Agatha Christie's Complete Secret Notebooks

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First published: 2016

Synopsis

Agatha Christie's Complete Secret Notebooks

Combined into one definitive volume, this fully revised and updated edition of the award-winning Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks and Murder in the Making explores the techniques used to surprise and entertain generations of readers. With a wealth of unpublished material, including early versions of four complete short stories, it gives new insight into the Queen of Crime's creative genius.

An enthralling miscellany of a book, in which her fans will rummage to their heart's content.

Sunday Times

More about this story

Writing over 100 books and plays in a career spanning more than 50 years, Agatha Christie had become the world's bestselling novelist by the time she died in 1976, a record she still holds. But how did she do it? Unearthed after her death were 73 private notebooks, whose contents were to remain largely mysterious until John Curran began to decipher her almost unreadable handwriting. Only then did the treasure trove that they contained become fully apparent.

Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks in 2009 and its follow-up volume Murder in the Making challenged many widespread perceptions about Agatha Christie and helped to bring about a reappraisal of the importance of her work that continues to this day. Winning three major non-fiction awards, John Curran's books have been compared to Agatha Christie's own for their forensic detective work and for revealing how the world's most popular novelist achieved her remarkable successes.

This revised edition brings together the content of both books, fully revising and updating the texts and commentary, adding new details and discoveries, and reordering the material into one seamless chronological narrative. This is the definitive account of Agatha Christie's writing, with transcripts from all 73 notebooks, from the unpublished ending of the first Poirot, written in 1916, to the notes for the story she was working on when she died in 1976.

Taking the reader through the six decades of her career as an author, Agatha Christie's Complete Secret Notebooks shows how she both observed and contravened the conventions of Golden Age detective fiction. Ranging from the creation of Miss Marple to the killing of Hercule Poirot, Dr John Curran examines how Agatha Christie plotted and planned her many successes - and occasional failures - and includes many intriguing notes for stories she never completed.

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