Tag: Miss Marple

The Moving Finger

The Moving Finger

by Agatha Christie (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1942)

audiobook read by Joan Hickson (Lamplight, 2015)

Book cover: “The Moving Finger” by Agatha Christie (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1942); audiobook read by Joan Hickson (Lamplight, 2015)

Joan Hickson (TV’s Miss Marple) would seem the perfect audiobook narrator… except that Miss Marple is absent for the first three-quarters and barely present for the remainder, the viewpoint character being a young man. Instead we’re given banal set-up plus egregious instalove.

The Body in the Library

The Body in the Library

by Agatha Christie (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1942)

audiobook read by Stephanie Cole (Lamplight, 2015)

Book cover: “The Body in the Library” by Agatha Christie (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1942); audiobook read by Stephanie Cole (Lamplight, 2015)

Significantly more engaging than the first Miss Marple novel (albeit still padded out and weighed down by tedious faux-comedic depictions of minor characters). Though Miss Marple herself proves a force to be reckoned with, Christie’s artful misdirection comes very close to cheating.

The Thirteen Problems

The Thirteen Problems

by Agatha Christie (Collins Crime Club, 1932)

audiobook read by Juliet Stevenson (HarperCollins, 2022)

Book cover: “The Thirteen Problems” by Agatha Christie (Collins Crime Club, 1932); audiobook read by Juliet Stevenson (HarperCollins, 2022)

This first collection of mysteries shows Miss Marple well-suited to the short form. Some of the stories are better than others, some crimes more ingenious, but Christie usually plants enough clues to have the reader exclaim, “Oh, of course!” at the end.

The Murder at the Vicarage

The Murder at the Vicarage

by Agatha Christie

(Collins Crime Club, 1930); audiobook read by Joan Hickson (Lamplight Audiobooks, 2015)

Book cover: “The Murder at the Vicarage” by Agatha Christie (Collins Crime Club, 1930); audiobook read by Joan Hickson (Lamplight Audiobooks, 2015)

The first Miss Marple novel is inventive enough, though for much of the book Marple herself is sidelined and the detection takes place via committee. Joan Hickson is a curious choice of audiobook narrator, given that Reverend Clement is the viewpoint character.