Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks

Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks

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by John Curran
     
 

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John Curran reveals the secrets of the world’s greatestmystery writer in Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making, the fascinating follow up to Agatha Christie’s SecretNotebooks featuring moreinsight into Christie’s captivating life story and a new windfall ofChristie’s unpublished work—including letters, archival papers

Overview

John Curran reveals the secrets of the world’s greatestmystery writer in Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making, the fascinating follow up to Agatha Christie’s SecretNotebooks featuring moreinsight into Christie’s captivating life story and a new windfall ofChristie’s unpublished work—including letters, archival papers, and a keenly incisive analysis of Christie’s last, unfinished novel.For readers new to Christie’s mysteries and for life-long fans of Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and Tommy and Tuppence, eitherfrom classic Christie novels like Murder on the Orient Express or fromthe popular Masterpiece Theater adaptations, “Curran’s discoveries will shapehow Christie is read.” (Independent on Sunday).

Editorial Reviews

on Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making - Daily America
"This is a wonderful companion piece to [Christie’s] autobiography and a must-read for every Agatha Christie fan. It provides a unique look into one of the world’s most successful authors."
Cleveland Plain Dealer on Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making
“Curran’s analysis of these notes in the context of Christie’s life is first-rate.”
Iron Mountain Daily News on Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making
“Curran sheds light on the method of crafting a mystery story by the world’s most popular writer of whodunits.”
Daily America on Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making
“This is a wonderful companion piece to [Christie’s] autobiography and a must-read for every Agatha Christie fan. It provides a unique look into one of the world’s most successful authors.”
Library Journal
Interest in Agatha Christie's works continues unabated 35 years after her death. Curran is an archivist, Christie expert, and literary adviser to the Christie estate who in 2005 discovered 73 of the writer's notebooks in a cupboard in her Devon home while he was advising the National Trust on its restoration. He began to mine the notebooks for insights into Christie's works and published Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks (2009), which included two previously unpublished short stories, excerpts from the notebooks, and Curran's comments placing the excerpts in context for the reader. The present volume follows the same pattern. Excerpts from the notebooks (dashed-off notes, brief plot or character ideas, fragments of writing) are filtered through Curran's extensive knowledge of Christie's works, shedding light on the writer's creative process. Also included are a previously unpublished Miss Marple story and an essay by Christie on her attitude toward her character Hecule Poirot. VERDICT Not for those who simply seek a good mystery, but recommended to avid Christie fans and researchers wanting deeper knowledge of her life and works.—Alison M. Lewis, Drexel Univ., Philadelphia
Kirkus Reviews
Following Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks (2009), which scrutinized the early stages of some two-dozen novels by the legendary mystery novelist, Christie expert Curran returns to exhume and analyze selected entries from her 73 notebooks dealing with dozens of other novels and stories. "Selected" is the key word, since the material presented is by no means exhaustive, and often thematically rearranged into categories like "Unused Ideas, 1-4" and "Agatha Christie and Poison." Curran's shaping editorial hand is inevitable because the notebooks are so chaotic. Christie, whose meticulously plotted detective stories present her as a master of logic and detail, could scatter undated entries on a given novel across several different notebooks, and her handwriting presented distinct challenges to her editor. Her preference for tight plotting, a deceptive but generous use of clues, a limited array of stock characters and a neutral, highly serviceable dialogue and descriptive prose are too well-known to be further illuminated here, but Curran produces some welcome surprises. His selection reprints a hitherto unpublished courtroom climax to The Mysterious Affair at Styles, an earlier version of "The Red Signal" and an alternate version of "The Case of the Caretaker's Wife." He describes a never-staged dramatization of The Secret of Chimneys, reveals the two quite different motives for murder in the British and American editions of Three Act Tragedy and notes that Christie intended to publish Sleeping Murder under the title Cover Her Face until P.D. James anticipated her in the long interval between Sleeping Murder's composition and its publication. Curran's single most important general revelation is Christie's fondness for playing with unpromisingly skeletal ideas until they turned into the high concepts for which she is best remembered. Not a book to read in one sitting, but one to love: a sumptuous buffet for fans who wish the Queen of Crime had lived forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062065438
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/11/2012
Pages:
430
Sales rank:
634,394
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 5.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

John Curran is the longtime literary adviser to Agatha Christie’s estate. For many years he edited the official Agatha Christie newsletter and acted as consultant to the National Trust during its restoration of Greenway House, Christie’s Devon home. He lives in Dublin. 

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Agatha Christie 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
chelseaguy5050 More than 1 year ago
One of my very good friends is an Agatha Christie buff. When I saw this I got it immediately and hoped it wasn't already a part of his collection. It wasn't and I scored big time!