I’m looking forward to speaking at this conference among such great company! It was an honour to be asked. It takes place online on the weekend of 27-28 July. I’m speaking on the second day, and because the timing is between projects for me I am finally doing the talk about the process of writing about Agatha Christie (rather than the results) that I’ve nearly done for years but always chickened out of.
California’s Kings River Life magazine has published an interview with me to accompany their nice review of my Poirot book. You can read it here and if you’re a US resident you can even enter a competition to win a copy of the book – if you don’t have one yet!
I’m really excited to say that I’ll be a part of not one but TWO Agatha Christie Festivals this year!
Firstly there is the brilliant International Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay in September. I’ll be giving a talk about my Poirot research as well as interviewing ITV Poirot producer Brian Eastman and BBC Miss Marple producer Guy Slater. Can’t wait! See the website for full details of the events, running 11-18 September. There are loads of exciting things happening, and some amazing guests and speakers. I can’t wait to attend.
Then, in November, I’m excited to take part in Tenerife’s Agatha Christie Festival Internacional. They’ll be announcing full details soon, but other speakers include Andrew Wilson and John Curran, so it should be a lot of fun!
Ahead of the American and Canadian publication of my Poirot book next month, Mysteries Ahoy! has published a new review, which I hope will help to convince a few more people to pick it up! Thanks to them for the kind words.
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.110 & 390: ‘The Second Gong’ was actually first published in Ladies’ Home Journal in the US. The publication in The Strand was a month later (and was its UK debut).
p.140: Simeon Lee is locked inside his ‘room’ not study (which we learn is a separate space)
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, Kate Jackson 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.