Killer Reads exclusive! A peek at Christie's Secret Notebooks

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John Curran and Hercule Poirot take a look at "the original evidence" - including one of Agatha Christie's own writing notebooks - at Paignton Library during Agatha Christie Festival.

Congratulations to our very own Agatha Christie expert! John Curran triumphed in the awards at Bouchercon a few nights ago by winning not one but two presitigious crime-writing awards for his writing debut, Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks.

To celebrate we’ve decided not only to give you an exclusive look at David Suchet’s foreword for the paperback of John’s new book, Agatha Christie’s Murder in the Making, but also to give you an extract from the book which looks at some of the ideas that Agatha Christie never used in her novels. 


buttonorangeKILLER READS EXCLUSIVE: David Suchet’s Foreword

When John Curran’s book Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks was published in 2009, the reading public was given something very rare: perhaps the most complete document for any author of the notes and sketches of their novels. Reading the book was like studying the preliminary sketches of any great artist, and in doing so we automatically found ourselves searching for clues. It gave us an insight into the workings of Agatha Christie’s mind – plus the gift of two new unpublished Poirot stories!

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Happy Birthday Agatha!

Category: News

Wednesday 15th September was Agatha Christie‘s 120th birthday. There was a plethora of activity to mark the occasion, with extensive press coverage celebrating the Queen of Crime and her work. If you didn’t get the chance to see it, the ‘Google Doodle‘ was Christie-themed in over 40 countries worldwide on the today.


Murder on the Orient Express
Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again…

Read an extract from Murder on the Orient Express

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Professor Plum, in the library, with the candlestick: Memorable Deaths in Fiction

Category: News

Inspired by Soul Murder, guest blogger Adele from Un:Bound takes a look at the most Memorable Deaths in Fiction.

Playing Cluedo as a child I always felt certain people should use certain weapons, I

felt the game lacked verisimilitude otherwise. Professor Plum clearly would have to use the candlestick. Miss Scarlett should use the revolver like any self respecting femme fatale, Mrs Peacock, portrayed on her card as older and wealthy seemed a shoo in for the dagger since poison wasn’t an option, Colonel Mustard as an army sort ought to have the strength to use the rope and so on. I was possibly putting too much thought into the game, but a steady diet of Morse, Poirot, and Miss Marple will do that to a child.

So the trend was set, it matters to me how you kill people. That’s only reasonable though; there should be method to the madness and meaning to be found behind the method. In Soul Murder (Daniel Blake) the victims are burned alive. This is not only grotesque enough to be memorable, but also raises questions for both the detectives and the reader, the most fundamental of which is: why didn’t the killer take Scott Evil’s advice? “Just shoot him now … I’ll go get a gun and we’ll shoot him together …”

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