I found a book at my local library called Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks. The title pretty much says it all – the notebooks contain her scribblings from when she was working out plots, inventing characters, coming up with titles and so on and cover many years of her writing career.
She was, the introduction reveals, a member of something called the Detection Club, which seems to have been a loose and none-too-serious affiliation of detective writers (as opposed to the sometimes slightly nastier ‘crime’ genre!) I thought readers might like to know that upon joining, members had to:
- Honour the King’s English
- Never conceal a vital clue from the reader
- Adhere to detection as distinct from ‘Divine Revelation, Feminine Intuition…Coincidence or Acts of God’
- Observe ‘a seemly moderation in the use of Gangs, Death-Rays, Ghosts, Mysterious Chinamen and Mysterious Poisons unknown to Science
- Never steal or disclose the plots of other members
Regular readers of this blog will know how much the first rule appeals to me – as does Agatha’s insistence, on being offered the presidency of the club, that she would accept as long as she never had to make a speech!