Friday, March 05, 2010

Agatha Christie at Home by Hilary Macaskill

Agatha Christie's daughter Rosland Hicks gave Greenway, her mother's Devon country home, to Great Britain's National Trust in 2000. Within a few quick years, the grounds and gardens with their beautiful views of the River Dart were open to the public, and in 2009, after a few longer years of restoration and decorating with original furniture, the house itself was opened for Christie fans to see. According to author Hilary Macaskill in her book Agatha Christie at Home, Greenway is now a prime stop in the increasingly popular tour of Agatha Christie sites in England.

In her new book, Macaskill takes readers on a broader tour to places Christie lived, including London, seaports, and villages across England, telling a little bit about the mystery writer's life and pointing out locations used in Christie's popular stories. An attractive mixture of archived and current photographs supplements the brief text. Some show Christie picnicking, repainting a mantelpiece, and entertaining guests in her various homes. Others show lush landscapes and well-tended gardens. Readers see throughout that Christie liked good comfortable accommodations, beyond the means of people without bestselling book income, without ever being ostentatious.

Overall, Agatha Christie at Home is a light treatment of the writer's life, not enough to satisfy a student needing in-depth information, but enough to persuade fans to add locations to their English travel plans. With Christie's books continuing to be read and new productions appearing on public television, it should interest readers in many libraries.

Macaskill, Hilary. Agatha Christie at Home. Frances Lincoln Limited, 2009. ISBN 9780711230293.

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