In the early collection of short stories, The Thirteen Problems, a group of friends gather in Miss Marple's house and, after a few preliminaries, begin to tell each other of mysteries they have encountered. The picked shrimps are mentioned in the first Miss Marple novel, The Murder at the Vicarage. The shrimps have become the emblem of Miss Marple's method of detection in that they represent both the trivia of everyday life and its mysteries. They constitute the basic premiss of the Marple books which is that if one can solve the mystery of missing shrimps, one can also solve problems of much greater seriousness, including murder. The short stories in The Thirteen Problems represent Miss Marple's detecting methods at their most simple and they particularly illustrate the irrelevance of the environment to the central issue of the crime. Miss Marple, as a little old lady living in a village, is shown throughout as being the ideal detective.