Sunday, September 12, 2010

Agatha Christie 120 Years

So many celebrations in honor of Agatha Christie's 120th birthday this year.

Over the years, I've read just about every novel and story, play and reference book on the Grande Dame of Crime Fiction. I've taught classes on Agatha Christie at UCB, Santa Cruz, St. Mary's College, as well as focused on Agatha Christie in my mystery bookgroup. 

Agatha Christie visited the UC Botanical Garden and was particularly taken by the Peruvian Lily. Poisonous? In honor of that long-ago visit, I organized a poison tour of the UC Botanical Garden with a very knowledgeable guide for my bookgroup.

For Agatha Christie's Centennial, I attended the CWA (Crime Writers UK) conference in Torquay which included the Agatha Christie Centennial Celebration Banquet. Everyone was there, and by that, I mean all my favorite British crime writers and many of the actors who portrayed Christie's characters over the years. David Suchet sat at the next table. I saw Joan Hickson in the Ladies Room. During that same trip, I went with CWA to visit Greenway, the long before it was opened to the public. The family was in residence at the time, and either they forgot that a group of mystery writers was stopping by or they didn’t care. It was a very lovely (and intimate) tour of the house.

When I returned to the States that year, I was on the organizing committee of the U.S. Agatha Christie Centennial. There were reading challenges, library talks, courses and lectures, and I wrote an 'Agatha-Christie inspired' interactive mystery event. It was great fun!

If you happen to be in England this week, check out the Festivities at the Agatha Christie Festival. Full Program of the Agatha Christie Festival.  Can't be there? You can read an Agatha Christie, but to guide you, there are several Blog Tours this month celebrating Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime. 

Kerrie Smith of Mysteries in Paradise who identifies Agatha Christie posts all year round (Agatha Christie Reading Challenge) has organized a wonderful Agatha Christie 120 Blog Tour  this month. Be sure and check out the posts, a different blog site every day. Links here. This is also a great way to be introduced to wonderful Crime Fiction Blogs, too! Mystery Fanfare will be part of the Blog Tour, and I'll be posting later this week.

I'll also be blogging about Nursery Rhymes and Agatha Christie on the Barnes & Noble Mystery Bookclub site this week. Be sure and follow the daily postings from Christie experts and crime writers. Becke Davis is the Mystery Book Club Coordinator, and a big Agatha Christie Fan. 

On my DyingforChocolate blog this week, I'll be posting a special  recipe for chocolate cake called Delicious Death developed by Jane Asher for the Official Agatha Christie Celebraton. 

Stop by all of these sites for everything and anything Agatha Christie. Let me know about any others!

And here's a real treat:  A Video of a 1955 interview with Agatha Christie from the BBC Archives in which Agatha Christie talks about her lack of formal education and how boredom during childhood led her to write 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles'. She outlines her working methods and discusses why it is much easier to write plays than novels. 

Raise a glass on September 15 to the Queen of Crime!


Anonymous said...

Janet - Thanks so much for sharing that video :-). As a dedicated Christie fan, I love those insights into her writing.

Janet Rudolph said...

I know. Isn't if fabulous!!!

Kerrie said...

Lovely post Janet

Janet Rudolph said...

Thanks, Kerrie, and I'll have something different on 9/14 about Agatha Christie.

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

A fabulous post, Janet! I really enjoyed the 1955 interview ~ thanks for including it.