Monday, August 10, 2009
Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and AGATHA CHRISTIE
I can still remember the first Agatha Christie book I ever borrowed from the library, a graphic paperback with a woman's head bashed in with lurid, vivid detail. Here began an intense love affair with the Queen of Crime and her creations. Her covers may have softened over the years, reflecting a more retro, softer image, but to me that early cover reflects the true darkness in the series of webs that Agatha, the deadly and clever black spider, spun so well for us.
People are not often what they seem; she's reported to have said and in her books the world of gentle English chocolate-box prettiness is definitely not what it seems. Many of her diabolical plot ideas kept me awake at nights: And Then There Were None, Murder On The Orient Express, Murder Is Easy, Endless Night and so on. Many times the killer was often the last person you truly did expect. Agatha didn't balk at using child killers or old lady killers and she revolutionized the Golden Age of Detective Fiction when she boldly used the narrator as killer.
Agatha has been often derided by literary minds, but I'm now in good company in my Agatha worship as writers such as Kate Mosse and Val McDermid are vocal in their praises of her.
The night in London where the Scribe and I enjoyed The Mousetrap (Agatha's play and the longest running play in theatrical history) remains a highlight of my life. I hope to take Daisy there to see it as well!
And so for Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday let us honour the spirit of the Queen of Crime, who showed us the darkness of the human spirit beneath its very respectable face and the evil lurking beneath the coziest of facades. May Agatha's cool, innovative, detached genius inspire us all in our creative efforts this week!
“The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes.”Agatha Christie
“I specialize in murders of quiet, domestic interest.”Agatha Christie