I often wonder what life would be like if Miss Marple lived in Chicago instead of across the pond, in a tiny village in England. A village where everyone knows everything about everyone else. Where people spy on each other and are always surprised when they find a dead body in the library.
Realistically, she wouldn’t be happy here. The first time a suspect said, “Out of my face you Old Bitch,” and shoved a gun in her face, her hat would fall off, or she would give him a lecture on proper manners. They seem to do that kind of thing where she comes from, manners and lecturing, I mean. Catching the killer in her village, goes something like this:
“Oh, excuse me, but I must ask. Did you just murder that man?”
“Are you sure?”
“Oh, alright, I did it. Can I have a cup of tea, please, if it’s not too much of a bother?”
Funny how different conditioning turned out a whole country full of polite people. Murders are rare in the villages, although there does seem to be at least one every week. There are more flowers and fields where she lives, than dead bodies, however.
Another thing…Miss Marple gets around. She just walks into places with her suitcase and cardigan and people let her stay. She always knows a maid, or has a friend, or a niece who conveniently happens to be staying where the latest murder just took place. The villages have lovely little tea shops, one doctor, one minister…pretty much one of everything. I suppose that’s to be expected when there are only one hundred people living there. It’s surreal, in a way. Like looking through a window at Macy’s during christmas…watching little dolls move from one place to another. But then, I’ve never seen a village, or been to England.
I’m sure things aren’t the same, now that the war has been over for so long. I did find out that Miss Marple’s love, who was killed in the war, was a married man. I was surprised but then you just never know about people.
It’s a good thing she shows up when she does because the policemen in the villages can barely tie their shoes, let alone find clues and put them together. The police pretend that Miss Marple’s in the way but they go to her for information and, in the end, to tell them who the killer is. Miss Marple wouldn’t do as well in this day and age, so it’s best to think of her as she was…a truly brilliant woman, who paid attention and knew how to catch killers, in tiny villages with a limited cast of characters. Without her charm, wit and exacting mind, the killers all would have gotten away with murder.