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Miss Marple: the Complete Short Stories [Paperback]

Agatha Christie
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Miss Marple and Mystery: The Complete Short Stories (Miss Marple) Miss Marple and Mystery: The Complete Short Stories (Miss Marple) 4.0 out of 5 stars (52)
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Book Description

10 July 1997
A stunningly repackaged omnibus, gathering together every short story featuring one of Agatha Christie's most famous creations: Miss Marple. Described by her friend Dolly Bantry as ' the typical old maid of fiction', Miss Marple has lived almost her entire life in the sleepy hamlet of St Mary Mead. Yet, by observing village life she has gained an unparalleled insight into human nature - and used it to devasting effect. As her friend Sir Henry Clithering, the ex-Commissioner of Scotland Yard has been heard to say: 'She's just the finest detective God ever made.' - and many Agatha Christie fans would agree. Appearing for the first time in The Murder at The Vicarage (1930) her crime-fighting career spanned over forty years when she solved her final case in 1977 in Sleeping Murder. With every tale flawlessly plotted by the Queen of Crime herself, these short stories provide a feast for hardened Agatha Christie addicts as well as those who have grown to love the detective through her many film and television appearances.

Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (10 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006499627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006499626
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 635,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie began writing during the First World War and wrote over 100 novels, plays and short story collections. She was still writing to great acclaim until her death, and her books have now sold over a billion copies in English and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. Yet Agatha Christie was always a very private person, and though Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple became household names, the Queen of Crime was a complete enigma to all but her closest friends.

Product Description


'The plots are so good that one marvels ... most of them would have made a full length thriller.' Daily Mirror

From the Back Cover


Miss Marple made her fist appearance in a book in 1930, and her twelfth and final novel was published shortly after Agatha Christie's death almost 50 years later. In the intervening years Miss Marple also featured in 20 short stories, published in a number of different collections. But never before have they been available together.

In this complete volume, Miss Marple uses her unique insight to deduce the truth about a series of unsolved crimes – cases of a girl framed for theft, some disappearing bloodstains, the cryptic last message of a poisoned man, a woman killed within days of writing her will, a spiritualist who predicts death, a mortally wounded stranger in a church, a Christmas tragedy…

In all 20 ingenious crimes, every one guaranteed to keep you guessing until the turn of the final page.

"The plots are so good that one marvels…most of them would have made a full length thriller"

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't be misled! 2 July 2010
This is not a Miss Marple Mystery ! It is a collection of 55 short stories written by Agatha Christie in the 1920/30s. About 18 of them feature Miss Marple. Once you realise this, the stories are well written, not all "detective" stores, but all involve some mystery to them. An enjoyable read and most could have been made into full length stories. It does show what a furtile and imaginitive mind Agathera Christie had to have produce so many good short stories.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
The above review is nonsense. The reviewer quite obviously hates Agatha Christie's writing and Joan Hickson's acting. I can only assume they chose this Amazon site to vent their utterly pointless venom. Take no notice. In Joan Hickson we have THE portayal of Miss Marple, and what else needs to be said about Agatha Christie's Marple stories? If you have enjoyed the television adaptations, and in particular the 1980's Joan Hickson productions, then I can thoroughly recommend these further short stories. They are all gems.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The words quoted above appeared in a short story by Agatha Christie called "The Four Suspects." They were not spoken by Miss Marple but by "that well-groomed man of the world, Sir Henry Clithering," retired now and residing in St Mary Mead or nearby, but "until lately Commissioner of Scotland Yard." The words were addressed to Sir Henry's new neighbour, a certain Miss Jane Marple. There is EVERY reason to assume that Miss Marple agreed.

An earlier Amazaon US reviewer quoted a short passage from "An Autobiography" by Christie. I shall quote a little more extensively from the same source: "Miss Marple," wrote Dame Agatha, "insinuated herself so quickly into my life that I hardly noticed her arrival. I wrote a series of six short stories for a magazine, and chose six people whom I thought might meet once a week in a small village and describe some unsolved crime. I started with Miss Jane Marple, the sort of old lady who would have been rather like some of my grandmother's Ealing cronies--old ladies whom I met in so many villages where I had gone to stay as a girl. Miss Marple was not in any way a picture of my grandmother; she was far more fussy and spinsterish than my grandmother ever was. But one thing she did have in common with her--though a cheerful person, she always expected the worst of everyone and everything, and was, with almost frightening accuracy, usually proved right...."

