Agatha Christie's fan base is as devoted to the legend of the notoriously press-shy writer as to her large body of mysteries, not least because of the dearth of personal information available. As such, her grandson's recent discovery of a cache of scratchy audio tapes Christie made later in life is a veritable literary windfall. The tapes, probably intended as the basis for a memoir, are a wealth of information on the author's life and work. Also something of a time machine; says Christie's biographer, "Nobody sounds like that anymore. She's old England. She sounds like an Edwardian, like a gentlewoman, like a lady. It's as though she's suspended in an early-20th-century world where the social order is intact, and murder is only conducted in a socially acceptable arena - arsenic in the crumpets, or something.'" [NY Times]
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