Reply
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,678
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Kate Stine of MYSTERY SCENE magazine blogs about Agatha Christie

Wednesday is the 120th anniversary of Agatha Christie's birthday, and in honor of this special day, KATE STINE will be visiting with us. Kate is the Editor-in-chief of Mystery Scene Magazine which reviews crime, mystery, and thriller fiction. In one of her past lives, she was the Director of the The Agatha Christie Society.

 

stine_kate120

 

KATE STINE is the editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Mystery Scene. After years as a book editor, Kate consulted for clients such as The Mary Higgins Clark Mystery MagazineThe Mystery Writers of America, MysteryNet, and Agatha Christie, Ltd. Kate was also editor-in-chief of The Armchair Detective Magazine from 1992-1997. Both the magazine and her book, The Armchair Detective Book of Lists, won Anthony Awards in 1996; the magazine won another Anthony Award in 1997. Stine and Brian Skupin acquired Mystery Scene in 2002. Mystery Scene was awarded an Anthony Award for Best Mystery Magazine by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in 2004. In 2006, Kate and Brian Skupin were awarded the Ellery Queen Award by the Mystery Writers of America for contributions to mystery publishing.

 

 

 

 

Mystery Scene Magazine www.mysteryscenemag.com

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,678
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Kate Stine of MYSTERY SCENE magazine blogs about Agatha Christie

Fall Issue #116

 

http://www.mysteryscenemag.com/

 

116 Fall Cover

 

Kathy Reichs, William Kent Krueger, Mystery Cookbooks, Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Sister and much more! 

 

Hi everyone, 

We've got a terrific Fall Issue in the works. Kathy Reichs, whose forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan stars in both print and TV, has taken multi-tasking to unprecedented levels. She's a fascinating person and a great interview. We also talk to William Kent Krueger, long known as a "writer's writer," but now  a general favorite. Sherlock Holmes gets his comeuppance from a source close to home in Nancy Springer's terrific Enola Holmes YA novels and we review hundreds of the season's best books.

When Brian and I took over Mystery Scene in Fall 2002, our first issue coincided with the one-year anniversary of the September 11th attacks. In remembrance, that first issue offered essays from several crime writers. SJ Rozan's contribution, "My New York," is one of the finest pieces to ever appear in Mystery Scene and one we're proud to offer now at the MS Website.

Look for more contests and giveaways in this newsletter, at our website and in the magazine!


Sincerely,
Kate Stine
Editor-in-Chief 

Read Anything Good Lately?
Email us your fave raves for the "Our Readers Recommend" feature and be entered to win a free book! 

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,372
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Kate Stine of MYSTERY SCENE magazine blogs about Agatha Christie

Hi, Kate, and thanks for participating in our Christie month!  It must have been so interesting to be Director of the Agatha Christie Society!  Can you tell us a little about your experiences?

 

I think I'll get the jump on Becke :smileywink: and ask - do you have a favorite Christie sleuth, and a Top Ten list?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
Frequent Contributor
Kate_Mystery_Scene
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎04-25-2010
0 Kudos

Where in the World is Agatha Christie?

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) had a long, adventurous and productive life. In honor of her 120th birthday on Wednesday, Sept. 15th, I thought we could take a tour of places associated with the Queen of Crime.

 

Torquay, Devon, UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TORQUAY: AGATHA'S HOMETOWN
Located on the coast of Devon, Torquay’s superb panoramic setting -- high wooded hills overlooking the wide sweep of Tor Bay -- mild climate, lush vegetation, golden beaches and abundant amusements have made it one of the  most famous seaside resorts in England. Agatha Miller was born at  Ashfield in Barton Road, Torquay, on September 15, 1890.  

Although Ashfield has been demolished, many of the places Agatha remembered fondly in her "Autobiography" can still be seen today. They include Princess Pier where she rollerskated with friends, the Pavilion where she accepted Archie Christie’s marriage proposal, the Grand Hotel where they honeymooned in 1914 and the Dispensary where she volunteered  during World War I.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Torquay (pronounced "tor KEY") boasts two fine Christie exhibitions: one at the Torquay Museum, and the other at the Agatha Christie Memorial Room at Torre Abbey. Both can be found on the Agatha Christie Mile—one of the four walking trails in the area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Torquay Pavilion in Devon, England. where Agatha Miller accepted the proposal of Archie Christie. In the background is St John's Church.


