Battle of the detectives: Miss Marple vs. Mrs Bradley – Who’s the deadliest?

As you can see from the title of this post, today’s topic is of a serious scholarly nature…. not. Nevertheless this question has been bugging me for a few days so I thought I would open it out to all of you, on the off chance you need some new procrastination fodder. Without further ado below are the categories I have decided to judge each detective’s deadliness on, awarding points for each category winner. But who has won the final, (very non-existent), trophy? Well you’ll just have to read on to find out (and no you can’t just skip down to the end)….

Round 1: Who would win in a fight?

Perhaps my least sensible category, as it does stretch the muscles of one’s imagination to picture Miss Marple taking part in arm wrestling, well any form of wrestling really… Maybe she knows Kung Fu? No …. be serious Kate.

Round 2: Battle of the Allusions

Round 3: Wildest Animal Descriptions

Round 4: Best expert in camouflage

Round 5: Who would you not want investigating your crime if you were a killer?

With the scores tied this final round will be the decider…

Well it was a close fight but Miss Marple just sneaked ahead at the end, so at 3:2, I hereby declare that Miss Marple is the most deadliest! After all it is said in Nemesis by a character that Miss Marple is ‘the most frightening woman I ever met.’ So if you are planning on a committing a murder, make sure Miss Marple isn’t around…

Miss Marple has a suitably steely look in her eye when she has her winner’s shot taken…


      • Though Mrs Bradley committed only one direct murder, she committed 2 indirect murders. In one case, she deliberately provoked a heart attack in an insane woman rather than have her arrested and stand trial. In the other, she permitted a person to murder the culprit without interfering or informing the police.


  1. Beatrice Lestrange Bradley should have by rights been a super spy or professional assassin. Her talents are as varied as a comic book super hero. She does battle with the killer in the kitchen in WHEN LAST SHE DIED. Cutlery is featured, knives definitely fly. If you have read HERE COMES A CHOPPER you’d know that she is also an ace archer as well as adept at the cello. Not that the cello is really a weapon of choice unless you’re a bad player and then its an assault on the ears, but not very fatal.

    Intellectually deadlier? Cop out. I’d never want to mess with Beatrice in hand to hand combat. Never! She did after all kill several of her adversaries as was pointed out above. You need to read more Mitchell. Beatrice was a badass. Jane doesn’t come close.

    And really, Kate — ” most deadliest”? Shame on you.


    • I do acknowledge Mrs Bradley’s physical prowess. That was never in dispute. But I think the times Mrs B lets a killer get away scot free probably out weigh the times she kills them, as opposed to Marple who never lets one get away. I think my post was also opening up the term of ‘deadliness,’ I don’t think you need to be a ‘badass’ to be deadly per say. Badass is perhaps one variant of it.


      • Well, I’ve to agree with John here. Miss Marple has nothing on Mrs. Bradley and Stuart Palmer’s Miss Withers would have been a better opponent for Mrs. Bradley.

        For example, there’s a short story in, I believe, the collection from Crippen and Landru, in which Miss Withers would have been responsible for the death of a murderer, but Oscar Piper intervened at the last moment and put a stop to it. Miss Withers is the only female sleuth who can hold a candle to the incomparable Mrs. Bradley.


    • I think for me Mrs Bradley’s ability to terrorise is more frightening and deadly but in a way it is only potential deadliness as so very often she doesn’t unleash it. Miss Marple’s deadliness may be more genteel but it is sprung every single time and always to the killer’s detriment. Though I do like how you put your idea as I now have this mental image of Miss Marple as Mrs B’s sidekick.


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