BOOK REPORT #6: Macho Macho Couturier

I am neither lying nor exaggerating: it happened exactly like this . . .  I had just settled settled down with my pipe and post-prandial glass of port when the telephone rang. I sighed and rose to answer it. It was Dr. John Curran, the foremost authority on Dame Agatha Christie. Well, at least, the authority on … Continue reading BOOK REPORT #6: Macho Macho Couturier

A LOOK AT BRIDGERTON: #MeToo with a Dash of Mmm Hmm Hmm

My friends are chattering about Bridgerton, the new Shonda Rhimes-produced series on Netflix. They compare it to Sanditon, the recent series based on an unfinished novel by Jane Austen that recently played on Masterpiece Theatre. There is little, however, of Austen beyond the surface of this new series. Bridgerton is more Agnes Nixon than Jane Austen; it is All My Children wrapped … Continue reading A LOOK AT BRIDGERTON: #MeToo with a Dash of Mmm Hmm Hmm

A HUNDRED YEARS OF CHRISTIE – THE FINAL CHAPTER: The Millennium and Beyond

“In my end is my beginning.” Many books begin with an epigraph; Agatha Christie’s characters speak in them. The occasion, more often than not, is dark. After all, these people are bearing witness to – or maybe committing – murder.  “Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?” … Continue reading A HUNDRED YEARS OF CHRISTIE – THE FINAL CHAPTER: The Millennium and Beyond

A HUNDRED YEARS OF CHRISTIE, PART SEVEN: Mistress of Media in the 80’s

When I was a student, focused on the study of literature and theatre, I learned a hard lesson: there was a schism between those works which are deemed “art” and those classified as “popular culture”. As a child, my love of comic books was derided as . . . well, childish. Studying drama at U.C. … Continue reading A HUNDRED YEARS OF CHRISTIE, PART SEVEN: Mistress of Media in the 80’s

A HUNDRED YEARS OF CHRISTIE, PART SIX: Requiem and Rebirth in the 70’s

“What can I say at seventy-five? ‘Thank God for my good life, and for all the love that has been given to me.’”                                                                                                 Agatha Christie: An Autobiography “It’s sad really, but nowadays one is only interested in the deaths!”                                                                                                 Nemesis (1971) Six Novels Passenger to Frankfurt (1970) Nemesis (1971) Elephants Can Remember (1972) Postern of Fate (1973) Curtain (1975) * Sleeping … Continue reading A HUNDRED YEARS OF CHRISTIE, PART SIX: Requiem and Rebirth in the 70’s

A CENTURY OF AGATHA CHRISTIE, PART FIVE: The Pendulum Swings in the Swinging 60’s

“You know . . . I really can’t think how anyone ever gets away with a murder in real life. It seems to me that the moment you’ve done a murder the whole thing is so terribly obvious. . . The murder part is quite easy and simple. It’s the covering up that’s so difficult. … Continue reading A CENTURY OF AGATHA CHRISTIE, PART FIVE: The Pendulum Swings in the Swinging 60’s

YOU TAKE DYSTOPIA, I’LL TAKE DAT TOPIA: Pondering the Hunger Games Prequel

Let me take you back to a meeting held one year ago in the editorial offices of Scholastic Books: Editor: Ladies, I fervently believe that the YA dystopian novel has not burned itself out yet! Even in these unsettled times, young people are spoiled and complacent. They love to read about worlds where adults have … Continue reading YOU TAKE DYSTOPIA, I’LL TAKE DAT TOPIA: Pondering the Hunger Games Prequel