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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A (p)review rather than a review!
I did not know that Mr. Curran planned a sequel to his first book about Agatha Christie's notebooks. I was in a bookstore, picking out Christie novels for my drama students as prizes for creating and performing the best murder mystery when I saw this book on the shelf and snatched it up for myself. It may seem odd to write a review when I'm just beginning the book, but I...
Published on February 15, 2012 by Bradley Friedman

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reading with Tequila
Why read: Received for review from publisher

What impressed me: The highlight of the book for me was the plot ideas that Christie came up with, yet never used in her books. That's what made the book interesting and worth the read.

What disappointed me: So very dry. And obviously full of spoilers for any Christie novel I haven't read yet. Lists upon...
Published on December 16, 2012 by Jennifer Sicurella


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A (p)review rather than a review!, February 15, 2012
By 
Bradley Friedman (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
I did not know that Mr. Curran planned a sequel to his first book about Agatha Christie's notebooks. I was in a bookstore, picking out Christie novels for my drama students as prizes for creating and performing the best murder mystery when I saw this book on the shelf and snatched it up for myself. It may seem odd to write a review when I'm just beginning the book, but I have to applaud Mr. Curran and the publishers for finding a unique hook to attract true Christie fans. To be granted a glimpse into the creative mind of a favorite author, one who in life was so reticent about her process and ideas, is a rare and happy privilege.

I began a lifelong love for Ms. Christie's work when I was ten years old and picked up a copy of "And Then There Were None." Since then, I have read all the books, bought and listened to them repeatedly in audiobooks, purchased and enjoyed the films made for movies and television, as well as the marvelous BBC adaptations of Christie's work. I empathize with the reviewer for Mr. Curran's other book who described a dream of discovering a "lost" Christie work. I have had the same dream, I assure you! I think we all wish that Mr. Curran would find larger nuggets of Christie's work that could perhaps be adapted into fully fleshed-out novels. It would be a wonderful dream come true.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to whatever new insights into Christie's mind and work that Curran provides in this second book. For his efforts - and for my abiding gratitude to Ms. Christie for giving me so much pleasure over the past five decades, I give this book five stars!

ADDENDUM: This final paragraph marks a return to this review and a deletion of one star for two reasons: first, the presentation of this material did get tiresome as the book went on. Sometimes Mr.Curran pondered tiny points of little interest, such as how many pages in the notebooks covered a certain work. (By the time one gets to PASSENGER TO FRANKFURT, it truly doesn't matter if the novel covered five pages in notebook this and ten pages in notebook that...it's still a frighteningly bad book.) The pattern of presentation was remarkably similar from book to book, which made reading this occasionally tedious. The second reason for knocking off a star is the presence of a number of small errors (names, plot points) and questionable judgments of certain works. Of course, Mr. Curran is entitled to his opinions as a Christie expert AND a fan, even when they disagree with my opinions!! :-) If he think less of AFTER THE FUNERAL, one of my favorites, that's his business. But he makes a point of criticizing the violence of Cora's murder as unnecessary, even crass, and the violence done to the body IS most necessary, as anyone familiar with the plot could testify.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Agatha Christie fans, February 1, 2012
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This book is of interest for serious Christie fans. I have read all of Agatha Christie books numerous times. About every two to three years, I start from the beginning and read them all again. I also have the Bedside Companion book which tells a little about each book. This just adds to my enjoyment and knowledge of her thinking, her methods, and of course, the books themselves. Don't read this book until you read the Christie mysteries or you will learn the endings.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reading with Tequila, December 16, 2012
This review is from: Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks (Paperback)
Why read: Received for review from publisher

What impressed me: The highlight of the book for me was the plot ideas that Christie came up with, yet never used in her books. That's what made the book interesting and worth the read.

What disappointed me: So very dry. And obviously full of spoilers for any Christie novel I haven't read yet. Lists upon lists upon lists of characters with little variation. Vaguely interesting, but the repetitive nature of the book gets old quickly.

Recommended: Only for hardcore Agatha Christie fans.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a keeper!, May 26, 2013
By 
Patricia K. Arndt (Pittsburgh, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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Very interesting, a fast, easy read. I was surprised to find that Dame Agatha's handwriting was not the neatest, nor was her recordkeeping. Ideas for stories/books were found in multiple notebooks. It's a wonder they ever got pulled together into best sellers, but it put her in a more human light. Maybe there is hope for all amateur authors. Thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it to all fans of Agatha Christie, though I missed being able to make notations in the margins.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars for those who are Agatha Christie addicts wanting insight into the creative genius of the Queen of Crime, April 29, 2014
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John Curran is an expert on Agatha Christie (1890-1976) the maven of murder. Christie's books have sold more volumes than any other books published with the exception of the Bible and the Shakespeare canon. This book is the second volume on Dame Agatha';s works. The first book in the two volume set is ":Agatha Christie": Secret Notebooks.".
In this second volume Curran prints for the first time an unpublished version of ":The Caretaker';s Wife": a short story featuring Miss Marple the elderly amateur sleuth who knows all the secrets of her village ":St. Mary Mead": He also looks at the most notable novels and short stories written by Christie for each decade from the 1920s through the 1970s. This section of the book can become tedious if you have not read the stories under examination. This part of the book reads best if you look at the review and working methods of Christie just after you have read the book being discussed.
Dame Agatha kept her best ideas contained in over seventy notebooks. She was chaotic in her preparation for future stories and novels but produced the best detective stories produced in the popular genre. Christie often listed possible characters and plot developments in her notebooks. She also used her considerable knowledge of poisons. Curran includes Dame Agatha';s article on the creation of Hercule Poirot. Agatha Christie was a genius of light whodunit fiction. The world is a better place because of her.
John Curran has done a fine job in making her works more accessible to a new generation of readers. Recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars just an okay reading experience, December 21, 2013
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This review is from: Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks (Paperback)
I ordered both of John Curran's books about Agatha Christie's journals. The hype for this one was "an unseen Miss Marple story."
That was true, as the character of Miss Marple was inserted in a previously published Christie story (which had been published in both short story and novel forms). The story was improved by adding Miss Marple, but it was still only a revised story. I bought both of Curran's books mostly to read the "new" stories he included. If other readers are thinking of the same thing, they can avoid disappointment by not ordering either book. Both books had a fair amount of rambling and repeated ideas. As an ardent Christie fan, I want to read more interesting works about her.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making, January 4, 2014
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This review is from: Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks (Paperback)
Unfortunately, this book did not turn out to be what I expected from the description. I found it boring and uninformative.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If a Agatha Fan its A must!, February 23, 2013
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My folks and I are big Agatha fans so I got this for my mother as a gift and she loves it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very happy., July 3, 2014
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Arrived rapidly, well-packaged, very happy.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good, April 7, 2013
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looks to be a very interesting read, very good study of her writing. I am a very big Christie fan
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Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks
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