Anne Hart: The Life and Times of Miss Jane Marple (Firts published by Dodd Mead in 1985)
Since the release of The Life and Times of Hercule Poirot in Hungary in 2020, I’ve been waiting for having a similar “biography” of Miss Marple in my hand, as I love her much more than the Belgian detective.
Anne Hart, a Canadian writer, specializes in biographies and is best known for her books on Agatha Christie’s heroes. She got her degrees in history and library science, and after moving to St. John’s (the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador), she became the head of the university’s library there. Her research on Mina Hubbard, who played a major role in the mapping of Labrador and was the first female explorer to get here, was honored with numerous awards.
According to her own foreword, the author enjoyed writing the book, for which she found no new sources, but used the 12 novels and 20 short stories in which Jane Marple is featured. If we read these, we also get the information, yet it was great to read the novel, because if we didn’t take notes while reading the stories, the life of Agatha Christie’s most famous female detective didn’t come together in our minds, all the more so because Miss Marple – unlike Hercule Poirot – was very modest and liked remaining in the background. As long as she could, she didn’t disappoint the people who thought she was just simply an old maid. Yet she was the farthest from the simple. She herself was like the tidy little village of St. Mary Mead where she lived: calm, quiet, and predictable on the surface, but full of life and surprises beneath it.
I don’t even want to say more about it, it’s worth reading the book. I got the urge to (re) read the stories of Miss Marple’s investigations.