Agatha Christie A to Z: The Essential Reference to Her Life and Writings (Literary A to Z)

June 30, 2013 - Comment

During a writing career that spanned 57 years, Agatha Christie spellbound her audience with 78 mystery novels, 19 plays, 100 short stories-translated into 44 languages worldwide- as well as three books of poetry, six romance novels, and two non-fiction works. Legions of devoted fans, as well as general readers curious about her life and work,

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During a writing career that spanned 57 years, Agatha Christie spellbound her audience with 78 mystery novels, 19 plays, 100 short stories-translated into 44 languages worldwide- as well as three books of poetry, six romance novels, and two non-fiction works. Legions of devoted fans, as well as general readers curious about her life and work, will delight in this richly detailed resource. Agatha Christie A to Z contains over 2,500 entries that cover all aspects of the Christie phenomenon, including relationships with friends, relatives, and associates; all that is publicly known about her strange 10-day disappearance in 1926; chapter-by-chapter plot synopses of all her mystery stories (omitting solutions to the crimes, of course!); and extensive coverage of film, stage, and television adaptations of her works.This impressive, scholarly guide to Agatha Christie will not likely be surpassed for some time. Though, as Mathew Prichard writes in the introduction, “none of the solutions of the plots are revealed,” although Dawn Sova has provided just about every other essential piece of information about Christie’s works. The book begins with a short biography, then enters an alphabetically arranged section that contains all of Christie’s writings, including cross-referenced character names and story titles. One small drawback of the book is that place names are not included. In the entries for books, Sova uses the British title, but the “Publishing and Dramatization History” for each includes all forms under which the story was published. Each tale also has a list of characters and, where appropriate, a chapter-by-chapter plot synopsis. The “Categorical Appendix” offers some final amusement. In addition to the expected listing of books by detective (and Sova has even marked out Poirot books featuring Hastings or Chief Inspector Japp), the author provides an index to “Means of Murder or Attempted Murder.” Can you name the two Christie novels featuring electrocution? How about the one hit-and-run automobile accident? With Sova’s help, you can. –Patrick O’Kelley

Comments

Anonymous says:

An indispensable work Many books have been written concerning the life and writing of Agatha Christie, but, so far, this book must take the prize for being the most comprehensive, well-informed and accurate guide to the work of this remarkable author. This is not a critical appraisal of Christie’s works, but rather the sort of book you need at hand when reading a Christie title. Dawn B. Sova has compiled an outstanding array of knowledge on Agatha Christie’s books, with all sorts of information which should further…

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