Published: Queering Agatha Christie

The middle of September was hectic in a good way. In the coming weeks I’ll release a review card for the Agatha Christie birthday celebrations in Torquay, and a blog post detailing the Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, for which I acted as blogger-in-residence. On the personal side of things, I have agreed to do some lecturing at Middlesex University in London, my sister got married, and Alan and I moved into our own house in Suffolk! And …

QUEERING AGATHA CHRISTIE: REVISITING THE GOLDEN AGE OF DETECTIVE FICTION, my first monograph, has been published by Palgrave Macmillan as a hardback and ebook.

 

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This book is the first fully theorized queer reading of a Golden Age British crime writer. Agatha Christie was the most commercially successful novelist of the twentieth century, and her fiction remains popular. She created such memorable characters as Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple, and has become synonymous with a nostalgic, conservative tradition of crime fiction. J.C. Bernthal reads Christie through the lens of queer theory, uncovering a playful, alert, and subversive social commcljbhyiwkaakgjbentary. After considering Christie’s emergence in a commercial market hostile to her sex, Bernthal explores homophobic stereotypes, gender performativity, queer children, and masquerade in key texts published
between 1920 and 1952. Christie engaged with debates around human identity in a unique historical period affected by two world wars. The final chapter considers twenty-first century Poirot and Marple adaptations, with visible LGBT characters, and poses the question: might the books be queerer?

You can get this book in either format through Palgrave’s official website. It’s also available from Amazon and most book retailers. Or you can download the chapters individually. Please do consider ordering a copy for your library.

For news of other forthcoming publications, please check the ‘Publications’ tab.