July 19, 2013 |
GALMPTON, England - The final push to the top of his personal Everest consisted of about 50 dainty steps, in the precise and idiosyncratic gait he has perfected over 25 years. David Suchet paced up to the door of the house, glanced around, gave a tip of his hat and the ghost of a smile, and disappeared inside. When the cameras stopped rolling, he emerged and raised his arms in triumph as a crew member called a wrap on one of the most remarkable achievements in recent British television history.
February 29, 2012 |
Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple - residents of Silver Spring, Md.? British novelist Agatha Christie's classic mysteries, such as "Murder on the Orient Express," now belong to a U.S. company. Acorn Media Group snapped up 64% of Christie's literary estate, making the private company the majority owner of more than 80 novels, 19 plays and nearly 40 television films. The collection had belonged to Chorion Ltd. of London for more than a decade. Christie, who died in 1976, is considered the bestselling novelist of all time, with more than 2 billion books sold.
November 27, 2011 |
Last summer, while browsing in a used bookstore in San Luis Obispo, I discovered something I thought no longer existed -- an Agatha Christie novel I had not read. Anyone monitoring my vital signs would have thought I had discovered the next Gnostic gospel or a lost play of Shakespeare's. Clutching it tightly as if someone might snatch it from me, I quickly bought it. I promised myself I would take my time, savor the experience and read only a few pages at a time. Instead, I finished it the next day. Now it resides beside its sisters in my Agatha box, a crate at the foot of my bed. I don't own all of the 66 mystery novels and 14 short-story collections that Christie wrote, but I have most of them and I read them over and over again, in rotation, throughout the year.
December 19, 2009 |
With sales of her books topping 4 billion copies worldwide, this much is clear: Agatha Christie (1890-1976) knew how to spin a mystery. Now it turns out she knew how to live one too. In a plot twist fit for one of her delectable tales, Christie secretly stashed a finished short story amid the notebooks and journals in which she sketched out her books. The almost 6,800-word story, never published in her lifetime, features Hercule Poirot, the dapper detective made famous in several of Christie's novels.
July 3, 2009 |
Dame Agatha Christie remains the gold standard of mystery writers not only for her productivity -- the woman wrote 80 detective novels -- but also for her permanence. One could argue that Sherlock Holmes is the most universally famous detective, but Arthur Conan Doyle had but one iconic offspring while Christie had two -- Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. (Four if you count the wonderful Tommy and Tuppence; five if you add, and I do, Mr. Satterthwaite of the Harley Quin stories.
April 20, 2001 |
A dark and mysterious thing has happened. Agatha Christie's masterful Belgian detective of an earlier time, Hercule Poirot, has disappeared. The wax-sculpted mustache with tips saluting the heavens like tiny cathedral spires? Gone. The "twinkle" in the eye? Gone. The "mincing gait with . . . feet tightly enclosed in . . . patent leather shoes"? Gone. The vain, prissy, fussy, dust-free, dandified, sexually ambivalent, immodest little man who sees "with the eyes of the mind"? Gone.