1. THE COUNTRY SETTING
The English countryside is necessarily nostalgia-inducing, but Marple-land most definitely is. Just look at it, with its small gossipy communities, faithful church-going folk, pompous squires with fat moustaches, and fresh-faced young women riding bicycles with little straw baskets on the front. And just think of the village names. St. Mary Mead... Chipping Cleghorn! How perfectly adorable it all is.
2. THE CHARACTER NAMES
It's not just the villages that have outstandingly quaint and old-fashioned names. How about the characters themselves? Whether victims, villains or baffled onlookers, the good citizens of Marple-land have exactly the sorts of names you just don't get anymore. Percival Fortescue. Maud Calthrop. Dolly Bantry. Basil Blake. And let's not forget Vivian Dubois.
3. THE GOOD MANNERS
You don't have to be an old stick-in-the-mud to hanker for times when people remembered their manners. And most of us contemporary oafs could learn a thing or two from the fine gentlemen and poised ladies in Miss Marple. Look at how everyone's forever bowing and curtseying, or doffing their caps and giving up their seats. Why, the killers themselves have more manners than today's average human being - even if their adherence to social etiquette doesn't quite extend to not murdering people...
4. THE TRAIN STATIONS
Is anything more evocative of a bygone Britain than big wrought-iron train stations filled with pea soup smoke from the chugging steam engines? And it's not just the foggy atmosphere and the blowing whistles and the sound of the chug-chug-chugging. It's the helpful porters in uniforms (complete with shiny black caps) helping carry the battered suitcases of dotty old ladies under their arms. Where have they gone? Where?
5. THE VERY NICE CARS
You don't have to be a car-fancier to appreciate the rather lovely automobiles on show in Miss Marple. Consider their sweeping, nay voluptuous, curves. The big proud bonnets. Or the vintage sports cars racing along country lines, transporting a smirking cad to his conquest. Watching Miss Marple will make motors seem glamorous again.
6. THE HATS
Miss Marple reminds us that, once upon a time, everyone wore hats. Everyone. Literally. Bowler hats. Flat caps. And whatever you call those hats that Miss Marple herself wears. Lady hats? Queenly hats? The point is: hats. They're everywhere. Except indoors (see the bit about good manners above).
7. THE RIGID CLASS SYSTEM
Now, we're not saying rigid class systems are good things. But it's part of the nostalgia value of Miss Marple to be immersed in a world where hotel managers will openly scoff at the "low class" of certain guests, people at garden parties act all snooty towards the hired help, and chambermaids in perfect black and white uniforms scurry around waiting and foot on bloated upper-middle-class buffoons. Not so much the good old days as the bad old days, but old days nevertheless...
8. THE VICARS
You can't so much as stroll down a country lane in Marple-land without a nice vicar wandering by and nodding his head in your direction. This, after all, was a time when vicars were stalwarts of the community, and people actually knew their local clergymen by name. And do you know, there's a bit where Miss Marple herself actually utters the words "More tea, vicar?" Ah, those were the days.