RARA-AVIS: Re: Christie

From: Karin Montin ( kmontin@sympatico.ca)
Date: 13 Oct 2004

Welcome aboard, Susan.

I had a couple of conversations along these lines at Bouchercon. I said I was getting a little tired of people casually slamming Agatha Christie. I'm reading one of hers right now, but hadn't read any of her books in years -- I've been discovering tons of new authors -- but I must have read dozens when I moved up from Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Judy Bolton, et al.

At 10:52 AM 12/10/2004 -0400, Susan Evans Shaw wrote:

>Where's the joy in trashing Dorothy Sayers and cosies? They may not be to everyone's taste, but they have a right to existence. How many of you hardboilers cut your writerly teeth on Agatha Christie? As for Sayers, her style is definitely dated, but they are well-written and researched and more digestable than modern efforts by Martha Grimes and Elizabeth George. What does Russell James have to say about Sayers and cosies?

Many people tend to dismiss cosies (or traditional mysteries), especially those with cat detectives, but I heard at least three authors at Bouchercon say that they had started out reading Agatha Christie. And as Jim D. mentioned, anyone still selling the quantities she is must have done something right. I agree with Mario that most readers are not fanatical in their devotion to one subgenre.

At 10:09 PM 13/10/2004 +0000, Jacques Debrieurue (aka Mr T) wrote:

>I don't think people here read books with a Hardboiled union card in front of their nose. A good book is a good book. Nor is there a clear dichotomy between "hardboiled" and "cozy".

On one panel, Val McDermid mentioned two things about Miss Marple mysteries that distinguish them from her own books. First, Miss Marple deals with murder after murder, year in and year out, yet remains untouched. She is exactly the same person at the beginning of any story. McDermid (and other writers) are interested in the impact of crime and violence on everyone involved, including the detective. Second, real-life murders are rarely motivated by wills.


PS Bouchercon was great. I urge anyone who can afford the time and money to go to one whenever you can.

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