'Dear old tabbies are the only possible right kind of female detective and Miss M is lovely', wrote Dorothy L. Sayers to Agatha Christie, soon after the publication of the first Miss Marple book, The Murder at the Vicarage, in 1931. The setting of the Marple stories, and their plot strategies, are likewise appropriate to the lifestyle of an elderly spinster. Christie's creation of Miss Marple must be seen against this background of social and literary concern with the spinster. Miss Marple is also introduced in The Murder at the Vicarage as 'a white-haired old lady with a gentle, appealing manner'. Miss Marple's spinster image is enhanced by the knitting she seems always to be engaged upon. It is possible to trace in the Marple novels the evolution of the female domestic servant from the 1920s to the 1970s and perceive through Christie's sketchy characterization something of a social revolution.