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Woman of Mystery: Miss Marple Returns

Masterpiece Mystery! viewers will be thrilled to know that British theatre and television veteran Julia McKenzie returns as Miss Marple in three new episodes of Agatha Christie’s popular series starting 9/21! Amie Simon gets us up-to-date and ready for the season:

Christie’s most-beloved character
There’s nothing we enjoy more than a good sleuth, and Miss Jane Marple is an exceptional one. This seasoned amateur crime-solver is one of Agatha Christie’s most-loved characters, and has been played on screen by several different actresses.

The adaptations have changed significantly since the original 1984-92 BBC series, changing the plots and characters of the original books, and adding some modern twists that haven’t always been well received. But the heart of the character remains true to Christie’s vision: the almost-invisible elderly sleuth who uses her wits to solve the crime and save future victims from their fates!

Knit, purl, ponder, solve

Knitting sharpens the mind -- and disguises a sleuth at work

Getting to know Miss Marple
Never married and without close family to talk about, the inconspicuous Miss Marple relies on her ability to blend into the background in order to outwit the murderers she’s stalking—after all, who would ever suspect that a sweet old lady who never causes any fuss could track down and catch a clever killer?

The genteel Miss Marple questions and listens while knitting, gathering information with each click-clack of the needles. She makes the rounds at tea, gently probing for information, sinks into the shadows to overhear plots, and occasionally pairs up with a worthy co-conspirator. And although the police frequently regard her as a nice old woman with quite an imagination, Marple never quits until she’s cracked the case.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Julia McKenzie in a prior season of Miss Marple

A formidable team: Benedict Cumberbatch as Luke Fitzwilliam and Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple in "Murder is Easy"

A primer for the new season
With all three of these new mysteries involving something supernatural, the mood for some cozy (and spooky) fall evenings is cast!

Season 7 begins with A Caribbean Mystery (9/21, 8p), where a vacationing Miss Marple finds herself drawn into a web of murder on an island resort that may have been caused by … voodoo. How exotic! The list of potential suspects is long, and with all the affairs distracting her from the killer’s trail, it’s going to be difficult for Marple to find out who’s responsible for murders present and past.

Next up is Greenshaw’s Folly (9/21, 9:30p), in which Miss Marple enlists the help of an old friend (and last surviving Greenshaw family member) to help hide a young friend and her son so they can escape an abusive husband and father. Marple, of course, gets more than she bargained for when people start dying and disappearing. Some of those disappearances might even be caused by ghosts!

The final episode airing this fall is Endless Night (9/28, 9p), about a young couple madly in love who elope despite protests from family and build their dream house on cursed ground called Gypsy’s Acre. Tragedy ensues, as it must—and even Miss Marple is stumped by the series of deaths. It is murder? Or the curse? Only Marple can find out!

Let’s talk Marple
Masterpiece mystery fans—we’d love to get a dialog going about this engaging character. What do you love most about Miss Marple? Do you agree with her being called “the spinster sleuth,” or do you think she deserves a more dignified title? What mysteries do you think Marple is hiding about her own life? Tell us in the comments!

Schedule note:
This fall's Masterpiece schedule includes programming at 8p and 9p - a bounty of British drama!
A Caribbean Mystery airs Sunday, 9/21, at 8pm
Greenshaw’s Folly airs Sunday, 9/21, at 9:30pm
Endless Night airs Sunday, 9/28, at 9pm, following the season premiere of The Paradise

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