in common with Miss Marple — starting with her age.  However, Mrs. Christie was actually a bit vague about that.  In At Bertram’s Hotel, published in 1965, it is said that “Miss Marple visited the hotel when she was 14 and almost 60 years have passed since then,” implying that she was nearly 75 years old.  However,   in 4:50 from Paddington, published almost a decade earlier in 1957, Miss Marple says she will be “90 next year.”  So… I content myself that I’m in the ballpark…

Dame Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple

The other bit we have in common, Miss Marple and I, is that we both live in small villages.  Of course, St Mary Mead is truly a village — with a doctor, a policeman, shops, and other amenities, whereas Oysterville is but a collection of residences with a long, wonderful history.  Still, the opportunities for observation and speculation regarding our neighbors might be comparable.  Fortunately, I don’t know that there has ever been a murder here and, in any case, I seriously doubt that I would have any of Miss Marple’s skills in picking out the clues.

Plus… there’s the knitting.  Another of those “attention to details” occupations that I am hopeless at.  So… I guess Miss Marple and I are not so much alike after all.  Besides, I’d much rather enjoy reading about her than trying to emulate her.  Now emulating Mrs. Christie — that’s another matter.  Did you know that she is the best-selling author of all time — outsold  only by the Bible and Shakespeare?  Wow!

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