Agatha Christie Bus

Agatha Christie Bus

Monday, 12 December 2011


The Agatha Christie Newsletter is out!

As I sit here with the wind and rain lashing against the window and listening the fog horn from the Lizard lighthouse blasting out - I am already making plans to visit the Christie Festival in Torquay in September.  When I went for one day this September it was a lovely sunny, hot day!

I have entered a competition to win all the Miss Marple audio CDs - wish me luck.

I have also emailed HarperCollins as they were asking for volunteers to read and review a new format of Agatha Christie's books.  This sounds really intriguing and I do hope that they take me up on the offer.

Talking about warmer climes - I think this is the perfect evening for me to watch Evil Under the Sun - Ustinov version.  I much prefer this version to the Suchet one - even though Suchet was filmed on Burgh Island.  I just love the scenery in the Ustinov one and the costumes and acting are so over the top that you can't help but love it.  My favourite scene:  Maggie Smith and Diana Rigg performing "You're the Top".

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Recommended Christmas Christie Reading or Viewing

As we are approaching the Festive season I thought I would recommend some Christie reading material - and / or viewing.

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding.  This is a collection of short stories.  The title story is set in an English country house where they adhere to the lovely traditions of Christmas, trees, midnight mass and loads and loads of food!  Stars Hercule Poirot.  Includes a foreword by Agatha describing her own remembered Christmases when she was a child.

Hercule Poirot's Christmas.  A full length novel featuring the dapper Poirot - also takes place in an English country house at Christmas-time.

A Christmas Tragedy.  Another collection of short stories from The Thirteen Problems.  This one starring Miss Marple who is staying at a Hydro (a spa hotel) over Christmas.

The first two have been made into tv adaptations starring David Suchet but the last one has never been filmed.


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Fantastic News - well I think so.

John Curran, who wrote the wonderful Agatha Christie Secret Notebooks has announced he is releasing another book "Murder in the Making" - again about Agatha Christie. This will be released in September and I, for one, can hardly wait....

Monday, 2 May 2011

Secret Notebooks

I just had to say a few words about Agatha Christie's Secret notebooks by John Curran.  If you are interested in Agatha Christie then this really is a "must have".  John Curran was granted permission to go through all Agatha's notebooks - she used children's exercise books to plot all her mysteries and write down notes and ideas as they occurred to her.

John has done a really brilliant job in putting this book together and it is interesting to read Agatha's notes and to see the things she put in the books and the things she omitted.  Probably best to read this once you have read Agatha's books as there are spoilers.

What I particularly like about this book is the fact that there are facsimile pages of Agatha's notes and next to these they are transcribed so very easy to read.  Its absolutely fascinating and gives an insight into how the Queen of Crime plotted her mysteries.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Thirteen Problems

I have just finished reading this collection of short stories.  They "star" Miss Marple and are based on the concept of a group of people who gather together on a Tuesday night and pass the time by telling each other true stories where there is a puzzle element to be solved.  They are very easy reading and I have enjoyed them all. 

My favourite one is "The Tuesday Night Club".

However, I find "The Affair at the Bungalow" quite difficult to understand - despite reading it several times!  I think it must be just me.  Would be interested in anyone else's view on this particular story.

Contained within these is "The Blue Geranium" which you may know has been recently adapted for TV starring Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple - being a short story expanded to 1.5 hours of television I am sure was no mean feat.  Even though I am not keen on the later adaptations which have changed the storylines - it was good to see something a bit different.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

The Secret Adversary

One of my favourites where we are introduced to Tommy and Tuppence. It's interesting as they have both been demobbed from the first world war and can't find any work and are very short of money. This is what I love about Agatha Christie - she writes in what was for her the present and it provides an insight as to what life was like.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Scarey News

Disney want to make a film with a 30 year old glamourous American lady playing Miss Marple - set in contemporary times.  Not really worthy of comment is it?

Monday, 28 March 2011

The big Four

I am re-reading this book. It's quite a strange book and is a completely different style to any other of Agatha's books. I believe she first wrote a series of short stories which were published in papers.

She was going through a fairly traumatic time in her life and the publishers were pressing for a book. Her brother in law suggested that she string the short stories together to form a full length book. The result? The Big Four.

This reminds me very much of Conan Doyle Poirot and Hastings could easily be Holmes and Watson.

I would be interested in what anyone else thinks?

Friday, 25 March 2011

British Empire Exhibition & Mind-Blowing Fact

Agatha Christie went on a round the world tour in 1922 accompanying her husband at the time Archie Christie who was a financial adviser for the British Empire Exhibition.  This is when she discovered her love of travelling.  She made the most of this even down to surfing in Honolulu - what a woman she was definitely ahead of her time.  What a fantastic opportunity for anyone to have.

Another mind-blowing fact about Agatha - her book Endless Night written in 1967 - in this book she writes as the first person a young working class man - and at this time she was aged 77.  Absolutely amazing!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Agatha and a Slice of Sponge

There's nothing better than sitting down with a lovely cup of tea and a slice of sponge cake while you read of watch an Agatha.

Victoria Sponge Cake

4 oz (115 gramms) butter or vegetable oil
4 oz (115 gramms) caster sugar

Cream above two together then add

2 beaten eggs

Then carefully fold in 4 oz (115 gramms) self raising flour

Pour into two greased sandwich tins and cook in a moderate oven for about 20 mins.

Leave to cool then sandwich together with jam, cream or even buttercream - which is butter and icing sugar mixed together with a little bit of milk (no exact measurements - just make it to taste).

Dust top with icing sugar.

A cake that I am sure Miss Marple would have enjoyed while having a gossip with the old ladies in St. Mary Mead.  Not too sure about Hercule Poirot though - although you could always use a square tin for him which might satisfy his mania for symetry.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Fun Facts about Greenway

So far 5767 objects have been counted in the house.

Keeping the house clean fills 10 hoover bags a month.

It takes about 40 hours a week to clean the house.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Greenway House

I've had a lovely day visiting Greenway House and Gardens.  I can never tire of visiting there.  It was gorgeous weather.  We also had a lovely lunch in Agatha Christie's kitchen - pork loin followed by chocolate roulard with clotted cream.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Poirot Adaptations - bad news

There are rumours going around that ITV have pulled the plug on Poirot adaptations.  I have to say that the last few they have produced, with the exception of The Clocks (one of my all time favourites) and Halloween Party that I am not surprised - they have been absolutely dreadful. The words "based on" are truley apt.  In my view Murder on the Orient Express, Appointment with Death and Murder in Mesopotamia - to name a few of the recent releases are appalling and do not bear much resemblance to Agatha's stories.

It is beyond me why on earth they have to change them in the first place, characters missed out, completely new characters introduced, sex of characters changed and completely new sub plots inserted.

Monday, 14 March 2011

The Thirteen Problems

Just reading The Thirteen Problems - a collection of 13 short stories.  Several people meet up on a Tuesday night and call themselves "The Tuesday Night Club".  They sit around and discuss problems and try and hit on the correct solution.

Luckily Miss Marple is a member of the club and of course is always able to provide the correct solution.


Welcome all to my new blog all about Agatha Christie.