duchess of death

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Guardian Review - The duchess of death

Interesting to read Agatha Christie on other detective writers. I completely agree about what a great creation Watson is, and the influence of Conan Doyle.

I wonder what Dorothy Sayers fans think about her comments on Harriet, who she says is 'a tiresome young woman'.

She's also down on Poirot a bit:

'I would give one piece of advice to young detective writers: be very careful what central character you create - you may have him with you for a very long time'

It looks like this is (part or all of) a preface to a new edition of Ask A Policeman:

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If you'd like to read more about Agatha, I'd recommend my colleague Merja Makinen's Agatha Christie - Investigating Femininity:

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There's also an interesting paper by Siobhan Chapman in a special issue of the Journal of Literary Semantics I edited recently:

http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jls.2012.41.issue-2/issue-files/jls.2012.41.issue-2.xml

(I'm afraid you can only access it if your library has a subscription)

It applies ideas from 'neo-Gricean pragmatics' (ask me if you don't know what that means and would like to) in explaining reader inferences (I won't say more for reasons of spoiler avoidance). It's surprising how little neo-Gricean work on literary stylistics there has been. Siobhan's paper could be the start of something. . .

B--)

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