Dear Miss Marple,
We love how you use the wisdom of your garden, a wonderful metaphor for growth and discovery, to help solve tangled, often multigenerational village mysteries.
You once described a puzzle of deception in At Bertram’s Hotel: “It is like when you get ground elder really badly in a border. There’s nothing else you can do about it—except dig the whole thing up.”
And dig the whole thing up is what you often do, in your polite but probing procedures (which usually seem personal rather than formal—or is this part of your tidy effectiveness, to hide behind your knitting or gardening or bird-watching until the opportune moment to spring?).
And in your world of St. Mary Mead, despite lovely parish teas and garden parties, there is no telling where evil manipulations might turn up next. You show us how, as in Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the weeds—it might not be desirable to pull up the weeds too soon or the wheat could be damaged as well.
In your many adventures it is clear that, as a woman and a detective—as well as a gardener—you know how to wait.
“The wise remain silent until the right moment, but a boasting fool misses the right moment.”
“There is a rebuke that is untimely, and there is the person who is wise enough to keep silent” (Wisdom of Sirach 20: 7, 1).
Perhaps it is your gardening expertise as well as your feminine position in your society that has taught you these skills—which often confound the professionals, the police assigned to such cases.
Whatever it is, we need more of your astute observations and measured responses in our world today.
And so, Miss Marple, continue to shine, as we look to you as an example of the unusual, the easy-to-miss figure of good will and restoration of order who can make all the difference.
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