Miss Marple is a fictional character in Agatha Christie's crime novels and short stories. Jane Marple is an elderly spinster who lives in the village of St. Mary Mead and acts as an amateur consulting detective. She is one of the best known of Christie's characters and has been portrayed numerous times on screen. Her first appearance was in a short story published in "The Royal Magazine" in December 1927, "The Tuesday Night Club", which later became the first chapter of "The Thirteen Problems" (1932). Her first appearance in a full-length novel was in "The Murder at the Vicarage" in 1930.

The character of Miss Marple is based on friends of Christie's step grandmother/aunt (Margaret Miller, née West). Christie attributed the inspiration for the character of Miss Marple to a number of sources, stating that Miss Marple was "the sort of old lady who would have been rather like some of my step grandmother's Ealing cronies – old ladies whom I have met in so many villages where I have gone to stay as a girl". Christie also used material from her fictional creation, spinster Caroline Sheppard, who appeared in "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd". When Michael Morton adapted the novel for the stage, he replaced the character of Caroline with a young girl. This change saddened Christie and she determined to give old maids a voice: Miss Marple was born.

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