On this day in 1890, one of the world's best selling authors was born, Agatha Christie. In honor of her, we've compiled twenty of her most enlightening, comical, and mind-bending quotes.
You know the name. Sherlock Holmes is a pop culture icon, someone who everyone knows even if they haven’t read his books, seen his movies, or watched his numerous tv shows. He’s a focal point of British history and literature, having influenced dozens of fictional and even real detectives throughout his literary life. On this day (Oct. 14th), one of the seminal Holmes collections was published, entitled The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a collection of twelve short stories.
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First featured in The Strand magazine, the stories were very popular and boosted the subscriptions to the magazine, allowing Sherlock Holme’s author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to demand increased payment with each story published. Sidney Paget illustrated all twelve of the stories that came to be featured in the Adventures collection, in time coming to best known for his artwork accompanying the series. The collection includes numerous famous Sherlock Holmes tales, such as A Case of Identity, The Red-Headed League, The Adventure with the Speckled Band, and A Scandal in Bohemia. The last one was especially notable for featuring the character of Irene Adler, who although only made on appearance in the Holmes canon nevertheless became a feature of numerous adaptations, such as the BBC show Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
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The stories were well received upon their serialization, with critics describing them holding a ‘unique power’ and some even saying Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the best short story writer since Edgar Allen Poe. The stories themselves had been adapted frequently in other media, with many of the stories being featured in the Granda Television adaptation of the Holmes canon, which ran from 1984 to 1995. They were also adapted on the BBC Radio 4 program, which ran from 1990 to 1991. Elements, such as the previously noted Irene Adler, have of course being taken out and used as an overall influenced over numerous Holmes adaptations as well without specifically adapting a single story.
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Happy birthday to this seminal collection of Sherlock Holmes tales! Crack open your volume if you own one and give these stories another read together. What’s your favorite short story featured here? Tell us in the comments!
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CW’s new “Nancy Drew” series joins a growing trend of putting a dark spin on otherwise light-hearted source material. “Riverdale,” also produced by CW, is a gritty television adaptation of the Archie comics that started way back in the 1940’s. Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina gained somewhat of a cult following when it came out because of its darker take on “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” another character in the Archie universe. CW is continuing this trend with Nancy Drew, a darker take on everyone’s favorite detective from the 1930’s that stars Kennedy McMann as Nancy.
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Noga Landau, the writer and producer behind the series, has spoken briefly about the tone of the new show:
Nancy’s not so prim and proper like she was in the original books. She has complicated relationships with her friends and her father, too.
These relationships are an intricate part of the first season, which actually debuts tonight. And while the new Nancy Drew series is based off the original detective novels, it uses no existing plots or mysteries. Even die hard fans will be surprised! Viewers will be introduced to the new Nancy Drew just as she meets her soon-to-be best friends George Fayne and Bess Marvin. Audiences will also see Nancy in the middle of some family strife. The first season follows Nancy just after she’s lost her mother to a terminal illness.
In an interview with Larry Teng, the show’s director, he said he took a lot of inspiration from other recent thrillers like The Conjuring and The Haunting of Hill House. He’s also said the show’s color palette pays homage to the original novels with its use of yellow and blue. He also spoke a bit about staying true to the character:
She should be able to figure things out on her own and create her own plan of escape. We want to present a world on our show that was consensual and being led by a strong female who is in charge of her own body and her own mind.
The new series promises to be a modernized update of one of literature most beloved characters. As Landau says:
We aged (the characters) up to the year 2019. It was about making them feel modern and diverse and a little more complicated than the characters in the canon.
Featured image via Entertainment Weekly
Each week, Bookstr will be offering a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list. Today, we’ll be recommending five recent crime and thriller novels for your reading pleasure. Have a look at our choices and let us know what you think of our suggestions in the comments! Hopefully, you’ll add some of these for your ongoing reading list.
5. Sydney Noir edited by John Dale
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Sydney Noir is an anthology of stories about crime in Australia’s capital city, told through the eyes of different characters. It offers unique perspectives on the different aspects of crime in Sydney. It features never before published stories from fourteen of Australia’s lauded authors: Mandy Sayer, John Dale, Mark Dapin, Kirsten Tranter, Eleanor Limprecht, Leigh Redhead, Robert Drewe, Julie Koh, Peter Polites, Tom Gilling, Gabrielle Lord, Philip McLaren, P.M. Newton and Peter Doyle. Exploring crime in its many forms, the stories feature characters from all walks of Australian life, and will keep you turning the pages and learning about the dark underbelly of this fascinating nation.
4. American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
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American Spy tells a tale of espionage during Cold War. It centers on an African-American woman, Marie Mitchell whose career in the FBI has been stymied by racism and prejudice. Mitchell is finally given her chance to shine when she joins a shadowy task force to undermine public trust in Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary of Burkina Faso whose Communist leanings make him a target of American intervention. But Marie’s loyalties actually lie with Sankara’s ideology rather than that of her American bosses. Now, far from home and her every move being watched, she has to make a choice to follow her heart or serve her country.
3. The Coronation by Boris Akunin
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Boris Akunin has been called the Russian answer to Agatha Christie and his latest novel certainly cements that reputation. His latest mystery is set in Imperial Russia. During the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, the young son of Grand Duke Georgii Alexandrovich is kidnapped. A ransom letter demands the handover of the Count Orlov, an enormous diamond of the royal scepter that is due to play a major role in the coronation. Can gentleman detective Fandorin find the kidnappers in time for the coronation?
2. The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz
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The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz i a tightly paced and well written debut . In 2009 saw the supposed suicide of Edie, the star of a group of recent graduates in Brooklyn. The group all fell apart after her death. A decade later, one of her best friends, Lindsay, finds an unsettling video that suggest Edie didn’t commit suicide after all. Lindsay begins an investigation and unearths long buried secrets that Edie’s other friends have been hiding about what really happened that terrible night.
1. The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor
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The Hiding Place follows Joe, a teacher who never wanted to return to his hometown after his sister vanished. But when another kid disappears the exact same way, he feels he has no choice. He lies his way into a job at his old high school, ready to settle scores with ex-friends and old enemies. But returning to his old school isn’t the hard part. The worst part is returning to the mine where everything went wrong, and confronting the fact that what was worse than his sister vanishing… was her return. This is a chilling novel full of psychological suspense that we can definitely recommend!
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