Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks

Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks by John Curran is a fascinating read for any fan of Agatha Christie. The discovery of her notebooks has led to an extremely interesting insight of her ideas and methods of writing.

It was amazing to read that often she did not have the murderer in mind while writing her mysteries, and notes scrawled through her notebooks try different murderers and motives to fit the plot. Christie also had recurring images or vignettes that she tried to fit into stories, but often had to discard these ideas, with some of them never being used. Many of her mysteries seemed to have started with a one-sentence idea that grows over the years.

The notebooks are mostly made up of quick jottings of ideas, these are rarely expanded into dialogue or more fully developed writing. They are scattered with packing lists, doodles, and diagrams, inserted between the barely legible writing.

As a huge Agatha Christie fan, and being interested in writing, I found these notebooks a fascinating glimpse into Agatha's plotting and ideas. At some stages, however, the book was slightly repetitive, though this would I expect reflect on the repetitiveness of Christie's notebooks. The bonus of two 'new' short stories was particularly exciting, as I have read all of her currently published novels and short stories.

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