Marple: Twelve New Mysteries by Naomi Alderman, Leigh Bardugo, Alyssa Cole, et al.Marple: Twelve New Mysteries by Naomi Alderman. Leigh Bardugo. Alyssa Cole. Lucy Foley. Elly Griffiths. Natalie Haynes. Jean Kwok. Val McDermid. Karen M. McManus. Dreda Say Mitchell. Kate Mosse. Ruth Ware
Published by Harper Collins on September 15, 2022
Source: Won
Genres: Anthology, Mystery
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Purchase at Bookshop.org or Audible
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four-stars

A brand-new collection of short stories featuring the Queen of Mystery’s legendary detective Jane Marple, penned by twelve remarkable bestselling and acclaimed authors.

This collection of a dozen original short stories, all featuring Jane Marple, will introduce the character to a whole new generation. Each author reimagines Agatha Christie’s Marple through their own unique perspective while staying true to the hallmarks of a traditional mystery.

Miss Marple was first introduced to readers in a story Agatha Christie wrote for The Royal Magazine in 1927 and made her first appearance in a full-length novel in 1930’s The Murder at the Vicarage. It has been 45 years since Agatha Christie’s last Marple novel, Sleeping Murder, was published posthumously in 1976, and this collection of ingenious new stories by twelve Christie devotees will be a timely reminder why Jane Marple remains the most famous fictional female detective of all time.

We all know I’m a huge Christie fan, so of course, this collection of twelve new Marple mysteries has been on my wishlist since I heard about it. I appreciate the variety. Each of the stories is written by a different contemporary female crime writer doing her take on the iconic Miss Jane Marple. Miss Marple is a force to be reckoned with, and these writers captured her intelligence, her wit, and her tenacity. Granted some of the stories are more successful than others, but that’s to be expected. Overall, it’s fun.

The stories:

  • Evil in Small Places – Lucy Foley
  • The Second Murder in the Vicarage – Val McDermid: This one might have been my favorite. A second murder occurs at the vicarage in St. Mary Mead. Luckily, Jane Marple lives right next door.
  • Miss Marple Takes Manhattan – Alyssa Cole: Miss Marple visits Manhattan with her nephew. A play base on his work is being performed – off-Broadway. I liked seeing that Miss Marple is observant and intelligent even in unfamiliar situations. This did not feel like a classic Miss Marple story though.
  • The Unravelling – Natalie Haynes: I don’t remember much about this one except she had to pull out a lot of stitches.
  • Miss Marple’s Christmas – Ruth Ware: I’m not a fan of Ruth Ware generally, but this Christmas mystery was well done. A set of pearls has gone missing.
  • The Open Mind – Naomi Alderman
  • The Jade Empress – Jean Kwok. Jane Marple travels by ship to visit her nephew in Hong Kong, and of course, someone is murdered on board. This mystery was well done here.
  • A Deadly Wedding Day – Dreda Say Mitchell: Someone dies at a wedding reception and Miss Marple has to help a friend solve the case.
  • Murder at the Villa Rosa – Elly Griffith
  • The Murdering Sort – Karen McManus
  • The Mystery of the Acid Soil – Kate Mosse
  • The Disappearance – Leigh Bardugo. I didn’t really love the ending of this one. It felt a little out of character.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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