Wouldn’t we all love to get a peek at a mystery author’s secret notebooks, where they’ve plotted out some of their most famous murders?
Previously, I’ve mentioned The Agatha Christie Companion, which gives a little insight into her life at the time she wrote her novels (see here). There’s also the more recent Clues to Christie: The Definitive Guide to Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Tommy & Tuppence and all of Agatha Christie’s Mysteries. It’s not very long, and it’s only available as an ebook. I happen to have it on my Nook. It mainly features an introduction to Christie, written by an award-winning Christie expert, John Curran. The rest of the book is mainly lists of Christie’s titles and features three short stories, all of which have appeared elsewhere: “The Affair at the Victory Ball”,”Greenshaw’s Folly”, and “A Fairy in the Flat.”
However, John Curran has released two juicy titles that would have any Christie fan salivating. Both books cull from those “secret notebooks” in which Christie plotted her most famous stories. The first volume, Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries of the Making, gives a wealth of details taken from notebooks and personal letters. It also includes two never before published Poirot stories that were recently discovered.
The second volume, Agatha Christie Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks, I only recently became aware of when, in searching the world wide web, I happened upon this extensive review from the blog, The Passing Tramp. I feel somewhat behind the times, considering the article appeared in December 2011.
In reviewing Curran’s Agatha Christie Murder in the Making, The Passing Tramp‘s author Curtis Evans includes this intriguing passage about the book’s contents…
There’s “a trial section deleted from Christie’s first detective novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles; Christie’s manuscript version of her article “How I Created Hercule Poirot”; a different–and superior–version of a Miss Marple short story; Christie’s copious references to poisons in her notebooks; Christie’s booklists and unused ideas”
He then mentions that one of these “unused ideas” was writing a novel based on the famous board game, Clue! I can be thankful that she didn’t use this idea since I myself have plotted such a novel!
I encourage readers to check out the full post here. I know it certainly made me want to go right out and buy the book, or download it to my Nook! Also, be sure to check out some of Curtis Evans’ other posts, many of which are about the Golden Age of Mysteries.