05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Monday, April 3, 2017

Two Mystery Characters I Admire by Paty Jager

This month at RTG is: favorite character any media. This is tough. But as I sat reflecting on the fictional characters in TV, movies, and books, I came up with a tie. Both characters are from books. I spent most of my school years with my face stuck in a book, and many, many hours when my children were growing up reading, which makes my choices seem fitting.

They are: Mrs. Pollifax of Dorothy Gilman's mystery series and Miss Marple of Agatha Christie's mystery books.

Mrs. Pollifax was a widow with grown children who was looking for a way to be useful. She did what any middle-aged widow looking for adventure would do--she joined the CIA. ;) She makes a good operative, with commonsense and the wisdom of living a full life. It is usually the younger person she is working with, who gets her into trouble, but she manages to find a way out and make sure the assignment is executed. I like that she didn't give up when most people feel they've lived enough life. She always has a can-do attitude and pushes on even when it looks like the mission is blown.

Miss Marple is an elderly spinster living in a small community in England. She pretends
at times to be feeble and slow-witted to gain access to information people would not tell a person of clear mind. She also is part of the cog of the gossip in the community and has a keen interest in human behavior. She uses connections with friends and relatives to get into places a woman of her standing in society would not usually be invited. Miss Marple in some respects reminds me of a chameleon. Able to adjust how she is seen, to get the information she wishes.

Both women are of keen intelligence and have learned how to navigate society and people to discover the truths they seek.

As a mystery writer, I try to use bits and pieces of these two characters in my amateur sleuth, Shandra Higheagle. While she isn't as old, she has lived a life that has given her more insight than most her age. And she has the help of her deceased grandmother. What Shandra can't decipher, her grandmother is more than happy to come to her in a dream with a vision to help her put things in their place.
Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 30+ novels, novellas, and short stories of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.


Sarah Raplee said...

I love your Shandra Higheagle mystieries, Paty! All the characters are so well drawn that I feel like they are old friends. It was interesting to learn where some of Shandra's character traits were rooted.

Barb said...

Good characters make all the difference especially in a series.

Diana McCollum said...

Ah, Miss Marple and Mrs. Pollifax explained! Shandra Higheagle is a wonderful character. Great blog post.