Greenway shop book review

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Two new books are on sale at the Greenway shop, which has been redesigned this year to give even more prominence to works by or about Agatha Christie. Volunteer room and boathouse guide Nick Warboys gives them the once-over.

'If anyone writes about my life in future, I’d rather they got their facts right.'

This is the quote from Agatha Christie on the cover of a new book about her. The ever-modest Agatha would doubtless be astounded about the millions of words that have been used in scores of books, articles, analyses and treatises to examine all aspects of her life and works.

Worldwide phenomenon

Much of this has been spawned by the internet and among the most prominent sites is christiemystery.co.uk which is operated by Cathy Cook, the author of the just-published The Agatha Christie Miscellany (The History Press, £9.99). It's an absolute mine of information, chock-a-block with fascinating facts, trivia and quotes. The way that the book is set out is a bit of a hotchpotch but it's a wonderful resource into which to delve.

Coffee table tome

Covering much of the same ground is the just reprinted The World of Agatha Christie by Martin Fido (Carlton Books, £16.99). This is a much more lavishly produced and illustrated work – a welcome addition to grace any coffee table and a must-buy first book for anyone interested in the Queen of Crime. Mr Fido adopts a breathless turn of phrase and none of the subjects he covers merits more than two pages but that does not mean that he does not know his stuff. This is meticulously researched, tightly written and richly studded with nuggets of detail.