With none of the technical problems and, lets face it, tedium, of many of Christie's full-length novels, these short stories introducing Miss Marple are an easy and, generally, entertaining read. The problem I have with Miss Marple is that she solves crimes by analogy with her experiences in her village. Anybody who has ever lived in a village knows that you would very soon run out of relevant experiences - the essence of village life is that very little happens to rock the boat - that's why people like it! However, one cannot begrudge Miss Marple her confidence, which is never arrogant, elevating her far above Poirot - described by Christie as 'an egotistical creep' - but to most of us he is simply a bore and a boor. It is also refreshing to see youth regularly and firmly put in its place by an elderly female. So, go on, suspend belief - you'll enjoy these stories.
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