It started, as Poirot would say, as a “little idea.” It had been with me for many years, but put off by life, by distraction, by workload. Most of all, I have usually been writing a mystery of my own and by personal/professional SOP I stay away from other mysteries while doing so (The one negative concession to my writing).
Then came the year 2020: the centennial of Agatha Christie’s published writing career and the birth of Hercule Poirot, a global pandemic, closed borders and restricted travel, a state of emergency for the Province of Ontario as elsewhere, lockdown, businesses shuttered, #staysafe, #stayhome. Got it.
More time to write. But not the brains and focus to do it with everything going on. I still needed to do something constructive, beyond housework and painting rooms. And I wanted to do something to celebrate the centennial of the greatest mystery writer ever.
The “little idea” returned. It was time to read Christie again, the over 80 novels and short-story collections—start to finish—including the non-mysteries and non-fiction, in chronological order. To revisit the Queen of Crime, the inspiration for my own work, and fill the few gaps in my own sizable collection of her work. Then, I decided if I were to do that, hopefully one book a week, I would also revisit the events of her life at that time and the influences on the books themselves. Finally, I thought to gather and publish this on social media to share and to keep. The Christie Project was born.
Spring has turned into summer, and now summer is delicately laced with the first hints of the coming autumn. Week after week, on The Christie Project Facebook group, I read and comment on the books along with research into the amazing life that Christie lived.
Agatha Christie, born a Victorian woman, living through most of a century marked by titanic challenge and change, creative, brilliant, visionary, relentlessly productive, was always in her own view an old-fashioned and traditional woman. To this day, to her readers and scholars, she remains a true woman of mystery both personally and professionally. The Christie Project is a very personal perspective on this iconic writer. I can say that my return to Agatha Christie for the long haul has been like a wonderful afternoon visit with an old friend—older female friend, mentor, elder advisor. Just the ticket right now.
If you love Agatha Christie, find us on Facebook and join in the complete survey of her book work. I do the reading. Members are free to just follow along and maybe comment on their favourites. Drop us in the Facebook search or find us here:
The Christie Project: https://www.facebook.com/groups/224240028699908/
Social media hashtag: #thechristieproject