AGATHA CHRISTIE FESTIVAL
An annual event hosted by "The English Riviera" towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, the Agatha Christie Festival is running this year from September 12-19th. This really is a very pretty part of the country and well worth a visit.


Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,678
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Kate Stine of MYSTERY SCENE magazine blogs about Agatha Christie

 


dulcinea3 wrote:

Hi, Kate, and thanks for participating in our Christie month!  It must have been so interesting to be Director of the Agatha Christie Society!  Can you tell us a little about your experiences?

 

I think I'll get the jump on Becke :smileywink: and ask - do you have a favorite Christie sleuth, and a Top Ten list?


LOL, Dulcinea - you know me well!

 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,678
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Where in the World is Agatha Christie?

 


Kate_Mystery_Scene wrote:

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) had a long, adventurous and productive life. In honor of her 120th birthday on Wednesday, Sept. 15th, I thought we could take a tour of places associated with the Queen of Crime.

 

Torquay, Devon, UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TORQUAY: AGATHA'S HOMETOWN
Located on the coast of Devon, Torquay’s superb panoramic setting -- high wooded hills overlooking the wide sweep of Tor Bay -- mild climate, lush vegetation, golden beaches and abundant amusements have made it one of the  most famous seaside resorts in England. Agatha Miller was born at  Ashfield in Barton Road, Torquay, on September 15, 1890.  

Although Ashfield has been demolished, many of the places Agatha remembered fondly in her "Autobiography" can still be seen today. They include Princess Pier where she rollerskated with friends, the Pavilion where she accepted Archie Christie’s marriage proposal, the Grand Hotel where they honeymooned in 1914 and the Dispensary where she volunteered  during World War I.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Torquay (pronounced "tor KEY") boasts two fine Christie exhibitions: one at the Torquay Museum, and the other at the Agatha Christie Memorial Room at Torre Abbey. Both can be found on the Agatha Christie Mile—one of the four walking trails in the area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Torquay Pavilion in Devon, England. where Agatha Miller accepted the proposal of Archie Christie. In the background is St John's Church.


AGATHA CHRISTIE FESTIVAL
An annual event hosted by "The English Riviera" towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, the Agatha Christie Festival is running this year from September 12-19th. This really is a very pretty part of the country and well worth a visit.



 

Kate - I'm so excited about this! What a great idea for Dame Agatha's birthday celebration!

 

Lydia Stone from the Torquay Christie Festival was here last Friday, and I was fascinated to learn all about the festival. Next year is my 40th wedding anniversary, and my husband and I have decided to go to England to celebrate it - and the first thing on our itinerary will be the Torquay festival! I can hardly wait!!

Frequent Contributor
Kate_Mystery_Scene
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎04-25-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Where in the World is Agatha Christie?

Becke,

The Devon area is absolutely gorgeous, you'll have a great time visiting. And, of course, John Cleese's Fawlty Towers is also set in Torquay...

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,678
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Where in the World is Agatha Christie?

 


Kate_Mystery_Scene wrote:

Becke,

The Devon area is absolutely gorgeous, you'll have a great time visiting. And, of course, John Cleese's Fawlty Towers is also set in Torquay...


Kate - have you been to the Torquay festival, or the one in Harrogate? Can you tell us about some of your Christie "close encounters"? I seem to remember you've met Christie's grandson ...

 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,678
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Kate Stine of MYSTERY SCENE magazine blogs about Agatha Christie

Kate - I'll second Dulcinea's question about your favorite Christie sleuth and Top Ten books!

Frequent Contributor
Kate_Mystery_Scene
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎04-25-2010
0 Kudos

AGATHA ON HOLIDAY: Greenway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agatha Christie's holiday home, Greenway.

 

 

In 1938, Christie and her second husband, Sir Max Mallowan, bought the lovely and historic Greenway estate which is situated on the River Dart, near Torquay, Devon.

In 2009 Britain’s National Trust opened Greenway to the public. The house, which Christie used for holidays, has been restored to its 1950s state.  The process has been helped by Christie’s grandson Matthew Prichard’s gift of most of the contents: 5,000 items, and nearly 5,000 books. Greenway was the repository of Christie’s life; it was here that she stored editions of every book she wrote. A visit to Greenway will take visitors on a 1950s holiday, painting an intimate portrait of Agatha Christie not only as a writer, but as a mother, wife and hostess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lovely gardens—acclaimed for their exotic trees and their collections of magnolia and camellia—are also open to the public. As you pass under the creeper-covered stone arch, through the Fernery and down twisting paths to the Battery with its two cannons, you’ll come to the Boathouse. This building, with its shrouded boats and plunge pool, was the scene of the murder in "Dead Man’s Folly," Christie’s 1956 novel, whose setting is modelled closely on Greenway.

In addition to the rooms open to daily visitors, part of the house will be available as a holiday apartment, continuing Greenway’s legacy as a holiday retreat.

 

Greenway library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Greenway’s library has a frieze painted by Lt. Marshall Lee, an American serviceman, while the house was an officers’ mess during World War II.

 

Greenway, Galmpton, near Brixham, Devon. Open 10.30 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday. Admission £7.45. nationaltrust.org.uk/ greenway. US residents may call (800) 913-6565 or visit royal-oak.org.

Frequent Contributor
Kate_Mystery_Scene
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎04-25-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Where in the World is Agatha Christie?

I visited Greenway and had a delightful lunch with Rosemary and Anthony Hicks, Christie's daughter and son-in-law, when I worked for The Agatha Christie Society. It really is a lovely area and the age and history of the house, particularly for Americans, is very impressive.

 

I also toured around Torquay a bit, hit the Christie Mile, etc. The area has lots of Victorian architecture which makes sense since that was it's heyday as a tourist spot.

 

Mattew Prichard, Chrisitie's only grandchild, was the head of the Society and is also closely involved in the ongoing TV, film and publishing development of her work. (His father, Rosemary's first husband, died during WWII.) He was very close to his grandmother and often does lectures or appearances at mystery conventions and other events. If you get a a chance, he's very fun and informativie! In May, Matthew helped dedicate the latest historical marker devoted to Christie at her house in Wallingford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've been to Crime Scene, a mystery festival in London, and various Bouchercon World Mystery Conventions in the UK but not to Harrogate. (Yet!)

 

As these "Where in the Work is Agatha Christie" posts show, though, you may be nearer to Agatha than you think!

 

 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,678
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Where in the World is Agatha Christie?

Kate - Thanks so much for such a brilliant idea for a birthday blog! You are mapping out my itinerary for next year!

 

I can't imagine meeting Agatha Christie's daughter, son-in-law and grandson. Even though I lived in England when Christie was still alive (and when she died), authors at that time seemed so out of reach, I couldn't have imagined meeting her. The internet has made authors a lot more accessible to their readers - I wonder what Agatha would have had to say about all this!

Frequent Contributor
Kate_Mystery_Scene
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎04-25-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Kate Stine of MYSTERY SCENE magazine blogs about Agatha Christie

Hey Becke and Dulcinea,

 

It's so hard to pick my Christie favorites...they change depending on what I've read recently.

 

So here are SOME of my favorites:

 

1. Come Tell Me How You Live, Christie's account of her life on archaeological digs with her husband in the Middle East. Very affectionate, very funny.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The Body in the Library

 

3. The Thirteen Problems, a collection of Miss Marple short stories in which a group of younger people recount various crimes and challenge each other to solve the mystery. It's very satisfying when the unassuming old lady, included only as a kindness, solves each crime aided by a completely unsentimental view of human nature.

 

4. Murder in Mesopotamia, set in the Middle East at an archaeological dig and based on various real life characters. Christie's future husband, Max Mallowan, makes an appearance as a minor character. An extremely ingenious "impossible crime" and wonderful local color.

 

5. They Do it With Mirrors, a Miss Marple mystery with a brilliant motive.

 

6. N or M? Tommy and Tuppence, middle-aged but still solving crimes. This time during WWII, with the threat of invasion as a background.

