It’s a pretty typical belief that technology stands in the way of our collective ability to read a book or maintain a five-minute attention span (insert edgy comic art of headphones strangling teens here). In fact, technology has lead to groundbreaking developments in publishing. Here’s another one—the world’s top bestselling author, James Patterson, has released a jaw-dropping thriller for Facebook Messenger months ahead of its print release.
Image Via Theverge.com
James Patterson’s latest, The Chef, is an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride following a respected officer fighting serious criminal allegations. Set amidst the revelry and decadence of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras festival, this crime novel will give you cause to celebrate (only after you’re done biting your nails and/or staying up until four in the morning to finish). Patterson writes: Police detective by day, celebrity food truck chef by night, now Caleb Rooney has a new title: Most Wanted. Users can find The Chefby searching for it in the app—but that’s not the only exciting new development. Patterson’s interactive story goes far beyond words on a screen.
Image Via Techcrunch.com
Using the Internet’s potential to its full extent, Patterson has included sound clips and videos that connect with the story. This multimedia content will help readers to envision the novel’s thrilling locations and feel closer to its protagonists. There are also Instagram accounts for the major characters—all to enhance the feeling that these characters (and the dangers they face) are real and immediate. Best of all, the online release comes three months before the print version! Physical copies of The Chefwill be available in February. There will also be Live Q&A with Patterson during which he will answer all your questions—unless your question is how does it end!? For that, you’ll have to keep reading and scrolling!
Gif Via Tenor.com
Patterson, the world’s wealthiest author and recipient of the only ever nine-figure book deal, has made previous forays into the new frontier of electronic publishing—in fact, he broke yet another all-time record by becoming the first author to publish one million ebooks. Journeying into experimental publishing territory may be one thing that Patterson is not the first or only author to do. Recently, HarperCollins released the first ever Snapchat adaptation of a novel using source material from Suzy Cox‘s The Dead Girls Detective Agency. Still, it’s likely that Patterson’s multimedia breakthrough will be unprecedented in its success (unless, of course, it’s precedented only by him).
Has anyone ever spoiled the ending of a book to you and it made you so mad you wanted to kill them? Well, a Russian scientist at a remote Antarctic outpost tried to do just that. According to the New York Post, researcher Sergey Savitsky, stationed at Bellingshausen on King George Island, stabbed his colleague in the chest because the man kept telling him the endings of books before he had read them.
The Russian Bellingshausen station in Antarctica | Image Via The Irish Times
It was apparently the first ever attempted murder of a human being in Antarctica, and it’s not immediately clear what books Sergey was reading the endings of which were so precious to him that spoilers led to extreme violence. The victim is expected to survive, and has been flown to a hospital in Chile.
The two men had worked together for four years in the hostile Antarctic conditions, and the close working conditions probably didn’t help their relationship. Sergey himself was taken back to Russia and arrested. Presumably, he’ll have plenty of books to read in prison, hopefully this time spoiler free.
J.K. Rowling is serving up a new twisted mystery this fall with the release of ‘Lethal White’, the fourth installment in the Strike series. Rowling shared an update on Twitter recently, unveiling the book’s eerie cover and release date of September 18 2018.
Written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith,the Cormoran Strike series follows private detective Cormoran Strike and his partner Robin Ellacott as they investigate brutal murders throughout London. Lethal White is a follow-up to Career of Evil, which was released three years ago and though fans have been waiting longer than anticipated for the new installment, the synopsis is certainly worth the wait.
I seen a kid killed… He strangled it, up by the horse.
When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.
Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott – once his assistant, now a partner in the agency – set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.
And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been – Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much more tricky than that…
Lethal White will be released on September 18 2018
The Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie, is one of the most significant authors in literary history and by far one of my favorite writers. With best-selling novels like And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express, Christie has managed to enchant millions of readers through her shocking plots and memorable characters.
Through her incredible writing, Christie has delivered some very important life lessons, such as walking through life with an air of questioning and not taking things (or people) at face value. Perhaps, however, the most important lessons learned through Christie’s writing are the small yet powerful pieces of advice. Here are 10 Agatha Christie quotes to enlighten you:
“The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”
—Murder on the Orient Express
“One doesn’t recognize the really important moments in one’s life until it’s too late.”
“The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to seekers after it.”
—The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
“Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it.”
“To every problem, there is a most simple solution.”
