Sally and Tony are retired doctors. They met when they were medical students. On their first holiday together they took an Agatha Christie novel. They read it aloud to each other. They stopped before the denouement, discussed possible solutions at dinner and then read to the end. Over the following forty years they have analysed all Christie’s crime novels.
Tony was the first Professor of Medical Ethics at the University of Oxford. He has written many highly successful books including the original edition of The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine, and, for a general audience, Manage Your Mind and Medical Ethics: A Very Short Introduction. Sally is a retired general practitioner. She was the medical columnist on Best magazine for six years.
Why do Agatha Christie’s novels continue to inspire each generation? The answer is the quality and range of her puzzles: her rich and varied structures of deception.
Christie broke the mould of detective fiction and rewrote the implicit rules of the whodunnit. Agatha Christie: Plots, Clues and Misdirections examines Christie’s skills as a whodunnit writer. It analyses her methods in setting her puzzles. It shows how she uses a combination of diverse plots, cunning clues and subtle misdirections. In the sheer variety and profusion of each of these elements Christie is without peer, and her combining genuine puzzles with entertaining narratives has never been surpassed.
In this unique analysis of how Christie sets her puzzles, two medical professionals and enthusiastic Christie fans explore the greatest of Christie’s deceptions – the impression that her writing is simple.
Sally and Tony Hope are retired medical doctors who have enjoyed Agatha Christie novels for forty years. Tony was the first Professor of Medical Ethics at the University of Oxford. He has written many highly successful books including several for a general audience (Manage Your Mind; Medical Ethics: A Very Short Introduction). Sally is a retired general practitioner. She was the medical columnist on Best magazine for six years.