|Miss Marple knits, even at the beach.|
Christie's imitators invariably reverse this, meaning they invariably mess it up.
Because they witness Christie's detectives discovering scandal in (even) small villages, they imagine that the bizarre and outlandish resides everywhere, including small villages. The end result is that many films based on Christie books reach a truly bizarre level of soap opera dysfunction. It is the furthest thing in the world from ordinary and human.
Miss Marple would ultimately find that Brittany Spears precisely resembles the girl in the church choir. But script writers of Miss Marple always want to discover that the girl in the church choir is actually Brittany Spears. This is not Christie's modus operandi. According to Miss Marple (and her creator), rather than scandals lurking behind every door, ordinary petty silly common behavior lurks behind every door, including the doors that supposedly hide exciting scandals.
Take this exchange at a dinner party regarding a South Seas mystery:
Dr. Lloyd: They were two English ladies--the thoroughly nice travelling English that you find abroad . . .nothing exciting or remarkable would ever happen to either of them . . . I looked from them back to our sinuous Spanish woman with her half-closed smouldering eyes, and I smiled. [As my friend said] life would not pass her by. [But] as it happens, my friend and I were wrong. Nothing in the least exciting happened to the Spanish beauty. She married a clerk in a shipping office, and by the time I left the island she had had five children and was getting very fat.
Miss Marple: Just like that girl of Israel Peters. The one who went on the stage and had such good legs that they made her principal boy in the pantomime. Everyone said she'd come to no good, but she married a commercial traveller and settled down splendidly.
Dr. Lloyd: My story is about the two English ladies.
|Of course, an inordinate number of murders occur in|
|cozy Cabot Cove. Jessica Fletcher rises above them all.|
Christie is often accused of producing "cozies," tidy mysteries where bad things are quickly disposed of in well-maintained manor houses. Her imitators want to point out that Christie had a dark side, which is true, by "exposing" the cozy, which is a mistake.
Rather than showing that every hamlet is threaded with evil, Christie saw every hamlet as far less DARK and DISTURBING and DRAMATIC and ANGST-FILLED than we humans often insist on--which is probably why she irritated Raymond Chandler fans. It's difficult to be a DARK and DISTURBED and DRAMATIC and ANGST-FILLED detective if Miss Marple is there to point out, "Hey, you really aren't behaving all that differently from the posturing poet back home."