Mary's Agatha Christie Blog

Having launched the website This blog was created in response to the emails I received from other Agatha Christie fans telling me just exactly what they think about a wide-ranging selection of Agatha Christie related matters. My son David (see profile below) has very kindly offered to host the Agatha Christie blog for me, along side his forensic psychology blogs which you should check out if you get the chance - fascinating stuff.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Inaugural All About Agatha Christie Weekend

This is something currently at the planning stage but is likely to go ahead sometime next spring.

At the moment, I'm trying to negotiate the best price possible with a range of hotels, in and around Torquay (Agatha Christie's birthplace) all of which have an Agatha Christie connection.

I'm also in discussions with a local Agatha Christie expert who does talks and guided tours.

The draft itinerary at present is:

Friday PM

Arrive for evening meal and after dinner speaker

Saturday AM

Guided tour of Greenway house gardens (Agatha Chrstie's summer residence). The plan is to arrive via ferry landing at Greenway Quay. Greenway is described as a garden of exceptional beauty with an atmosphere of romantic wilderness and mystery. Renowned for rare half-hardy plants and drifts of wild flowers, occupying a Wonderful position with breathtaking views and glimpses of the wooded Dart estuary. In terms of refreshment, apparently the Greenway cafe does cream teas that Miss Marple would be proud of.

Saturday PM

Murder Mystery Dinner - Period Dress.

Sunday AM

Guided tour of the Agatha Christie Mile. Based around the Torquay harbour and seafront, the Agatha Christie Mile takes in 10 landmarks, at eight of which there are clues which spell out the name of a character linked with the great lady's books. Christie landmarks include the Agatha Christie exhibition at Torquay musuem; the bronze bust of Agatha Christie in Cary Gardens, princess gardens (featured in 'The ABC Murders'); and the 12th century Torre Abbey opposite Torquay's main beach.

Sunday PM

Murder Mystery Prize giving, group photos and farewells.

As mentioned above, this is something still very much at the planning stage and I will of cause provide further details as they become available e.g. the cost of the weekend.

If this is something you might be interested in attending, I'd be very grateful if you could express that interest via the following link. It goes without saying that this entails absolutely no obligation on your part. It would just be very useful to help guage the potential number of guests involved.

Click Here To Express Your Interest

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Agatha Christie: Have Your Say (1)

A couple of days ago I launched the Agatha Christie have your say page where Agatha Christie fans can express their thoughts about anything to do with the great lady.

A Big thank you to Sean Keeley from The United States for sending in his thoughts.

Sean sent in his answers to the following questions:

which is your favourite Miss Marple Story?

A Murder Is Announced is my favorite because of the brilliant mystery, the reflection of village life, the Post WWII atmosphere, the characters, and of course Miss Marple at her best.

In which book you consider Hercule Poirot to be at his brilliant best?

Well, my favorite Poirot is Death on the Nile, but as for Poirot at his most brilliant - it's got to be The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. If I hadn't heard about the famous conclusion beforehand, I would not have seen that coming.

Which is the best Agatha Christie story ever?

Death on the Nile would be my favorite; it's just got so much going for it.

What you think about the current Miss Marple/Hercule Poirot television dramatisations – do they satisfy you or make you see red?

I like the Joan Hickson Marple episodes and most of the David Suchet series very much, but I'm not a big fan of the Geraldine McEwan series. It has its good parts (lots of them, in fact) but the mysteries are too modernized, and the writers keep sticking Miss Marple into the books where she doesn't belong! And in the last few years, the David Suchet series has been going the same way, though I much prefer it to the current Marple series.

What in your opinion is the best film version of an Agatha Christie story?

The original version of Murder on the Orient Express - the 2001 remake is awful! As for TV movies, any of the early David Suchet movies are excellent - "The ABC Murders," "Murder on the Links," "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe," "Lord Edgeware Dies."

What was the first Agatha Christie book you ever read? Were you immediately hooked?

The first one I ever read was And Then There Were None. And considering that now I have gone through every Poirot and Marple story, and am working on Tommy and Tuppence and the stand-alone novels - yes, I'm hooked.

Click Here To Visit The Agatha Christie Have Your Say Page

Monday, August 28, 2006

How To Make A Miss Marple Afternoon Tea

Not only does she knit and solve crimes but Agatha Christie's quintessentially English detective Miss Marple also serves an afternoon tea to die for! Here's how you can do the same.

Use the prettiest, most delicate, china tea service you can.

Make sure your cutlery is gleaming bright.

Set the table with a snowy white lacy or linen table cloth and matching napkins.

If possible, use tealeaves rather than teabags and provide a tea strainer.

As well as milk and sugar (lumps for preference) have a small dish of sliced lemons.

Provide two teapots – one containing the actual tea and one with hot water.

Have a three-tiered cake stand with sandwiches on the bottom tier, freshly baked scones on the middle tier and a selection of fruitcake and fairy/cream cakes on the top tier.

Put jam, honey, clotted cream and butter into small individual pots or dishes.

Place paper doilies on each tier before placing the food on it.

Sandwiches should have the crusts removed and be cut into small triangles.

Use a mixture of white and brown/granary bread.

Suggested sandwich filling are: thinly sliced cucumber, salmon, and cream cheese.

Garnish your sandwiches with a little mustard and cress or watercress and pretty up the scone and cake tiers by added a few strawberries or other soft fruit.

Ideally, and weather permitting, serve your afternoon tea out of doors.

Agatha Christie Quiz

Back in June I posted an Agatha Christie quiz on the All About Agatha Christie website. If you fancy having a go, just click on the following link.

Questions include:

Who is the first person to be killed on the island in 'And Then There Were None?'

Who or what is the ‘Dumb Witness?’

Visit The Agatha Christie Quiz Page

The Strange Case of Hercule Poirot

Came across an interesting article entitled 'The Strange Case of Hercule Poirot'. Written by P.D James for the daily Telegraph, the article investigates how Agatha Christie's fictional detective has survived so long?

Let me know what you think of the article. I'll be posting my own thoughts shortly. For instance do you agree with the following passage?

'Captain Hastings does not last long, making an exit in Dumb Witness, published in 1937, and appearing finally in Curtain, written by Christie with the intention that it should not appear until after her death. She was wise to jettison him: he wasn't just boring, he was also unnecessary.'

Click Here To Read The Article in Full

All the best Mary