The Feminine Mystique of Miss Marple


Miss Marple’s strength as a mystery novel heroin was inseparable from her character: that of a nosy, small town spinster. Far from taking those identity markers as pejorative, Alice Bolin has written a stirring defense of Miss Marple (and her creator, Agatha Christie) as a champion of a particularly feminine brand of sleuthing: one that requires intimate knowledge of relationships and the domestic habits of her British village. Bolin breaks down the underlying misogyny of popular mystery critics, and celebrates Christie’s accomplishments, noting that “Miss Marple nudges blustering, blowhard cops in the right direction demonstrates how the Queen of Crime inherited just as much from Jane Austen as Arthur Conan Doyle.”

Dinah Fay is a poet, copywriter, and social media maven living in Brooklyn. She is the co-host of the Brick City Speaks reading series in Newark, where she is pursuing an MFA in writing from Rutgers University. More from this author →