Friday, March 13, 2015

SERIES: Miss Marple by Agatha Christie

Years ago, as a teenager, I read a lot of Agatha Christie (and Ed McBain and Stephen King - the usuals.) I was a huge Poirot fan, with his little grey cells and logic.  A few Tommy and Tuppence, which on re-read later, are even better! I must have read some Miss Marple because I know I actively avoided her stories. I think the reason I wasn't a fan was that she didn't appear to be a part of the story. I wanted my detective front and center and for me to be a part of the reasoning process.  I guess people change as they get older, and aren't I lucky now to have all the Miss Marples to read Brand New? Yes, I am a lucky girl. Most of the Miss Marples are available on audiobook through my library, so it will be a very Jane Marple-y year for me.

Murder at the Vicarage  (7h 19 min)

I wasn't really a fan of the narrator, Joan Hickson. She was very British, which I liked, but also rather breathy, which I didn't; and the narrator was actually a male in the story, which was weird.  But the story was great, I really liked the Vicar and his young wife. I suffer a little with actual poor listening skills, so I mix up characters and don't remember names (who is that girl?) when I can't see the letters. Interestingly, I don't remember names when I read them either, but I recognize the arrangements of letters as that person. I was very excited to realize that I 'do' like Miss Marple, and now have over ten books to read and mostly listen to. 

The Body in the Library (5 h, 21 min)

I'm going to try to read the series in order, as best I can. This narrator, Stephanie Cole, was an improvement. I noticed that the vicar and his wife were mentioned, and while it would not affect the story in the least, seeing Griselda and Dennis Clement a year or so later added much enjoyment for my experience. (I really like to read my mystery series in order, even if you don't need to.) This was a particularly well plotted book with perhaps fewer characters, and unraveling all the characters and their motives and their actions is great fun. Especially for a little old lady well versed in village behaviours. I hate to imagine how old Miss Marple really was; dare I say a young middle age by today standards, like my age.

Next up: The Moving Finger in book edition form. I think it is even in large print version, so not the most popular of the Marples. Then will be A Murder is Announced.

Agatha Christie is the GOAT of mystery writers.