The Complete Christieby Matthew Bunson
Which poison was used most frequently in Agatha Christie's novels? How many of her novels featured a butler? Exactly where on the train were the suspects located in Murder on the Orient Express? How many actors have portrayed Hercule Poirot?
Get a clue...or a lot of them, in
THE COMPLETE CHRISTIE
simply the most comprehensive guide to the/i>
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This title is quite comprehensive in terms of books and stories, characters, and movie/TV/stage adaptations. This book also explains literary references and historic allusions found in Christie's writings, as well as recurring themes and devices. However these analyses are scattered throughout the book in the entries for their respective books/stories. Occasional inaccuracies or omissions in the 'Characters' section made me wonder perhaps some entries were written based on secondary sources, such as adaptations or other review books, instead of the original novels. For example, the character 'Hercule Poirot' was persistently mentioned in connection with characters from the novel 'Crooked House', a novel that did not feature any of the 'regular' Christie detectives. Entries were entirely missing for some characters such as 'Stephen Restarick' in 'They Do It with Mirrors'. In spite of these deficiencies, I enjoyed this title as a guide to find Christie novels that I had liked and then forgotten for years. In view of the aforementioned deficiencies, this title is not an absolutely reliable reference book.
Let me start out by saying I have not read every page in this homage to the great Ms. Christie. Instead, over the past few couple of weeks I have looked up the detailed descriptions of items of interest to me like the list of television shows, stage performances, and movies created from one of Ms. Christie's works. That is the beauty of this 'encyclopedia'. Fans of the author and readers of mysteries can easily pick and choose their personal preferences. Besides the above, Matthew Bunson provides a detailed synopsis of each novel and short story, and a brief description of each character (I cannot argue if it is not complete) that ever appeared in one of these works. THE COMPLETE CHRISTIE: AN AGATHA CHRISTIE ENCYCLOPEDIA is a fun piece of work that will provide much enjoyment to fans of Ms. Christie. Perhaps the only drawback to this wonderful book is a lack of a table of contents tied to the wonderful listings in the appendices that would enable casual fans to do even more specific digging. Harriet Klausner