The independent publisher Self Made Hero is set to release a graphic novel perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, which goes on sale 10 May. Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie begins with the author’s mysterious disappearance in December 1926 and turns into a biographical adventure with some of her fictional characters thrown in to be her companions.
Written by Anne Martinetti and Guillaume Lebeau, two French crime fiction lovers (and experts), the book’s artwork was created by Alexandre Franc. Its light and playful Gallic tone does away with any Anglo-Saxon seriousness making Agatha a delight to read, with artwork reminiscent of a newspaper’s political cartoon. The wit is there to match.
In the early part of the story, we see redhead Agatha ditching her car by a pool in Surrey, catching a train to London and then getting a connection to Harrogate, where she checks in at the Swan Hotel. While her husband is grilled by the police, and Conan Doyle comments that her disappearance is a brilliant publicity stunt, a troubled Agatha sits down with Hercule Poirot and muses about her husband’s infidelity.
Continuing in this whimsical style, the story spools back to her childhood and how she was inspired by books like The Hound of the Baskervilles, but also covers Agatha Christie’s later years. In 1968, she sits for a portrait by the expressionist Oskar Kokoschka and three years later goes to see the Queen. As you’d expect there are trains and isolated island settings, a trip to Egypt, and lots more chat with the diminutive Belgian.
The appendices at the back include a timeline stretching from Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller’s birth in 1890 to her death 1976, and a bibliography.
Here, you can feast your eyes on some of the artwork and if you tap the Amazon button below you can order a copy for £12.99, which is the going rate for a graphic novel these days. It’ll make a wonderful gift.