North American fans of Poirot and Agatha Christie may have noticed that my book isn’t out there yet (although it seems to be periodically available via Kindle and Audible), and was delayed from its initial publication date. I’m very pleased to say that the hardback will now be coming out in April, and the copies are already printed and finding their way across the Atlantic! You can find the Amazon.com page here, or (of course) you can order from your local book store – always the best option if you can! (At the moment Amazon.ca only has an old, incorrect listing for the hardback – hopefully that will be fixed soon.)
Although it would be lovely to write a book free from errors of any kind, unfortunately they do creep in when writing about a topic that covers more than a century and draws on hundreds (if not thousands) of sources. I believe in being transparent about corrections, and so here are mine for Agatha Christie’s Poirot! I have not included minor issues such as a few words missing their italicisation, some misplaced punctuation, and a few sentences that have been tweaked for clarity or tidiness.
Some of these have already been corrected for the second or third printings. Others will be fixed for any subsequent printings, including the paperback.
p.45: ‘quite be’ should be ‘be quite’ in the quote
p.82: The summary is misleading as it makes it sound like Poirot was not at the first poisoning but was at the second, when it is the other way round
p.208: ‘be’ should not be in the quote ‘part of the mind to
p.216: ‘Italian proprietor’ should be ‘Cypriot proprietor’
p.274: ‘possibly consider if any of them…’ should say ‘possibly ask if any of them…’ in the quote
p.278: For clarity, ‘just as in the last Poirot book’ should probably read ‘just as in the previous Poirot book’
p.385: ‘increased to commission’ should be ‘increased the commission’
p.410: Helen Baxendale played Elizabeth Cole, not Judith Hastings
Various: ‘Arbuthnott’ should be ‘Arbuthnot’
Also, I didn’t write the captions but there are a few corrections for them as well:
p.91: The Tom Adams cover for Death in the Clouds predates 1974 – possibly 1971
p.189: Caption should say the cover is by Ian Robinson (not Tom Adams) and apparently it is from 1966
p.319: This is arguable, but some may consider that there were four covers for this Curtain paperback, not three, although it is possible/likely that one of these was only used for the (quickly produced) second printing
p.375: Caption should say the photo is from Peril at End House, not ‘The Cornish Mystery’
Thanks to Peter Sheeran, Sven Pehla, Tony Medawar and David Morris for first spotting some of these errors.
I’ve been asked to give a public online talk as part of Solent University’s new speaker series, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of my new findings about Poirot and Agatha Christie while discussing the background to my book. It’s free to attend and there will be a Q&A at the end. Feel free to sign up here and join me!
It has been quite a busy couple of months for me because 12 November saw the publication of Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World in the UK! If you haven’t got your hands on a copy yet what are you waiting for?! It even features a foreword by Mark Gatiss! You can see links to various online retailers here – including The Book Depository, which ships internationally for free for those of you outside the UK. I hope that you enjoy it if you do buy it.
If you need more convincing here’s a lovely review. Also, a reminder that only the hardback will feature the 400+ illustrations – when it moves into paperback, most of those will disappear.
Over the last few weeks I have taken part in a lot of events (all online, of course), which Agatha Christie fans may find interesting. I took part in the Perfect Crime UK festival in an event with Barry Forshaw which was captured for YouTube and can be seen here, while I also spoke to Exeter Library about the new book, for a video chat available here. I wrote an article about the book for Shots magazine, and also took part in two podcasts (with more to come!) – Jim Noy’s In GAD We Trust, and All About Agatha. Also, The New European newspaper used the book as the basis for an article about Poirot, which you can read here.
I’ve also taken part in two forthcoming TV documentaries, and so there’s not avoiding me yet! I’ll share more details when I’m able to, but one is due at Christmas and the other at Easter 2021. I was also in a Channel 5 documentary recently, which has been put on YouTube – my interview was filmed as soon as we came out of the first lockdown, which explains my bizarre hair!
Anyway, that’s enough self-publicity for today – I just hope you enjoy the book! And if you do, feel free to tell others, including through reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. It is very difficult to get the word out when you launch a book while all the bookshops are closed…
I’ve had some lovely feedback about my talk for the fantastic International Agatha Christie Festival, which took place online this year. You can see it on YouTube for a little while longer.
I was very sad to see so many exciting events from this year postponed, so I’m thrilled to say that I’ll be taking part in some online events in their place. These talks will tie in with the publication of my new book, Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World, which will be out at the end of October. You can see the beautiful cover design by Bill Bragg below.
I’m honoured to be able to say that the book will feature a foreword by the marvellous Mark Gatiss!
The brand new Virtual International Mystery Festival is running from 12-15 September, and you can see the full programme here. I’ll be giving an illustrated talk on 13 September about Agatha Christie and television, with a short Q&A afterwards.
Also on 13 September Sophie Hannah and I will be taking part in Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, which has moved online for this year. We will be speaking on The Writing Life podcast, discussing Poirot. The festival itself is a partnership between the University of East Anglia and the National Centre for Writing
Then, on 15 September, I’ll be giving another (different) illustrated talk online as part of the International Agatha Christie Festival, and while speaking to a camera may not be quite as good as attending the event in person, I hope that you’ll enjoy my talk about the many faces of Hercule Poirot. You can show your interest here, or go direct to the festival’s YouTube channel here.
On 17 September I’ll be interviewing Sophie Hannah for HarperCollins Australia, and I’ll be quizzing her about her new Poirot adventures – there will also be the opportunity for those watching to ask her questions.
[Post edited and updated 29 August]
Firstly, and inevitably, unfortunately all of my talks for this year have now been delayed until 2021. This includes the Greenway Literary Festival, the Agatha Christie Festival, and Perfect Crime in Liverpool. They are all something to look forward to, at least.
During lockdown I have still been talking and writing about Agatha Christie a lot including for the livestreamed event Murder in the Afternoon from Fantom Films, which you can see here.
I was also asked to write another short article for the Agatha Christie website, this time talking about my recommended film adaptations. You can find it here.
I was recently asked by the official Agatha Christie website to put together a list of television adaptations that I recommend. Although the title says they’re my ‘favourite’, they aren’t necessarily (although several are) – instead, I put together a nice variety to keep people amused and entertained while stuck indoors.
You can read the article here.
I’m really pleased to say that I’ll be making an appearance at this year’s Greenway Literary Festival. I’ll be speaking with Guy Slater, who produced the brilliant Miss Marple series on the BBC starring the peerless Joan Hickson. You can find more information and book a ticket here. We’ll be speaking in the evening of Friday 12 June, and there are plenty of other events that sound great – plus it’s good to have any excuse to visit Agatha Christie’s gorgeous Devon home, now owned by the National Trust.
Following a lot of Twitter activity regarding swearing in the BBC’s adaptation of The Pale Horse I was asked to discuss the subject of Agatha Christie adaptations on BBC Essex radio this week – it’s interesting that it has inspired so much debate! There are a lot of strong feelings it seems…