Name: Jane Marple (Miss Marple)
Location: St. Mary Mead, England
Type of Detective: Amateur
First Appeared: 1927
Memorable Phrase: “Well isn’t that something”
Miss Marple, and gentle yet sharp-minded British spinster and amateur detective, was the creation of famed crime writer Agatha Christie. She first appeared in a short story called “The Tuesday Night Club” in 1927 and the first full-length novel featuring her character was The Murder at the Vicarage, published in 1930.
Miss Marple was said to have studied human anatomy as well as spending some time at finishing school. Never married and with no close relatives, she lives in St. Mary Mead in the English countryside – yet another parish that has decidedly more criminal activity than it probably should. She may come across as demure and naïve but is actually incredibly logical and intelligent. Her quick mind often leads her to solve cases that have even local police authorities stumped. Extremely anecdotal and somewhat nostalgic, Miss Marple almost always links a current case or crime to a past experience of her time spent in St. Mary Mead.
Four feature films were eventually produced which involved Miss Marple as a central character, although the first did not appear until 1961. She was also featured in an assortment of television series, the most notable of which, Miss Marple ran on the BBC from 1984-1992 and starred Joan Hickson in the titular tole.