Saturday 14th September 2024, 3:00pm

Miss Marple and the Secret History of Female Sleuths

Ever since Miss Jane Marple first appeared in a novel in 1930, British female private eyes have been dubbed ‘Miss Marple’ – from Annette Kerner, owner of the Mayfair Detective Agency, to Zena Scott-Archer, president of the World Association of Detectives.

Join Caitlin Davies, author of Private Inquiries, for a journey through the history of Britain’s real-life women detectives. What was the truth behind the fictional image, and what characteristics did they share with Christie’s imaginary counterpart?

Caitlin is a novelist, non-fiction writer, award-winning journalist and teacher. She is the author of six novels and seven non-fiction books, including Bad Girls: The Rebels and Renegades of Holloway Prison, nominated for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing (2019), and Queens of the Underworld, a history of professional female crooks. She lives in Kent and is a trained PI.


Getting to the venue

The Spanish Barn is in the grounds of Torre Abbey. This is on Torquay seafront and walkable from most hotels in the area. It is also right next to Torquay Train Station. The nearest car park is Torre Valley - Torbay Council


There is a drop-off point and limited parking within the grounds for disabled visitors. Entry to the Spanish Barn is relatively level, but there are a few cobble stones to cross, before entering the completely flat interior. We have space for wheelchairs, although if you let us know in advance, we can ensure that there is ample dedicated space for the number of wheelchair users. We have also raised the height of the main stage this year, so that guest speakers can easily be seen. We also have two TV screens midway down the barn screening what is happening on the stage. We also have a disabled toilet available to the rear of the Spanish Barn.

If you have any particular access requirements or enquiries, do please get in touch and we will do whatever we feasibly can to accommodate you. Please email