Tonight in the UK and Ireland is World Book Night. One of the 20 books selected is Agatha Christie's bestselling novel After the Funeral, a Poirot mystery. The purpose of the event is to read one of the books selected, which are available to pick up at local libraries and schools, and discuss. I myself have read After the Funeral (yesterday in fact) and will be aiming to discuss the book on twitter tonight.
The new edition, that has a wonderful new cover, has a special introduction by Sophie Hannah. It reads “In a poll conducted by the Crime Writer’s Association in November 2013 to celebrate its sixtieth anniversary, Agatha Christie was voted ‘Best Ever Author’. Any other result would, frankly, have been rather a joke. Christie’s novels have sold more than two billion copies in 109 languages (and probably more). Her play The Mousetrap has been delighting audiences in the West End for over 60 years. It would be fair to say, I think, that no other crime novelist comes close to matching her achievement. For me, as a psychological thriller writer, Agatha Christie is and will always be the gold standard – a lifelong inspiration whose every inventive tale demonstrates exactly how it should be done. It was Christie who made me fall in love with mystery stories at the age of twelve and, rereading her work now at the age of 42, I still believe that she cranks up the excitement and the intellectual puzzlement like no other.”