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Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making (2011)

by John Curran, Agatha Christie

Other authors: David Suchet (Foreword)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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This is the second compilation or synthesis of Agatha Christie’s famed notebooks, as compiled by John Curran, the Christie estate’s literary advisor. In this book he uncovers how Christie got her ideas and worked them out into the plots we know and love. The book is organized by decade, and this approach really brought home how long ago some of the classic Christies were actually published. It also highlights just how prolific she was at the peak of her career, writing multiple novels and plays in a single year (and not just adapting her novels to the stage—creating entirely new plays). Each decade concludes with snippets of unused ideas by Christie with commentary and speculation on how these ideas might have been worked into a full story.

As with Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks, each chapter begins with a list of books that are discussed in detail. They Came to Baghdad and Endless Night come in for a large share of discussion, so it may be wise to read those Christies in particular before reading this book.

This book also includes an alternative version of a Miss Marple story; it is worth reading to compare with what was actually published.

Recommended for Christie fans. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Sep 26, 2017 |
This is a book full of fascinating information culled from the secret notebooks of legendary author Agatha Christie. It's a book that is something that should be dipped into rather than devoured in one sitting. A great book for the true Christie lover. ( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
Why read: Received for review from publisher

What impressed me: The highlight of the book for me was the plot ideas that Christie came up with, yet never used in her books. That's what made the book interesting and worth the read.

What disappointed me: So very dry. And obviously full of spoilers for any Christie novel I haven't read yet. Lists upon lists upon lists of characters with little variation. Vaguely interesting, but the repetitive nature of the book gets old quickly.

Recommended: Only for hardcore Agatha Christie fans. ( )
  TequilaReader | Dec 16, 2012 |
Showing 3 of 3
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.
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, Alison M. Lewis (Oct 15, 2011)
 
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.
added by Christa_Josh | editKirkus Reviews (Oct 1, 2011)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Curran, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Christie, Agathamain authorall editionsconfirmed
Suchet, DavidForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Raitio, RistoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062065424, Hardcover)

As he did in the Edgar®-nominated and Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards–winning Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks, Christie expert and archivist John Curran once again examines the unpublished notebooks of the world's bestselling author to explore the techniques she used to surprise and entertain generations of readers.

Drawing on Christie's personal papers and letters, he reveals how more than twenty of her novels, as well as stage scripts, short stories, and some more personal items, evolved. Here are wonderful gems, including Christie's essay on her famous detective, Hercule Poirot, written for a British national newspaper in the 1930s; a previously unseen version of a "Miss Marple" short story; and a courtroom chapter from her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which was edited out of the published version in 1920; plus an insightful, well-reasoned analysis of her final unfinished novel, based on the author's notes and Curran's own deep knowledge of Christie and her work.

A must-read for every Christie aficionado, Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making is a fascinating look into the mind and craft of one of the world's most prolific and beloved authors.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:06 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Expert archivist John Curran examines the unpublished notebooks of the worlds best selling author, to explore the techniques she used to surprise and entertain generations of readers.

» see all 3 descriptions

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