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becke_davis
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Re: Kate Stine of Mystery Scene discusses Agatha Christie

Kate - Since you have experienced the world of Agatha Christie the way few people have, did you discover anything about the Queen of Mystery that you didn't know before? Any surprises?
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Kate_Stine
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Re: Kate Stine of Mystery Scene discusses Agatha Christie

One thing I was very surprised to learn was that her father, Frederick Miller, was an American.  The Millers cut something of a swath in upper crust New York in the Gilded Age. He and Christie's mother, an Englishwoman, had a family connection and after some time in the US, they eventually settled in Torquay where Christie was born.

 

Strange to think someone so quintessentially English had such close American ties. Although come to think of it, Winston Churchill had an American mother...

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Kate_Stine
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Someone asked about writers similar to Christie

Someone asked what contemporary writers reminded me of Christie, although I can't find the post to quote it.

 

Anyway, one writer that really strikes me as in the Christie tradition is M.C. Beaton. She writes the Hamish Macbeth and the Agatha Raisin series. Sharp characterizations, good plots, great settings (Scotland and the Cotswolds, respectively), and an astringent sense of humor.

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becke_davis
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Re: Kate Stine of Mystery Scene discusses Agatha Christie

Yes, I remember that from her autobiography. Every so often I'll search her name on Google to see what's new, and it seems like there's always something -- new tapes, new stories. Even after she died, she left more books for us. I'm glad there are still some mysteries about Christie herself. Makes her all the more intriguing!
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dulcinea3
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Re: Kate Stine of Mystery Scene discusses Agatha Christie

Kate, Becke's mentioning mysteries about Christie reminds me of perhaps the biggest of them all.  What do you conjecture (or perhaps know, from all your research) about her famous disappearance?
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becke_davis
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Re: Kate Stine of Mystery Scene discusses Agatha Christie


dulcinea3 wrote:
Kate, Becke's mentioning mysteries about Christie reminds me of perhaps the biggest of them all.  What do you conjecture (or perhaps know, from all your research) about her famous disappearance?
I was wondering about that, too. What's your theory, Kate -- did Agatha Christie really have amnesia, did she plan her disappearance as a publicity stunt (or to make her husband stand up and take notice), or was she simply running away from a bad situation?

 

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Kate_Stine
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Re: Kate Stine of Mystery Scene discusses Agatha Christie

I've always thought of Christie's 10-day disappearance as some sort of breakdown (her mother had just died and her husband had just announced he was leaving her for another woman) but it is curious how it managed to so effectively punish Archie, isn't it?

 

For those unfamiliar with the story: Christie's disappearance and the subsequent countrywide search was a full-fledged media circus with Archie spotlighted as a potential suspect. When Christie was discovered at the Harrogate Hotel where she had checked in under the surname of Archie's girlfriend, there was suspicion that she had engineered the whole thing for revenge.

 

But I don't know, things were so different then and the stigma of divorce (and the economic implications for women) were so severe that, added to her mother's recent death, it could very well cause some sort of breakdown. Christie never spoke of the incident in later life or in her Autobiography.

 

The ambiguity of the whole thing is fascinating, though.

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Kate Stine of Mystery Scene discusses Agatha Christie

I think it was just as you suggested, it was too much for her to deal with. I wonder what happened to Archie? I wonder how he felt about this whole thing -- his "fifteen minutes of fame" didn't cast him in the best light, and then to have his ex-wife achieve such fame, it must have been uncomfortable for him.

 

With all you know about Agatha Christie, I was wondering, Kate -- if you had the opportunity to interview her today (seance, anyone?), what would you ask her? 

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Kate_Stine
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Miss Marple Quotes

Now, in honor of the new Mystery! series, here are some Miss Marple quotes: 

 

“There is no detective in England equal to a spinster lady of uncertain age with plenty of time on her hands.”
—Reverend Leonard Clement speaking of Miss Marple, The Murder at the Vicarage, 1930, by Agatha Christie

It is true, of course, that I have lived what is called a very uneventful life, but I have had a lot of experiences in solving different little problems that have arisen.
—Jane Marple, The Tuesday Club Murders, 1932, by Agatha Christie

“The worst is so often true.”
—Miss Jane Marple, They Do It with Mirrors, 1952, by Agatha Christie

“You can only really get under anybody’s skin if you are married to them.”
—Miss Jane Marple, The Body in the Library, 1942, by Agatha Christie

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becke_davis
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Re: Miss Marple Quotes

Oh, that last one is a prize-winner. I think you're on to something, Kate -- favorite Christie quotes! (Or, as you've done, Miss Marple quotes, Poirot quotes, etc.) I'll have to look for some Ariadne Oliver quotes, too!
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dulcinea3
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Re: Miss Marple Quotes

I always love it when Hercule Poirot apologizes for 'deranging' someone!:smileyvery-happy:

 

"I hope I haven't deranged you too much." (my own paraphrase, rather than an actual quote, although I imagine he may have said those exact words at some time)

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Kate_Stine
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Re: Miss Marple Quotes

Becke, this is for you!

