Agatha Christie Festival 2013

Last month Laura, our Agatha Christie Brand Manager, expert and all-round Christie fan, attended the Agatha Christie Festival! Here’s Laura’s roundup of what took place…

The international bestselling crime writer, Sophie Hannah, who is to write a new Agatha Christie novel, appeared at the famous Agatha Christie Festival this year.

Discussing Christie’s legacy and the new project with Sophie were Mathew Prichard (Agatha Christie’s grandson), David Brawn (HarperCollins) and John Curran (author Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks).

Sophie Hannah and Mathew Pritchard at the Agatha Christie Festival

The panel discussed extensively the new novel which will feature Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective who Agatha Christie introduced to the world in her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, published in 1920. Written with the full backing of the family, this is going to be the first ever Agatha Christie continuation novel.

The panel explained the reasons behind the decision to authorise a new novel and Sophie Hannah gave a few tantalising hints into the setting and the characters within the new mystery which will be published in September 2014.

Mathew spoke about the importance of creating a new publishing event to bring Agatha Christie to a new generation of readers. The theatre adaptation of The Mousetrap is for him a continuous reminder of his grandmother’s legacy, but when 2 years ago he found out that David Suchet was going to film the last four Poirot movies he felt it was the end of an era. This gave him the idea to find other avenues to keep Agatha Christie’s content relevant to new fans.

Simon Brett Kate Moss and David Brawn discussing Christie legacy

A different panel with Simon Brett, Kate Moss and David Brawn focused on Agatha Christie’s legacy on contemporary crime writers and authors in general. Kate Moss defined Agatha ‘the very first author that was mine’. And Simon Brett, talking about Sophie Hannah’s new Poirot said: ‘I envy her, but I can’t think of anyone who could do it better’.

– Laura, HarperFiction

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