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Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making
More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks
John Curran

William Morrow
September 11, 2012 (Reprint) / ISBN-10: 0062065432
Biographies & Memoirs / Mystery Author

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks

I haven’t read Curran’s first book relating Christie’s Notebooks, so in picking this one up, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought it would be a bit text-bookie. Well, the preface, (Victoria Station, 1931) was the hook… Reading Christie’s notes, seeing the pictures of the actual pages, and reading a previously unpublished Miss Marple story (The Case of the Caretaker’s Wife) had me flipping the pages in total fascination. We’ve all read the books and admired Christie’s natural gift of whodunit, but to see how she contemplated, scribbled, and contemplated again is truly historical.

Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making follows Curran’s Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making. In this volume Curran tells us how the notebooks were found by grandson Mathew Prichard. On an invitation to Greenway House in Devon, Curran spent time pouring through 73 notebooks, which he said had – “no chronology, no order, no method; but a splendid profusion of imagination.” At one point he goes into the “Rules of Detection,” and compares Christie to other mystery writers. He shows how Christie broke most those Rules. As readers can see on page 77, there is a picture from her notebook. Curran notes her writing at times wasn’t best – putting it down to thinking faster than she could write. This picture shows the beginnings of a deleted scene in Mysterious Affair of Styles and footnotes by Curran. Curran analyzes the writers mind and work. He goes over 5 decades of “Unused Ideas,” discusses all her work, including the romance, non-series, and lesser known characters like Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. He also delves lightly into her personal life, but only on how it affected her work, such as locating a storyline wherever she traveled.

Reading Murder in the Making was a delightful experience and it gave me the urge to rediscover a Christie’s work.

**Fair warning there are loads of spoiler’s concerning her mysteries, so if you pick this one up, you may want to read the mysteries mentioned before you begin.

Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making 
Reviewed 2012