Book Review: The Agatha Christie Miscellany // Cathy Cook

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When we set out on the adventure of devouring a new novel, we become so consumed in the stories that are laid out before us that we seldom spare a thought for those who are most vital in the creation of such books: the author. While one may recognise their style of writing and their penchants for certain techniques, how many truly know the lives of their favourite authors? I feel that it is vital to undertake the task of getting to know your favourite author, not just to provide a contextual perspective to their work, but to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the masterpieces they have created.

It is quite evident, from my many reviews on the subject, that Agatha Christie is, and will always be, my favourite author. At first, it was my love for her beautifully elaborate murders that gained my devotion; now it is her remarkably adventurous life that holds my greatest esteem. I like to think that I know of every single piece of literature about Agatha Christie that has ever existed, so you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this book, quite by chance.

The Agatha Christie Miscellany is a fact-file, a magnificent compilation of news, memories and sensational secrets about one of the worlds best-known authors. It is one of those books that has a strange allure; once you begin to delve into it, you can’t stop until you’re done. In short, it is a beautiful tribute to this smart, fantastic, and adventurous woman that many have come to love. If you know the works of Agatha Christie, or even if you have never heard of her, this is a must-read, and it may add a new-found excitement to her thrilling works of fiction.

As for its effect upon me, I can see now that her murders and thrillers that she creates in her novels have a basis in reality – they are based upon her travels and adventures around the world, being the wife of a famed archaeologist. It provides a ring of truth to her plots and makes them more tantalising than ever.

Agatha Christie once said: “If anyone writes about me in the future, I’d rather they got their facts right” – I don’t think she would be disappointed by this superb piece of work.

Words by Joe Lewin

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