 

“You can always be late for an appointment. Everybody is. They’ll think all the more of you.”
—Mrs. Ariadne Oliver, The Pale Horse, 1961, by Agatha Christie


becke_davis wrote:
Oh, that last one is a prize-winner. I think you're on to something, Kate -- favorite Christie quotes! (Or, as you've done, Miss Marple quotes, Poirot quotes, etc.) I'll have to look for some Ariadne Oliver quotes, too!

 

 

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Kate_Stine
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Hercule Poirot Quotes


dulcinea3 wrote:

I always love it when Hercule Poirot apologizes for 'deranging' someone!:smileyvery-happy:

 

"I hope I haven't deranged you too much." (my own paraphrase, rather than an actual quote, although I imagine he may have said those exact words at some time)


Couldn't find the "deranged" quote, although I do remember some. But here are some other quotes by and about Poirot.

 

“You gave too much rein to your imagination. Imagination is a good servant, and a bad master. The simplest explanation is always the most likely.”
—Hercule, Poirot, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, 1920, by Agatha Christie

“Mon cher, practically speaking, I know everything!”
—Hercule Poirot to Norman Gale, Death in the Clouds, 1935, by Agatha Christie

“What an extraordinarily rum little beggar.”
—Norman Gale about Hercule Poirot, Death in the Clouds, 1935, by Agatha Christie
 

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Kate_Stine
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Christie's favorites of her own books

Here are three recommendations from the author herself:

 


“Of my detective books, I think the two that satisfy me best are Crooked House and Ordeal by Innocence.”

“I find that another one I am really pleased with is The Moving Finger. It is a great test to reread what one has written some seventeen or eighteen years before. One’s view changes. Some do not stand the test of time, others do.”
—An Autobiography, 1977, by Agatha Christie

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Kate_Stine
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Thanks and come visit us at Mystery Scene!

I want to thank everyone in this discussion group and the nice folks at B&N for the chance to visit this week. I had fun and hope all of you did to.

 

We'd also like to invite mystery fans to the Mystery Scene Magazine website & blog where there's lots of interest for mystery fans. We guarantee you'll come away with a list of interesting books to buy!

 

www.mysteryscenemag.com

 

Thanks again,

Kate Stine

Editor-in-chief

Mystery Scene Magazine

331 W. 57th Street, Suite 148

New York, NY 10019

info@mysteryscenemag.com

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Christie's favorites of her own books


Kate_Stine wrote:

Here are three recommendations from the author herself:

 


“Of my detective books, I think the two that satisfy me best are Crooked House and Ordeal by Innocence.”

“I find that another one I am really pleased with is The Moving Finger. It is a great test to reread what one has written some seventeen or eighteen years before. One’s view changes. Some do not stand the test of time, others do.”
—An Autobiography, 1977, by Agatha Christie


I loved Crooked House!

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Christie's favorites of her own books

Kate - Thank you so much for joining us this week! It's been so much fun having you with us, I hope you'll consider stopping by again.

 

I've been buried in garden writing deadlines all week or I would have spent more time scanning my Christie collection for more quotes. I've gotten a kick out of reading these!

 

Do come back and visit again, we've got quite a Christie fan club going here!

 

Thanks again for taking the time to do this. 

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dulcinea3
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Re: Christie's favorites of her own books

Oh, dear, I missed the chance to say goodbye and thank you!  Well, just in case Kate stops by again:

 

Goodbye and thank you!  I really have appreciated your sharing your expertise and anecdotes with us!

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Clea_Simon
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Re: Christie's favorites of her own books

Bother, I missed your farewell, too. And I wanted to discuss Christie's disappearance, too, since I'm of the school who thinks it might ALL have been a plot to embarrass her cheating louse of a spouse.

 

But... another time. Thank you!!

Clea 

"Probable Claws," April '09
"Shades of Grey," Sept. '09
http://www.cleasimon.com