Having just received the proofs and cover art for my new book Miss Marple: Christian Sleuth, I look back at this earlier blog post that helped to “start” it all:
Dear Miss Marple:
As a humble reader and ardent follower of your many successfully solved mysteries, your travels, and your evolution in popular culture as a “force to be reckoned with”—I must ask: How do you do it?
With your plain, gray-haired, grandmotherly looks (though you are a lifelong spinster), your neat tweed suits, tidy hats, and sensible shoes—at first you seem a fade-into-the-background element of every scene you inhabit. That is, until your sharp-as-a-razor intellect kicks into gear, and you emerge from behind your perpetual knitting, cups of tea, and the occasional glass of sherry … to announce what no one else perceived in the splash of a murder or other dastardly event.
How is it that our eyes keep getting directed back to you, with all the distractions in our digital world? Gentle, “extra” (perhaps passed-over) women are hardly the most visible, much less valued persons in our fast-paced modern world. Certainly, you never were “hot.”
Yet you grab our attention and turn our expectations upside down. Your quiet presence and simple pronouncements of what everyone should have “gotten” from the start are the thing of legend and of enduring respect. We continue to give you that, and to credit the genius of your creator, Agatha Christie, with sending you our way.
For any readers who have yet to explore the paths of your ingenious life as a master sleuth (even if they have seen your movies, especially those with the divine Joan Hickson)—much pleasure and enchantment await in your twelve books and twenty stories of intrigue.
So—don’t change, please. We need a reminder in your inimitable person that flashy looks and attention-getting hijinks are usually silly, ephemeral, and forgettable at best. We have an admitted glut of them already, floating through our culture, the real-life cast of characters and their mindless escapades changing daily.
Yet you, Miss Marple, endure. And the world is a much better place for it.
May I write to you again?
BTW: Miss Marple has a fan club! Become a fan at: