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Agatha Christie’s Murder in the Making

In this follow-up volume to the Edgar-nominated and Agatha Award-winning Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks, Christie archivist and expert John Curran leads the reader through the six decades of Agatha’s writing career, unearthing some remarkable clues to her success and a number of never-before published excerpts and stories from her archives.

Starting his investigation in the 1920s, John Curran examines the conventions of detective novels as they existed then and reveals how Agatha Christie’s publisher talked her into changing the denouement of her very first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, a move that almost certainly changed the fortunes of not only her career but the future of the whole crime writing genre. For the very first time, this book prints Agatha’s original ending, painstakingly transcribed from the hand-written draft in the very first of her 73 notebooks.

Every decade saw Agatha Christie’s success grow to new heights. The emergence of the world-famous Collins Crime Club in 1930 brought with it the very first Miss Marple novel; the austerity of the 1940s had Agatha Christie preparing to kill off Hercule Poirot; and the 1950s saw her experiment increasingly with formats influenced by more modern thrillers. Focusing on more than 20 Christie novels as detailed evidence, John Curran demonstrates the evolution of Agatha’s writing through the decades, including her perseverance through the Swinging Sixties and Seventies into old age, concluding with a look at Agatha’s last notebook and her ideas for an unwritten final book. As well as revealing more than a dozen unpublished book ideas, Agatha Christie’s Murder in the Making contains two unseen short stories from her archives – The Man Who Knew and an early Miss Marple draft, The Case of the Caretaker's Wife.

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