Hercule Poirot: Belgian sleuth back from grave in new book
Almost 40 years after he was killed off by Agatha Christie, Poirot is to be resurrected by Sophie Hannah
HERCULE POIROT, the fictional Belgian detective killed off 38 years ago by his creator, Agatha Christie, is to be resurrected in a new novel.
In a move inspired by the literary revival of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Ian Fleming's James Bond, Poirot will be brought back from the grave in a new book by a contemporary author.
The writer charged with giving the portly Belgian sleuth the kiss of life is British crime novelist Sophie Hannah. Commissioned by Agatha Christie's estate and publisher HarperCollins, her new book will be set “vaguely in the late 1920s", The Guardian reports.
Christie first introduced Poirot to her readers in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, a book published in 1920. He made his exit 55 years later in Curtain: Poirot's Last Case.
Hannah told the paper she was nervous about stepping into Christie's shoes.
"Anyone who wasn't daunted by a project like this would have to be insane," she said. "Agatha Christie is the greatest crime writer of all time and it is a huge, huge honour for me to be the person chosen to do this. I do have a sense of trepidation but I don't think I'd be able to write the best possible book if I didn't, if I was at all complacent about it."
Hannah, whose contemporary psychological crime novels include Little Face and Lasting Damage, was chosen to write the new book after submitting a 100-page outline of the plot to the Christie estate. Her Poirot novel is scheduled to be published in September next year.
Mathew Prichard, Christie's grandson, said the estate was not interested in commissioning a new book at first, despite the success of Sebastian Faulks' James Bond novel, Devil May Care. Because Christie wrote many more books than Ian Fleming, Prichard believed there “wasn't enough room in our canon" for a new Poirot title.
He says he was won over by the argument that Hannah's book will increase interest in Christie's work as a whole.
Asked what Christie would have made of the idea, he said: "All authors would rather write their own books themselves. But I hope the arguments would mollify her – she really did care that as many people as possible in as many countries as possible read her books." ·