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Talent to Deceive: An Appreciation of Agatha Christie

With over two billion copies of her books sold, Agatha Christie is a phenomenon: a highly respected mystery writer, she is the most widely read author of our time. As bestsellers, her books bow only to Shakespeare and the Bible.


Robert Barnard, Professor of English Literature and distinguished author of ‘classic style, mystery novels, is uniquely suited to examine the Christie cannon and pinpoint the nature of its appeal. In this fully revised edition of A Talent to Deceive (first published in 1979) Barnard Analyses Christie’s stratagems of deception and her unmatched ability to divert the reader’s attention from the matter of real importance, and subjects the incomparable Hercule Poirot and the shrewd Miss Jane Marple to his perceptive critical scrutiny.