Christie’s Poirot returns

2013-09-12 00:00

BESTSELLING British crime novelist Sophie Hannah, will revive Agatha Christie’s fictional detective Hercule Poirot in a new novel due out next year.

When Hannah’s agent told her that he had suggested to publisher HarperCollins that they ask her to write a continuation novel, Hannah, a life-long Christie devotee, said: “As soon as he said ‘Agatha Christie novel’, I thought, actually, that idea would work perfectly as a story set in the twenties.”

When she met the Christie family, the decision on whether it would be Poirot or her famous character, Miss Marple, was still up in the air.

“The Poirot novels were the first ones that I had read. I’ve read all of them, I’ve seen them all on TV,” she said. “From my point of view, the particular plot idea that I had, I could just see it as a Poirot, totally.”

The Christie family agreed readily. “Her idea for a plot line was so compelling and her passion for my grandmother’s work so strong, that we felt that the time was right for a new Christie to be written,” said Agatha Christie Limited chairperson and grandson of the famous novelist, Mathew Prichard.

Hannah’s story will be set in the inter-war “golden age”, but the dapper Belgian sleuth, who Christie introduced in The Mysterious Affair at Styles in 1920, will have to make do without his usual sidekicks: Hastings and Inspector Japp, in the as-yet untitled book by the psychological crime fiction writer.

The announcement of Poirot’s return follows the success of other novels reviving iconic characters from 20th-century fiction.

William Boyd is set to become the third author in recent years invited by the estate of the James Bond creator Ian Fleming, to write an official James Bond novel.

Sebastian Faulks is due to follow his Bond novel with a revival of Evelyn Waugh’s Jeeves and Wooster characters.

— Reuters

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