More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks
September 11, 2012 (Reprint) / ISBN-10: 0062065432
Biographies & Memoirs / Mystery Author
by Brenda Weeaks
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unpublished Miss Marple story (The Case of the Caretaker’s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.
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.
in the Making was a delightful experience and it gave me the
urge to rediscover a Christie’s work.
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.