Books

by John Curran
HarperCollins, February 2011, $16.99

This first of two volumes, an Edgar nominee, explores the seemingly chaotic, undated, and sometimes barely legible notebooks in which Christie interspersed ideas, plot outlines, and casts of characters for her novels, plays, and stories with shopping lists, reading lists, and other ephemera. Curran, an Irish literary adviser to the Christie estate, organizes it all with admirable thoroughness, often bringing together material on a given title scattered among several notebooks. The arrangement is mainly topical, bringing together titles with a theme or type of background in common. Though the inclusion of two previously unpublished Poirot stories serves to attract a wide audience of fans, the real appeal of the book is to specialists and scholars. Solutions are routinely revealed, with warnings in the chapter headings. Curran’s critical differentiations add to the interest.

Jon L. Breen

This first of two volumes, an Edgar nominee, explores the seemingly chaotic, undated, and sometimes barely legible notebooks in which Christie interspersed ideas, plot outlines, and casts of characters for her novels, plays, and stories with shopping lists, reading lists, and other ephemera. Curran, an Irish literary adviser to the Christie estate, organizes it all with admirable thoroughness, often bringing together material on a given title scattered among several notebooks. The arrangement is mainly topical, bringing together titles with a theme or type of background in common. Though the inclusion of two previously unpublished Poirot stories serves to attract a wide audience of fans, the real appeal of the book is to specialists and scholars. Solutions are routinely revealed, with warnings in the chapter headings. Curran’s critical differentiations add to the interest.

Teri Duerr
2453

by John Curran
HarperCollins, February 2011, $16.99

Curran
February 2011
agatha-christies-secret-notebooks-fifty-years-of-mysteries-in-the-making
16.99
HarperCollins

I’ve been binging a lot lately on British mystery series that are just now being made available to U.S. audiences.

These series are distributed by Acorn with DVD and Blu-ray sets available from select ret

gripping-dramas-on-acorn

Tom Straw may be the best-known unknown writer.

He’s had seven novels that went straight to the New York Times Best Seller list, with one landing in the No. 1 slot. The books were hugely popular and the ch

tom-straw-the-author-behind-castle

hessjoanwithdog

JOAN HESS (1949-2017)

From St. Martins Press:

Author Joan Hess has died. A pioneer in the mystery genre and a much loved fixture at mystery conventions for decades, she was the author of forty-thre

JOAN HESS (1949-2017)

From St. Martins Press:

Author Joan Hess has died. A pioneer in the mystery genre and a much loved fixture at mystery conventions for decades, she was the author of forty-three books, o

joan-hess-obituary