Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Three Poirot Filming Locations to visit

 Ever wondered where Poirot was filmed? Ever wanted to go to some of the wonderful locations that have appeared in the series? Look no further. 

1. Florin Court, Charterhouse square, London 

©Agatha Christie Web
 This 1930s apartment block is now well know for appearing in Agatha Christie's Poirot since it's debut in 1989. It has appeared throughout the series' 25 year run appearing in most of the episodes. It was used as the exterior for Hercule Poirot's flat (the interior was based at a set). It first appeared in The Adventure of the Clapham Cook (1989) and last appeared in The Labours of Hercules (2013), the penultimate episode.

2. Greenway House, Galmpton, South Devon 

©Agatha Christie Web
Now owned by the National Trust, Greenway was originally owned by the Queen of Crime herself, Agatha Christie. Poirot's creator used Greenway as a holiday home and is famous for its connections to the author. In June 2013, David Suchet, Zoe Wanamaker and the Poirot production team went down to Greenway to film their final film Dead Man's Folly (2013). Greenway became 'Nasse House' in  the fictional town of Nassecomb for the production.

3. Knebworth House, Hertfordshire 

©Agatha Christie Web
Knebworth House in Hertfordshire became 'Melfort Abbey' in 2009 when the Poirot production team filmed the episode Three Act Tragedy (2010) there. It was the scene of a brutal poisoning as well as housing an alumnus in the back garden! Although the house is actually in Hertfordshire, 'Melfort Abbey' was actually set in Yorkshire. Knebworth House has also been used as the eponymous house in the Marple episode Greenshaw's Folly (2013).

[Please note that the above pictures are mine, taken on location in 2013]

Monday, 12 May 2014

Agatha Christie's Wartime Experiences Inspired Poirot

©BBC - The volunteer nurses in The Crimson Field
Agatha Christie's experiences as a nurse in WWI inspired her to writer her first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

First published in the UK in 1920, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Hercule Poirot's debut novel, tells the story of a soldier who is home on leave after an injury. In 1917 Britain, Lieutenant Hastings goes to the house Styles Court to recuperate at the invitation of a friend. Whilst there, he meets his old friend Hercule Poirot, a Belgian refugee. Of course, there is the brutal murder of the owner of the house, murder by strychnine poisoning. Among the suspects is a VAD.

Agatha Christie was inspired by her wartime experiences, and it drove her to write her first novel. In the same way Christie was inspired, writer Sarah Phelps was also inspired by the notebooks of volunteer nurses in WWI, which helped form the basis for the new BBC series The Crimson Field (pictured left).

Here are some of Agatha Christie's real experiences of war, taken from her autobiography:
'Suddenly the theatre walls reeled around me...It had never occurred to me that the sight of blood or wounds would make me faint.'
'I remember one serious-faced sergeant whose love letters I had to write for him. He could not read or write. He told me roughly what he wanted me to say. "That will do very nicely Nurse," he would nod, when I read it over to him. "Write it in triplicate, will you" ' She had to write letters to all three of his girlfriends!

Agatha Christie said, 'Since I was surrounded by poisons, perhaps it was natural that death by poisoning should be the method I selected.'

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Sophie Hannah's New Poirot Novel - Title Revealed!

The highly anticipated new Hercule Poirot novel, written by Sophie Hannah, is called The Monogram Murders

In a short video released yesterday, author of the new Poirot novel Sophie Hannah revealed that the book is called The Monogram Murders. The book will be published worldwide in September, to tie in with the Agatha Christie Festival. The Monogram Murders will be released in the UK on 8th September. This will be the first new Poirot mystery to be published since 1976. It will make up the 34th Poirot novel in the series.

Here is the official description: Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.
Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim…
In the hands of internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah, Poirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London – a diabolically clever puzzle that can only be solved by the talented Belgian detective and his ‘little grey cells’.

Here is the video of the big reveal...

What do you think of the title? Are you excited for this new novel? Leave a comment below or tweet me @AChristieWeb 

Monday, 5 May 2014

May 2014: News Round Up

We're rapidly approaching the middle of the year now, so I thought it a good time to have a news round up. 

 BBC is  the new home of Agatha Christie on TV

Back in February the BBC  announced plans to release two new dramas based on Agatha Christie's works, due for release in 2015 to mark her 125th Birthday. There will be a six-part series called Partners In Crime starring David Walliams as Tommy. It will be based on the novels of detective duo Tommy and Tuppence (pictured, left) and will feature the stories The Secret Adversary and N or M?. The part of Tuppence is yet to be cast.
There will also be a three part adaption of Christie's classic best seller And Then There Were None will which will be broadcast in Christmas 2015.

Cases closed for Poirot and Marple 

It will not come as a surprise to fans that Agatha Christie's Poirot on ITV has come to an end, as David Suchet has filmed all of the novels Christie wrote about the character of 25 years. His seventieth outing as the Poirot, Curtain, was broadcast in the UK on 13th November 2013.

ITV have also decided to close Marple's casebook as well, as the BBC hold the majority of the Agatha Christie filming rights. Julia McKenzie has played Miss Marple for the last five years, appearing in eleven films. Her last episode, Endless Night, was broadcast in December.

It's a great shame that both of these series have now ended. Both David Suchet and Julia McKenzie played their respective roles perfectly. David Suchet is seen by most fans worldwide as the definitive Poirot as he has masterfully played the detective for 25 years.

Sophie Hannah's new Poirot novel will be published in September

As many of you will know, highly acclaimed author Sophie Hannah has written a brand new Hercule Poirot novel. There is a massive sales campaign for the novel worldwide, which is due to be released in September to tie in with the Agatha Christie Festival 2014.

The Agatha Christie Festival 2014

The dates for the 2014 Festival are September 14th - September 21st. The Festival will feature tours of Greenway, special guest talks including Sophie Hannah on the new Poirot novel and bus tours. The Festival Hub will be Torre Abbey in Torquay. I hope to see you there!

Any other news? Anything I've missed? Contact me via Twitter @AChristieWeb or leave a comment below.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Book of the Month April 2014: After the Funeral

The Agatha Christie Book Club's Book of The Month for April was After the Funeral, a bestseller. The novel was first published in 1953 and featured the unique character of Hercule Poirot. Here are my thoughts on the novel.


After the funeral of Richard Abernethie, his family all gather for the reading of the will, including his younger sister Cora Lansequent.  Cora has quite a reputation in the family as a shrewd woman who often blurts out what everyone else is thinking. After the funeral, she says quite naturally "It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it? But he was murdered, wasn’t he?”. Then, the next day, Cora herself is found beaten to death in her cottage in a little village. Mr Entwhistle, the family solicitor, thinks something is wrong, so he calls in his old friend Hercule Poirot to investigate.

After the Funeral is a very traditional murder mystery: there's a rich upper class family all gathered in a country house and one of them is the killer. There's also a will, a butler and of course, the great detective himself. The solution to the murder is ingenious, and proves the great talent of Agatha Christie. Take nothing for granted, everything is not as it first appears.

©ITV - David Suchet in the TV adaption
  • Hercule Poirot 
  • Gilbert Entwhistle 
  • Inspector Morton 
  • Richard Abernethie 
  • Cora Lansequent 
  • Miss Gilchrist 
  • Timothy Abernethie 
  • Maude Abernethie 
  • Helen Abernethie 
  • George Crossfield 
  • Gregory Banks 
  • Susan Banks 
  • Michael Shane 
  • Rosamund Shane
  • Mr Goby 
  • Lanscomb