Here is the first question: Why is Sophie Hannah writing the new Poirot novels? For many of you, the real question is why anyone should endeavor to continue Hercule Poirot’s career forty-five years after his true creator’s death? It’s a good question, but it’s not my question. Notice the italics on the name "Sophie Hannah." It … Continue reading TWO REVIEWS, TWO QUESTIONS: Part One
You may not be reading this until tomorrow (Monday) because I’m sure that, like everyone else, you’re outside celebrating Agatha Christie’s one-hundred-twenty-eighth-and-one-day birthday! Some fools posted yesterday during the pre-celebratory festivities, but the real fans are out there right now, spreading the cheer about the world’s most famous mystery writer. Okay, look, I had a really busy … Continue reading FELICITATIONS, DAME AGATHA!
The difference between Agatha Christie in the 1920’s and the 1930’s was, in every way, startling. Although she was thirty when she published her first novel, there was something of the gawky girl in Christie’s writing and the tragic romantic in her personal life. Of the nine novels she published between 1920 and 1929, five … Continue reading THE BRIDGE TWIXT GAD AND MODERNITY: Christie’s The Body in the Library
Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to three blogger pals discuss John Dickson Carr on the podcast that two of them host on a bimonthly basis. Dan, of The Reader Is Warned, is an artist, and JJ, of The Invisible Event, is a mathematician, so between them they brought a lively blend of stats … Continue reading GOING OCD ON MY GAD
“I like a good detective story . . . But, you know, they begin in the wrong place! They begin with the murder. But the murder is the end. The story begins long before that – years before sometimes – with all the causes and events that bring certain people to a certain place at … Continue reading A GREAT CONVERGENCE: Agatha Christie’s Towards Zero
Every so often, a confluence of events brings about enlightenment. It’s how we got penicillin and harnessed electricity and learned how to fly. In the art world, it happens when paints mix together fortuitously or musical notes embrace in harmony or Warner Brothers produces The Maltese Falcon three times before they get it right. As an … Continue reading A MOTIVE FOR LOVING CHRISTIE
Dale Carnegie said: “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.” Try applying this truism to the classic mystery, and you can perhaps see why some people turn away from the tendency of these stories to shortchange the emotional aspects of murder, while others are … Continue reading I SECOND THAT EMOTION: Mysteries That Make You Feel