The Ageless Agatha Christie

Essays on the Mysteries and the Legacy


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About the Book

When Agatha Christie died in 1976, she was the bestselling mystery writer in history. This collection of new essays brings fresh perspectives to Christie scholarship with new readings and discussions of little-known aspects of her life, career and legacy. The contributors explore her relationship with modernism, the relevance of queer theory, television adaptations, issues with translations, information behavior theory, feminist readings, postcolonial tribute novels, celebrity culture and heritage cinema. The final word is given to fans in an editorial that collates testimonies from readers, collectors and enthusiasts.

About the Author(s)

J.C. Bernthal is a visiting fellow at the University of Suffolk, UK. He has authored or edited several volumes on Agatha Christie and in 2020, won the Popular Culture Association’s George N. Dove Award for advancing crime fiction scholarship.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by J.C. Bernthal
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6313-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2397-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction: Mystery and Legacy 3

Agatha Christie in Dialogue with To the Lighthouse: The Modernist Artist (Merja Makinen) 11

England’s Pockets: Objects of Anxiety in Christie’s ­Post-War Novels (Rebecca Mills) 29

Queer Girls, Bad Girls, Dead Girls: ­Post-War Culture and the Modern Girl (Sarah Bernstein) 45

“With practised eyes”: Feminine Identity in The Mysterious Mr. Quin

(Charlotte Beyer) 61

“The sumptuous and the alluring”: Poirot’s Women, Dragged Up and Dressed Down (J. C. Bernthal) 81

“The Encyclopedic Palace of the World”: Miss Lemon’s Filing System as Cabinet of Curiosities and the Repository of Human Knowledge in Agatha Christie’s Poirot (Meg Boulton) 98

“One must actually take facts as they are”: Information Value and Information Behavior in the Miss Marple Novels (Michelle M. Kazmer) 114

And Then There Were Many: Agatha Christie in Hungarian Translation

(Brigitta Hudácskó) 130

Mother of Invention: Agatha Christie, the Middlebrow Detective Novel and Kerry Greenwood’s Postcolonial Tribute Series (Jilly Lippmann) 145

Autobiography in Agatha (1979): “An imaginary solution to an authentic mystery” (Sarah Street) 161

Editorial: Fans Have the Final Word (J. C. Bernthal) 176

About the Contributors 181

Index 183

Book Reviews & Awards

“this is a brilliant essay collection on one of the world’s most popular detective fiction writers…a thought provoking collection which provides a new look on Christie and her work. This is definitely a must read for Christie fans”—CADS; “definitely recommend…the arguments posed are thought provoking and engage with Christie in a new way…something of interest for every Christie fan”—Cross Examining Crime.