Chapter 31

The issue of spiritual change interested Mrs McGillicuddy. You might have thought that Miss Marple was well placed in this part of her life. She was a regular church goer and had a strong moral streak to her. And yet, it may be that the very skills that made see through to the solutions to all her murder mysteries were also an impediment to her achieving a sense of spirituality that could sustain her. She always saw the evil in people so clearly. As one policeman said of her: “I’ve heard her called the best personality analyst in the world, a ruthless forensic brain – a mind like a bacon slicer”. This must put a strain on the capacity for hope and awareness of beauty on which spiritual health depends. Also it probably means that Miss Marple sees through to her own failings all too easily. She was after all, very hard on herself for the way she had treated her young man in the war period.

This is where Diane and her husband could come in to help – the local vicar was not really much use at the moment, but if Diane and her vicar husband could get Miss Marple talking about her beliefs, about her capacity for self forgiveness and about the value of her insights for wider and more life affirming purposes than catching evil people, perhaps she could make some progress? Diane’s idea of doing Miss Marple’s portrait would provide ideal circumstances for some such intimate conversations

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