Preview: Agatha Christie Week, various venues, nationwide
The real mystery of Christie
Tuesday 06 September 2005
Agatha Christie Week coincides with the 115th anniversary of Christie's birth and the 75th anniversary of the publication of the first Miss Marple novel. The week starts at the British Library (13 September) with "75 years of Miss Marple: Murder, Mystery and Mayhem", giving scholars and enthusiasts the chance to debate her relevance.
Hosted by The Independent's Johann Hari, the panel of Christie experts will include the crime writer Val McDermid; Kevin Elyot, whose adaptation of And Then There Were None opens in the West End this autumn; and Laura Thompson, who is writing the first authorised biography of Christie for 25 years.
Dedicating a whole week to Agatha Christie was the brainchild of Tamsen Harward, head of crime fiction at Chorion, which own the estates of Enid Blyton, Raymond Chandler, Georges Simenon, Roger Hargreaves and Christie. She has liaised with 200-plus libraries across the UK that will organise Christie events; and Christie's birthplace, Torquay, will be a hotbed of activity.
"Christie writes griping, intelligent, well-written novels, which allow you to emerge yourself in a world that perhaps does not exist any more, but the themes and emotions are still relevant today," says Harward.
"She wrote about murder, exposing the passion and the motives behind the people who commit the crimes, revealing the underbelly of a so-called genteel society. She questions what might make usually sane people kill. She solves the puzzle that she has laid out in front of you, and you know that justice has been done."
12 to 17 September (www.agathachristie.com)
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