Another publication of mine has now appeared in print, and I am very pleased about it! It has been a difficult year, with health problems of various kinds. But seeing this piece published has reminded me again of all that I value so much about research and writing.
This latest piece developed out of my enthusiasm for reading short stories. I have a long-standing fascination with the crime short story as a specific literary form, and am interested in investigating the way in which the crime short story has evolved over time as a particular subgenre of crime fiction. This preoccupation of mine led me to reassess Agatha Christie's work. Christie has long been regarded as one of the most popular crime fiction authors of all time, and as part of her impressive oeuvre she also wrote crime short stories. I became interested in Christie's short fiction, particularly the Mr Quin short stories. These short texts feature some of the specific elements we have come to associate with her crime writing, while at the same time reflecting the social and cultural questions of the interwar period - the heyday of what is often referred to as the Golden Age.
I have a chapter on Agatha Christie's Mr Quin stories in a book just published by McFarland, edited by Christie scholar and expert Jamie Bernthal. The book is entitled The Ageless Agatha Christie: Essays on the Mysteries and the Legacy.
My chapter is called “With Practised Eyes”: Feminine Identity in The Mysterious Mr. Quin.
I am really pleased with how this chapter turned out, and thrilled to have had the opportunity to write on Agatha Christie - something I have wanted to do for a long time. The contents page of the book will give you a glimpse into the fascinating and varied perspectives on Christie's work presented here.
Once again this year, Jamie Bernthal is organising a conference on Agatha Christie and her work. The theme this year is "The ageless Agatha Christie", and you can find out more detail about the event here - it is promising to be a fantastic conference! Sadly, I am unable to go this year. But if you, like me, are fascinated by Agatha Christie's work and want to investigate the reasons for its enduring appeal, do go. And read The Ageless Agatha Christie: Essays on the Mysteries and the Legacy!