Author: Various Authors
Page Count/Review Word Count: 377
I knew that I’d have to pick this book up as soon as I heard about it, because I’m a die-hard Agatha Christie fan and as well as reading everything that the Queen of Crime wrote, I’ve also read the majority of the later works that were authorised by the Christie estate and created by third-party writers after her death.
There’s also the fact that Miss Marple is my favourite of Christie’s characters, and I always felt as though there weren’t enough stories about her. So when I learned that this book was coming out with stories by a bunch of authors I’ve heard of, including one or two who I’d read before, I had to check it out.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t as good as it could have been, and I think it set the scene by the fact that the first story in the collection features Marple letting out a breath that she didn’t know she was holding. I had a physical reaction to that which was reminiscent of what happens when you’ve had too much to drink and you’ve got your head in a toilet bowl.
The stories here are contributed by Naomi Alderman, Leigh Bardugo, Alyssa Cole, Lucy Foley, Elly Griffiths, Natalie Haynes, Jean Kwok, Val McDermid, Karen M. McManus, Dreda Say Mitchell, Kate Mosse and Ruth Ware. I feel as though they should also have asked Sophie Hannah to contribute one, given that she’s responsible for the new Poirot books.
I also noticed just now as I was typing the list up that none of them are dudes. True, Marple is a woman, but I feel like if Harper Collins put out a collection of Poirot stories and all twelve authors were men, people would be upset. Personally, I’m easy either way, but it is worth noting.
All in all, it was a lacklustre collection and one that I wouldn’t recommend unless you’re a die-hard Marple fan who’s already read everything that Christie put out there. Other than that, it’s just worrying. I think for people who are new to Christie who pick this up because their favourite writer is here, they’ll be put off.