Later, she added, "Miss Marple was born a the age of sixty-five to seventy--which, as with Poirot, proved most unfortunate, because she was gong to have to last a long time in my life. If I had had any second sight, I would have provided myself with a precocious schoolboy as my first detective; then he would have grown old with me.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Mysterious drownings, wallpaper changing colour, and mysterious bodies found in churches, who else could pull together such a varied mix of oddities other than the great Agatha Christie; who else could solve them other than the great Miss Marple. In this collection one of the most unlikely of detectives reflects on past crimes and puzzles, unravelling them as if she was unravelling a ball of wool (which is hard not to imagine in her lap). For all those people who, like myself, like puzzles there is an added bonus. The reader can solve all of the stories, all stories make sense and it is this that will stop you putting this book down.
If one had to pick a single word to describe the book, or at least the stories within, "compelling" would be my choice. This collection of short stories is distilled Agatha Christie at some of her best. The short length of each stories just adds pace and fun of each story/puzzel. What make Agatha Christies stories so captivating for the reader is the sheer challenge of trying to solve the mysteries before your told, and with the stories reduced in size it becomes a greater challenge. The only disappointment comes when you realise you have pegged the wrong person down from the start, and it is this that is the true essence of all great "who-dun nits", although it is something that is often lacking in books of this genre. This book is one of the most well written of any genre I have read, not because it is literally masterpiece or a radically innovative classic, but because it succeeds perfectly at what it intends to achieve; they create an atmosphere of mystery, and the compel you to guess.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Over 50 great little reads 7 Jan 2011
I bought this book looking for something to share with my most advanced "English as a second language" students. Though the story size is about right for my students, the vocabulary is difficult for non-native speakers. (Story size varies from 5 or 6 pages for short short stories, upto maybe 20 pages for the longer ones.) I enjoyed reading them but even the most skilled and adventurous students gave up after 4 pages. :-(

As a bright native English speaker I found the stories all fun and witty. There are a few that glamourize wicked behaviour but nothing much unexpected. The English - of course - is beyond reproach as it is a reference for the language of the era just before the second world war.

The paper quality etc. is fine for a paperback of this size.

If you like Agatha Christie or short stories where strange things happen then this book is a good buy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not all stories include Miss Marple
There are 55 stories in this collection but only 20 feature Miss Marple. On closer inspection of the cover it does say "Miss Marple and mystery". Read more
Published 10 days ago by Andrea Dixon
3.0 out of 5 stars two short stories missed
There are two short stories not contained:

Poirot at Pollensa Bay;

Three Blind Mice.

So it is not the complete short stories.
Published 1 month ago by wang boyuan
5.0 out of 5 stars Miss marple and mystery
Really good book want to get the poirot one next. They are a collection of many tales all mystery to the very end.reccomend buy
Published 1 month ago by lauren crowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Miss Marple: Miss Marple and mystery; the complete Miss Marple short...
Miss Marple: Miss Marple and mystery; the complete Miss Marple short stories by Agatha Christie is a very good book.
Published 2 months ago by Keith
1.0 out of 5 stars Without doubt the most brainless cover ever devised
The publishers live off the royalties generated by this perennial best-seller, but when they repackage it they do THIS??? Shame!!
Published 2 months ago by C. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Miss Marple
I adore Agatha Christie books. I have found these short stories wonderful when I just have enough time for a cup of tea and a quick read.
Published 3 months ago by Denise Shaw
2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading Title
I gave up reading this book. From the title, I expected it to contain short stories about Miss Marple. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs MJ Beckett
5.0 out of 5 stars Marple: The finest female detective
I love a good murder mystery, and Christie is the champion mystety writer. for anyone out there have only ever seen some quite badly made films, or the very well made TV... Read more
Published 4 months ago by elmo66
3.0 out of 5 stars Miss Marple & Mystery
I chose this rating because, for me, there were not enough Miss Marple stories. I don't think the other stories are as strong. Read more
Published 4 months ago by S. M. Ishani
4.0 out of 5 stars Miss Marple on tap
Great for those who like short stories and who like to delve in and out of a collection. Agatha Christie's most gentle yet endearing detectives.
Published 4 months ago by Lynn
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