For the first time in forty-five years, one of the best sleuths in all of crime fiction returns to investigate twelve new cases in Marple. Twelve authors put their own personal spin on beloved elderly spinster Jane Marple, making this quite enjoyable to read.
Readers get to revisit the vicarage, Gossington Hall, and other places in England, but they also get to see Jane solve crimes on Broadway in New York City, on Cape Cod, in Hong Kong, and on the Amalfi Coast in Italy-- mostly thanks to her nephew the novelist.
All the stories are winners, and I have to admit that I do like how Miss Marple was "updated" by showing her help a young Chinese woman and an interracial couple. Even faces familiar to Marple fans are seen in a different light.
It was obvious to me that all the authors had fun writing their stories, but some seemed to have a bit more fun than others, and their stories really shone. Which ones? Val McDermid with her "The Second Murder at the Vicarage"; Elly Griffiths' "Murder at the Villa Rosa"; Karen M. McManus' "The Murdering Sort"; and Leigh Berdugo's "The Disappearance". These were my particular favorites although-- as I said-- all the stories are good.
This anthology breathes some life into Miss Jane Marple. Her deductive capabilities shine, and the authors made me laugh several times, especially when one mentioned the fact that all of Miss Marple's relatives could be assured of receiving one of her knitted blankets at one time or another.
Fans of Miss Marple should enjoy this anthology, and I wouldn't be surprised if she gains new devotees who experience her talents for the first time.