The Golden Age of British detective fiction is generally regarded as the period between the end of the First World War and that of the Second, i.e. 1920 to 1945. This was the era of the country house weekend enlivened by the presence of a murderer, the evidence of the adenoidal under-housemaid, the snow-covered lawn with no footprints and the baffled policeman seeking the assistance of the gifted amateur. Ingenuity reached new heights with the fatal air embolism via the empty hypodermic, the poison-smeared postage stamp, and the icicle dagger that evaporates after use.
This is probably the first time in years that I have several massive, massive books on the go at the same time - The Complete Secret Notebooks, The Blackwater Saga, The Second Sex, and I'm trying not to count in The Complete Works of Shakespeare on my currently reading shelf.
But it can't be helped. I wanted to start the Curran book before attending some events with the author on Saturday ... one of them about E.C.R. Lorac, whose Bats in the Belfry is my current BL-Opoly read.
What I like instantly about Curren's The Complete Secret Notebooks is that each chapter seems to start with a spoiler warning, i.e. a list of Christie's works for which the chapter will include solutions or spoilers. It sounds obvious, but for me this is a "must have" for any non-fiction book about Christie's work.
So, we are off to a great start.