Mystery, Short Stories

Marple: Twelve New Mysteries


Agatha Christie’s legendary sleuth, Jane Marple, returns to solve twelve baffling cases in this brand-new collection, penned by a host of acclaimed authors skilled in the fine art of mystery and murder

One doesn’t stop at one murder…

Jane Marple is an elderly lady from St Mary Mead who possesses an uncanny knack for solving even the most perplexing puzzles. Now, for the first time in 45 years, Agatha Christie’s beloved character returns to the page for a globe-trotting tour of crime and detection.

Join Marple as she travels through her sleepy English village and around the world. In St Mary Mead, a Christmas dinner is interrupted by unexpected guests; the Broadway stage in New York City is set for a dangerous improvisation; bad omens surround an untimely death aboard a cruise ship to Hong Kong; and a bestselling writer on holiday in Italy is caught in a nefarious plot. These and other crimes committed in the name of love, jealousy, blackmail, and revenge are ones that only the indomitable Jane Marple can solve.

Bringing a fresh twist to the hallmarks of a classic Agatha Christie mystery, these twelve esteemed writers have captured the sharp wit, unique voice, and droll ingenuity of the deceptively demure detective. A triumphant celebration of Christie’s legacy and essential reading for crime lovers, Marple is a timely reminder why Jane Marple remains one of the most famous detectives of all time.

My Thoughts

Agatha Christie has long been acknowledged as the Mother of Mystery Fiction, and I discovered her early in my reading life. I was delighted when I learned, through the incomparable Elly Griffiths, that a new collection of stories featuring Christie’s Miss Marple and written by contemporary authors was due to be published this year. I was even more delighted to find it available through Netgalley.

These stories equal or, dare I say it, even surpass the original Marple stories in cleverness and boldness while still staying true to the little old lady with the steel-trap mind created by Christie so long ago. It is clear the authors have a fondness for Aunt Jane and a familiarity with her stories. Fans will find comforting nods to the original cast of characters, with nephew Raymond West making several appearances, fast friend Dolly Bantry, and, of course, Sir Henry Clithering. Jane travels in these stories – to China, London, Italy, and even New York City – but she is never far from St. Mary Mead in her mind.

The writing is exquisite in every single story. Typically in short story collections there are the shining stars, the just-okay, and the duds. Here, every story shines with beautiful language, clever plotting, and careful homage paid to Dame Christie’s original work. It would be hard to pick a favorite story, but Leah Bardugo – HOLY SMOKES – loved the twist in her story.

This is just a lovely, lovely reading experience, like getting a long hug from an old friend. This is one I’ll buy in hardcover and add to my bookshelves.

Publication Date: September 13, 2022
Published By: William Morrow
Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy

Magical, Short Stories, Time Slip

Metropolitan Stories by Christine Coulson

MetSynopsis: From a writer who worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for more than twenty-five years, an enchanting novel that shows us the Met that the public doesn’t see.

Hidden behind the Picassos and Vermeers, the Temple of Dendur and the American Wing, exists another world: the hallways and offices, conservation studios, storerooms, and cafeteria that are home to the museum’s devoted and peculiar staff of 2,200 people—along with a few ghosts.

A surreal love letter to this private side of the Met, Metropolitan Stories unfolds in a series of amusing and poignant vignettes in which we discover larger-than-life characters, the downside of survival, and the powerful voices of the art itself. The result is a novel bursting with magic, humor, and energetic detail, but also a beautiful book about introspection, an ode to lives lived for art, ultimately building a powerful collage of human experience and the world of the imagination.

These stories are magnificently odd, very much like some of the things in the Met. Part whimsy, part time-travel, part fantasy, part history – I could go on, but there really isn’t a good way to classify this delicious book. Every story is a gem, beginning with the evaluation of the Muses. I think we all should bring a Muse to every meeting. Do not speak to The Muse. The Muse will not speak.

This will be devoured by fans of the Met, or of art museums in general. Guaranteed you will lose yourself in the lovely prose and the fantastical stories.

Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Published By: Other Press
Thanks to Edelweiss for the review copy