Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Life and Times of Miss Jane Marple - Fictional Biography Review

Goodreads:  The Life and Miss Jane Marple by Anne Hart

Rating: Liked It    
Source: Library

Description:  This is the definitive companion to the MISS MARPLE novels, films and TV appearances.

‘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 years of her career, she even solved cases as far afield as London and the Caribbean. But though she usually masqueraded as ‘everybody’s favourite great aunt’, what was she 'really' like?

In this authorized biography of the world’s most famous female sleuth, Anne Hart combs through the 12 novels and 20 short stories in which Miss Marple appeared, uncovering clue and amassing all the evidence to solve the most difficult case of them all – the mystery of Miss Marple.

Genre: Fiction

Why I Picked This Book:  I'm a huge Agatha Christie fan and am rereading all the Miss Marple books this year so thought this would be interesting to pick this one up now.

My Impression:  Well this was interesting and not quite what I was expecting.  I think I was expecting more of a narrative nonfiction fiction whereas this was almost a series of essays that broke down the life of Miss Marple from different angles.  In some ways it read a bit like a book report with lots of quotes backing up the author's statements.  

I was surprised to learn just how little personal information there really is about Miss Marple in her 12 books and collection of short stories and how inconsistent some of the descriptions are.  Miss Marple has always just been Miss Marple in my head and to see all these differences laid out was really interesting.  However, if you're not a huge fan of Miss Marple and Agatha Christie's books I think this is not going to be a book for you.  Even for big Marple fans it can be a bit dry and like I mentioned earlier at times reads very much like a book report.  While I didn't love the book as much as I expected I do feel like I have a better handle on the character Christie created and I did end up enjoying the read.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I am planning to read this author's book on Poirot but probably wouldn't read anymore.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you are a huge Miss Marple fan I think you will find this book interesting.  Otherwise, I'd give it a pass.


  1. I actually miss Miss Marple. I haven't read a Miss Marple in the passed year or so. Poirot yes.

    This does sound interesting, but I still need to read Agatha Christie's biography before I will look into this series.

    I saw your comment on my Wondrous Words Wednesday post and am very excited for you to join us! Just remember that WWW is biweekly, so we won't have one next week, but only the week after that again!

    Looking forward to see what you are coming up with!

    Elza Reads

  2. Miss Marple are my favorite Christie stories.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  3. It was an interesting idea to write a book like this. However I think we do build up our own pictures of characters and "help" the author by co authoring!!

  4. My mother would love this book, but she doesn't read much past her Reader's Digests anymore. She's 91. She loved the Miss. Marple books. 📚

  5. This sounds like an interesting book. I really like Miss Marple, but I don't know if this is one I would rush to read. At least not right now.