This blog began with my then nine-year-old son at the beginning of 2013. At that time, I knew nothing about Agatha Christie but her being coined as ‘the queen of the crime.’ So I embarked on a journey to get to know her through her books, visited Greenways in Spring 2013 and frequented the National Gallery and the British Museum to learn more about Victorians and the Aesthetic Movement. Plus, reading Shakespeare more beyond Othello and Macbeth – two often-quoted plays in her many books.
What was initially a promise to a boy – now a teenager who dislikes English at school- to read all AC’s books in a year turned to a growing interest to Victorian-era accomplishments, the Suffragettes and bygone London.
In a year I surprised myself having finished 83 titles at the end of Christie In A Year Challenge. I shared my notes on 77 of them. Then I was exhausted and tired, losing my interest to carry on. The blog was updated sparsely and left abandoned for a few years. In the meantime, I took up knitting and crocheting and writing short stories with some works being published online and in Greenacre Writers’s Anthology.
In autumn 2016 I reread my piles of AC’s books which already were gathering dust in the loft. In hindsight, there was a lot I had missed and there is still much more to learn about AC. I revisited my old posts, sighing at my grammatical errors and the shallow analyses on a number of her books. I realised how much she had taught me about character study, plotting and understanding the influence of life circumstances to writers in their writing.
Here I am again. I hope I’ll stick to a regular post doing more than just a review. For AC has introduced me to a number of places and periods I knew little, writers I would never have read as well as other fans of her work.
Above all, I am grateful to my son for this adventure. This blog is still dedicated to him in spite of his preferring Sherlock Holmes than Hercule Poirot and his disliking Miss Marple’s ramblings.
There is one thing: I can’t answer his query as to why nobody attempted to murder Poirot (or Miss Marple).
The following is About Christie’s Fan until updated on 13th February 2017:
‘Why has nobody killed Poirot?’ said my nine-year-old son.
‘Dunno,’ I replied promptly.
He meant if somebody ever tried to kill Hercule Poirot or frame him for a crime in one of Christie’s novels . I had no idea although the scenario is plausible.
It was a big mistake on my part to have introduced the brilliant authoress to a mind like his. In summer 2012 I was flicking through the channels and decided to watch Hallowe’en Party on ITV. He joined me, although I was reluctant to let him. Later I started to borrow some of Christie’s novels and he saw more of Poirot and Miss Marple series.
The, during the end-of-year school holiday, on the spur of the moment I went to see “The Mousetrap”. It was raining a lot on that day and he was bored at home so he begged to come with me. ‘Next time,’ I responded, ‘you’d better stay at home with your sister’. His eyes were brimming with tears when I left home and he did not speak much after I was back. My gift of the souvenir book of the play’s diamond anniversary was left untouched.
So I called a truce and asked him the next day: ‘How about if I read all of her works and finish them in a year’s time?’
His eyes widened. ‘Will you?’
‘Insyaallah, I will’.
‘Do you think it will be interesting?’
‘Yes and no’. I gave him a quizzical look.
‘Yes, Mum, it is, ‘ he paused,’but I don’t know whether other people will be interested.’ Suddenly his voice became serious and sounded like a grown-up one.
‘Is that a yes you should or just forget it?’
‘Yes. I think you should do it,’ he said with a smile.
There you go, I have made a promise. No New Year’s Resolution but I’ll read Christie’s books.
By the time the deal was made his knowledge of the details of the characters and plots had developed substantially. We compared notes about them. There are differences between what was written in the book and its adaptation for a television series.
‘Why has nobody killed Poirot?’ His question hovers in my head.
Hang on there, my dear, until I have an answer.