The cozy English village murder mystery:
My go-to stress reliever, my mini-vacation, my escape from reality is the cozy village based murder mystery, preferably set in the UK somewhere. In a pinch, a quaint Maine coastal village setting will suffice.
I am not into the “hard-boiled dick” or the tedious forensic “CSI” subgenres. Nor do I enjoy the super bloody, graphic murder detail, except in the case of the DCI Daley series by Denzil Meyrick. I am a sucker for anything set in Scotland.
No wonder then, that I am an avid Agatha Christie fan, in particular, the Miss Marple series. I think I have read all of the Marple books, though sometimes I get confused in that some novels were renamed in subsequent printings or renamed when published on my side of the pond.
I was content with the books until the right woman was cast as Jane Marple.
There is only one Jane Marple:
Joan Hickson is the only actress to portray Miss Marple to my satisfaction; She is posture perfect, keenly observant, slightly acerbic, frequently judgmental, and quietly humane. Hickson began portraying Jane Marple rather late in her life so there are fewer than twenty or so of the Hickson Marples.
Thanks to BritBox I can now see them, including the Caribbean Mystery. Yes, the Hickson versions provide the permission to check out from the yard work, my to-do lists for political organizations and Rotary, and attending to the necessary chores that keep our household in orbit.
Prince George has no Miss Marple:
Though mostly rural, Prince George is too spread out to have many clusters of people, a prerequisite for murders, particularly in any numbers of critical mass. No murders … no Miss Marple. So through Joan Hickson and Agatha Christie, I vacation in the land of cozy murder mysteries.