Friday 16 September 2022

Book Review: Marple, Twelve New Stories Anthology

Marple anthology book cover

AD* | A brand-new collection of short stories featuring the Queen of Mystery’s legendary detective Jane Marple, penned by twelve remarkable bestselling and acclaimed authors.

This collection of a dozen original short stories, all featuring Jane Marple, will introduce the character to a whole new generation. Each author reimagines Agatha Christie’s Marple through their own unique perspective while staying true to the hallmarks of a traditional mystery.

Evil in Small Places by Lucy Foley

The book opener took a while to get into, but I enjoyed it once I got a feel for the story. It has an unexpected twist, yet is still a classic murder mystery with a good cast of characters. It's surprisingly well-fleshed out for only a short story!

Rating: 4 stars

The Second Murder at the Vicarage by Val McDermid

This story has a good, promising start. Unfortunately, though, it only goes downhill from there and rushes towards the end. This is a real shame because it has such a strong opening.

Rating: 3 stars

Miss Marple Takes Manhattan by Alyssa Cole

Unique with an unexpected twist! Loved the setting in New York; made for a fresh take on a classic character away from her usual setting. I also loved the accuracy of the characterisation. Everyone views Miss Marple as an elderly, frail and incompetent lady and they make decisions on her behalf. They try to make her a supporting character in her own life and that's the sad reality for so many elderly people today. A beautifully poignant portrayal.

Rating: 5 stars

The Unravelling by Natalie Haynes

Sadly I didn't find this one very memorable. It was a short and sweet classic case of mistaken identity. A great bitesize read.

Rating: 3 stars

Miss Marple's Christmas by Ruth Ware

This story is a bit convoluted. The main plot is okay, but I felt that there were too many threads pulling in different directions. There are a lot of red herrings and a few interesting characters I'd love to have seen explored further.

Rating: 3 stars

The Open Mind by Naomi Alderman

This was enjoyable but a bit far-fetched for my liking. It features lots of intriguing characters but they sadly aren't explored enough to really make a memorable impression.

Rating: 3 stars 

The Jade Empress by Jean Kwok

An intriguing premise, interesting characters, and gloriously romantic visions of the bygone splendour of cruise ships at that time. A good read with lots of twists and turns - especially for a short story!

Rating: 4 stars

A Deadly Wedding Day by Dreda Say Mitchell

This story didn't seem very plausible or believable so sadly fell a bit flat. There was too much going on and the characters weren't fleshed out enough to make me invested.

Rating: 2 stars

Murder at the Villa Rosa by Elly Griffiths

It was really nice to break things up and have a story not written in first person by Miss Marple for a change. A beautiful setting with great descriptions, and the villa sounds sublime! There are lots of intriguing subplots too which would have been nice to be explored in more detail were this not a short story.

Rating: 4 stars

The Murdering Sort by Karen M. McManus

I struggled to get into it. An intriguing premise again but sadly I just didn't find it as engaging as some of the other stories.

Rating: 3 stars

The Mystery of the Acid Soil by Kate Mosse

Twists and turns aplenty, plus an intriguing cast of characters who were all well-fleshed out despite the shortness of the story.

Rating: 4 stars

The Disappearance by Leigh Bardugo

The final story in the anthology sucks you in right from the start. Great story, great plot, great characters. Excellently written with a shocking twist - this is definitely my favourite story from the book!

Rating: 5 stars

Marple is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below! 

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