The Best Miss Marple Novel – Semi-Finals

The polls have closed on the quarter-finals for the best Miss Marple poll so it’s time to take a look at the results – and not everything went as you might have expected – and then crack on with the voting for the semi-finals – and a bonus extra poll.


QF 1 – A Murder Is Announced vs The Mirror Crack’d From Side To Side

Um… not much of a contest with this one. Interesting pairing given the similarities between the novels, but A Murder Is Announced walks away with this one.

QF 2 – 4:50 From Paddington vs Nemesis

Not the walkover of the first match-up, but, dare I say it, this one-sided match-up is between two of the outsiders in the second round – in my opinion of course. I think if I’d picked my eight favourites, the A Pocket Full Of Rye would have ousted one of these (and possibly A Caribbean Mystery the other one). But 4:50 From Paddington goes through – let’s see how it does in the semi-final.

QF 3 – The Body In The Library vs The Murder At The Vicarage

A much closer match-up, with the lead swapping between the books through the poll, until Vicarage pulled away towards the end – which, to be honest, surprised me a little. But it goes through to play the winner of…

QF 4 – The Moving Finger vs Sleeping Murder

Just when you thought that all of the group winners were going to go through to the semi-finals… To be honest, I thought The Body In The Library would be the book to buck the trend but I’m delighted that one of my favourites, The Moving Finger, that does the trick and moves onwards.

But before I put the semi-final draw polls up, there’s a second poll that I’m going to run alongside it. It’s the “Best Agatha Christie Novel That Doesn’t Feature Poirot, Miss Marple Or Ten People Stuck On An Island”! Catchy title, no? Some people have been asking for a non-series one, but let’s face it, we know who’s going to win that one. Hence it’s removal. I’ll run this one alongside the semi-finals and final round of the Miss Marple poll. So here are three things to vote for:

Polls close on Saturday, 6pm ish.



    • I honestly don’t think enough people know the plays well enough, bar maybe The Mousetrap and Witness For The Prosecution. I almost didn’t do the non-series books for the same reason – I don’t think they are nearly as well read as Poirot and Marple books.


  1. You made my job easy in the semi-finals: like you, I’m thrilled that FINGER moves forward and surprised that VICARAGE beat LIBRARY.

    The stand-alones were tougher, although it really came down to two for me: CROOKED HOUSE and TOWARD ZERO. They both have a lot to recommend them, imho! Making the choice was nearly impossible, but classic status had to win out there!


    • Now, with the non-series, I haven’t read Crooked House because someone spoiled it for me a loooong time ago, so I can’t vote for it. I’m curious to see if anyone else votes for the same one as me…


      • Oh, just checked the results so far – and someone else has voted for it. So my choice is in joint second place at the moment…

        UPDATE: And now it’s in joint first! I’m not alone!


    • Maybe I’ll forget what someone told me, but it’s unlikely… And I really couldn’t be bothered to do a separate T & T poll. Should I have done a Superintendent Battle one? Or a Colonel Race one? I just figured it was time to draw a line under things.


  2. I have to admit that I voted for Crooked House too, though several others are almost as great, in my opinion: Murder is Easy, Towards Zero, The Pale Horse, Ordeal By Innocence, and possibly Death Comes as the End. Actually, a lot of these are really quite fun (Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? and N or M, for example), even if they’re not “great.” This was difficult!


  3. “ choice is in joint second place..”
    “And now it’s in joint first! ”

    At this rate, your choice will reach the top !


  4. Just a quick update – one semi-final currently could go either way. The non-series one is currently a three horse race, with at least one genuine surprise in the top three. And there are five with no votes, of which two of those are also surprising, to me at least…


  5. It’s been a long time since I read most of the stand-alones, so I just went with my recent ratings. That made it a toss-up between two four-star ratings on the Block.


    • That’s the reason that I dealt with the non-series books in one fell swoop – I reckon people haven’t read as many of them in general and, to be honest, some of them are pretty forgettable.


      • I know that I liked several of them when I read them…but that was when I was a preteen/teenager and I just don’t have the recall for them that I do with the Marple and Poirot books.


      • Exactly – but I don’t need to go back that far. I think I enjoyed The Pale Horse, read less than 10 yrs ago but I can’t remember much about it at all…


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