Reading progress update: I've read 649 out of 784 pages.

Agatha Christie’s Complete Secret Notebooks - Agatha Christie, John Curran, David Suchet



This is possibly the nicest and most restrained critical review of Passenger to Frankfurt that was ever written by an Agathyte - and certainly much more diplomatic than what comes to mind when I think about the abominable piece of crap that is Passenger to Frankfurt - and yet again, Curran is very honest:

Published on her eightieth birthday, this was claimed to be Agatha Christie’s eightieth book and, despite the dismay with which the manuscript was greeted by both her family and her publishers, it went straight into the best-seller lists and remained there for over six months. The publicity attendant on the ‘coincidence’ of her birthday and her latest production certainly helped, but Passenger to Frankfurt remains the most extraordinary book she ever wrote. Described, wisely, on the title page as ‘An Extravaganza’ – the description went some way towards mitigating the disappointment felt by both publishers and devotees – and showing little evidence of the ingenuity with which her name is still associated, this tale of international terrorism and engineered anarchy is difficult to write about honestly. Most devotees, myself included, consider it an aberration and, but for the fact that it is an ‘Agatha Christie’, would never have read it the first time, let alone re-read it over the forty years since its first appearance. Like other weaker novels from the same era, it begins with a compelling, if somewhat implausible, situation, but it degenerates into total unbelievability long before the end.