 

7. An Autobiography, by Agatha Christie. You'll come away really liking Christie as a person.

 

 

A varied selection, to be sure. Here's what Agatha had to say about her writing:

 

“One of the pleasures of writing detective stories is that there are so many types to choose from: the light-hearted thriller, which is particularly pleasant to do; the intricate detective story with an involved plot which is technically interesting and requires a great deal of work, but is always rewarding; and then there is what I can only describe as the detective story that has a kind of passion behind it—that passion being to help save innocence. Because it is innocence that matters, not guilt.”

 

-- Agatha Christie,  An Autobiography, 1977

 

Frequent Contributor
Kate_Mystery_Scene
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎04-25-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Where in the World is Agatha Christie?

Agatha Christie was very shy so even if she were alive today, I doubt she's be on the bookstore/convention circuit.

 

She only agreed to be the President of the UK's prestigious Dective Club on the condition that she wouldn't have to give speeches.

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,678
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Where in the World is Agatha Christie?

 


Kate_Mystery_Scene wrote:

Agatha Christie was very shy so even if she were alive today, I doubt she's be on the bookstore/convention circuit.

 

She only agreed to be the President of the UK's prestigious Dective Club on the condition that she wouldn't have to give speeches.


 

I remember that. I found an autographed copy of one of her books when I lived in London - I was surprised, because I didn't think she did many book signings. I think I gave that one to my mother - I'll have to check!

 

It's funny, I never thought of including COME TELL ME HOW YOU LIVE or Agatha's autobiography on my list of favorites, but I agree with you - both are wonderful books.

 

And, now that I think of it, I really enjoyed this collection and should probably add it to my list of favorites:

 

 

 

Masterpieces in Miniature 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband bought me this book when he was in England a few years back - I've never seen it here, but it was also really good:

 

Agatha Christie and Archaeology

 

Distinguished Wordsmith
Fricka
Posts: 2,230
Registered: ‎05-04-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Where in the World is Agatha Christie?

Thank you, Kate, for the geography lesson, and all the great pictures and information about Dame Agatha. I frequently get frustrated when I'm reading a book with a setting somewhere in the English countryside, not London or one of the other major cities usually on a map of the UK. I would have had no idea exactly where Torquay was without your map pointing it out. (Loved your additional info that it is where Fawlty Towers was located, too!)  It's great that you got to meet Christie's family members. I have seen Matthew in some of the extras on DVD's and on PBS, in connection with an airing of a mystery based on Christie's work. He does seem to be a rather jolly fellow, and very knowing about his grandmother's work and her personality. Wonder if HE has a favorite book or story that Agatha wrote???

" A murder mystery is the normal recreation of the noble mind."--Sister Carol Anne O' Marie
Frequent Contributor
Kate_Mystery_Scene
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎04-25-2010
0 Kudos

AGATHA ON STAGE

St. Martin's Theatre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ST. MARTIN'S THEATRE, LONDON, UK

Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap opened in the West End of London in on November 25, 1952, and has been running continuously for 58 years -- over 24,000 performances and counting! It is the longest-running production in theatrical history and a highlight of many tourist's trips to London.

The play's life began as a half-hour BBC radio play, "Three Blind Mice," a present requested by Queen Mary for her 80th birthday. Christie later decided to expand it into a full-length drama which  she called "The Mousetrap."

On your next trip to London, join the millions who have already discovered whodunnit, but will not share their secret...

St Martins Theatre
West Street
London
WC2H 9NZ
UK
http://www.stmartins-theatre.co.uk/

Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,372
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Where in the World is Agatha Christie?

Kate, I am really enjoying your Christie 'tour'!  Thanks so much!  And you definitely approached the favorites list differently than anybody else has so far - you are the only one to include some of her nonfiction works, which is great.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,678
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Where in the World is Agatha Christie?

"Wonder if HE has a favorite book or story that Agatha wrote???"

 

What a good question, Fricka!

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,678
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: AGATHA ON STAGE

Kate - I've seen THE MOUSETRAP many times, and still treasure my 25th Anniversary program. Last year at Bouchercon I picked up a copy of a 36th year program, and it was interesting to compare the two.