For week 50, I read The Thirteen Problems, by Agatha Christie. This book is a collection of short stories, centered around Miss Marple and several of her acquaintances, some of them professional (or retired professional) detectives, who have gotten together to socialize. One of them remarks at the assemblage of keen minds, and they agree to pose strange mysteries to the group to see who can come up with a solution.
In my opinion, this setting is one which allows Miss Marple to shine. She doesn’t have to run about the village/mansion/city trying to find people to talk to her, or wait to overhear someone drop a clue, and as a result she can ask the teller pointed questions that make everything quite clear in her mind. I know some people over on GoodReads thought this book dull and Marple a snobbish old biddy lording her deductions over everyone else, and to them I say, “go back to your gory shoot-outs, explosions and tortured main characters on prime-time.” She understands human nature and recognizes patterns in behavior. I can only assume that this knowledge is somehow offensive to some readers; perhaps those who insist their own motives and behaviors are somehow uniquely unpredictable?
I enjoyed this one particularly, so I’m going to recommend you read it if you have the chance. So far, this is the book with the most of Miss Marple in it that I have yet read, and I quite enjoy watching the character at work.