Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks is the fascinating exploration of the contents of Agatha Christie’s long hidden notebooks, including illustrations, analyses, and two previously unpublished Hercule Poirot short stories. Not only will Christie’s legions of ardent fans find a treasure chest of new material from the author of such classics as And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile, but Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks is also a must-read tutorial for writers who want to learn the intricacies of constructing crime novels.
Curran, longtime literary adviser to the Agatha Christie estate, painstakingly describes and excerpts the private notebooks of one of the most influential names in detective fiction. Casual or even moderately well-versed fans of Christie may find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer volume of minutiae Curran extracts from the 73 notebooks the author maintained. His effort, however, is admirable: the majority of the notebook entries lack dates and often jump between novels and stories written years apart, and Christie's handwriting is at times akin to shorthand. The most fascinating aspect of the notebooks is the rare glimpse they allow into the mind of a writer, especially one as imaginative as Christie, who, though not a prose stylist, was expert at devising intricate plots. For example, in the notebooks, she poses questions to herself ( how should all this be approached? Who is killed? and Someone shot or stalked at school Sports? ) while mapping out the novel Cat Among the Pigeons. The inclusion of two rare short stories featuring Hercule Poirot makes this an appealing read for Christie-philes. B&w photos.