“I do not argue with obstinate men. I act in spite of them.”
—The Mystery of the Blue Train
“Instinct is a marvelous thing. It can neither be explained nor ignored.”
—The Mysterious Affair at Styles
“Everything must be taken into account. If the fact will not fit the theory – let the theory go.”
—The Mysterious Affair at Styles
“I often wonder why the whole world is so prone to generalise. Generalisations are seldom if ever true and are usually utterly inaccurate.”
Known as the ‘Queen of Mystery’ Agatha Christie’s iconic murder mysteries have haunted readers for decades, with over 2 billion books sold worldwide. Responsible for creating some of the most iconic characters and stories, including mystery detective Hercule Poirot, the legacy of this British novelist is unparalleled.
The best-selling novelist of all-time has defined the mystery genre through her mysterious, bizarre, and shocking storylines. Her memorable characters are only rivaled by the Christie’s own unforgettable backstory. Here are fourteen facts about Agatha Christie that are downright shocking, bizarre, utterly entertaining.
1. Her first novel was inspired by a dare.
As a teenager Agatha Christie experimented with poetry and short stories. However it wasn’t until her sister challenged her to attempt a longer written work that she wrote her first novel. Her novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), introduced detective Hercule Poirot, who would later become a popular literary icon.
2. She mysteriously disappeared for 11 days…leading to alien abduction conspiracies.
In 1926, Christie’s life suddenly became a mystery novel in itself when, grieving the devastating death of her mother, and going through a divorce from her husband Colonel Archibald Christie, Christie abruptly disappeared. Her family, police, and the public were left bewildered. She vanished without a trace, leaving behind her daughter (in the care of household staff), wedding ring, and abandoned car, which led to a manhunt that ultimately turned up nothing. Eleven days later she was finally sighted… at a spa hotel in which she had been staying the entire time, under the name of her husband’s mistress. Christie claimed to have had amnesia, and her bizarre disappearance was never fully explained.
Throughout the sensationalized ordeal there were countless theories surrounding Christie’s disappearance. Some people theorized that the whole ordeal was a publicity stunt to increase book sales. Others believed Christie’s amnesia was real, perhaps as a result of an accident. Others believed Christie was attempting to setup her husband and characterize him as a suspect Gone Girl style. Those theories are not nearly as interesting as one put forth by Gareth Roberts, one of the writers for BBC’s Doctor Who. In an episode titled, “The Unicorn and the Wasp”, the writer theorized that Christie indeed suffered amnesia after a traumatic encounter with an alien wasp. Could it be true? Guess we’ll never know for sure.
3. She pursued smoking… but failed.
Though nowadays millions of people try desperately to give up smoking, Christie tried desperately to take up the habit. World War I had popularized tobacco, so smoking was seen as lavish and didn’t have the reputation that it does now. Wanting to fit in, Christie experimented, however she just couldn’t get in to it.
4. She had a taste for poison.
During World War I, Christie worked as an apothecaries assistant and handled a variety of toxins, leading her to developing an advanced knowledge of poisons. Her interest in poison translated on paper, as it was her preferred method of murder in many of her works. Her preference stemmed in part from her aversion to graphic violence. It may help too that it makes the murder suspect all the more mysterious.
5. Her mother was psychic.
Christie’s mother, Clarissa Boehmer, was a self-proclaimed clairvoyant who reportedly convinced her children that she could see the future. Her esoteric beliefs reportedly led her to refrain from teaching Christie how to read at a young age (though the author taught herself) and homeschooling her.
6. She once held the Guinness World Record for the world’s thickest book.
In 2009 HarperCollins published a collection of Christie’s Miss Marple stories – comprising of twelve novels and twenty short stories. The collectionfeatured a mere sixty-eight crimes committed, sixty-eight secrets and lies, twenty-two false accusations, twenty-one romances, and 143 cups of tea consumed, delivering a whopping 4,032 pages, weighing more than fifteen pounds, and priced at $1,500 dollars. The record was surpassed in 2013 when a 89,471 page book titled Verdens Største Ordbog (The world’s largest dictionary) was published in Denmark.
Image Via Mental Floss
7. She had a passion for archaeology.
Christie’s second husband, Max Mallowan, was an archeologist and frequently invited her along on his expeditions to the Middle East. These expeditions greatly influenced her writing. Christie and her husband often traveled on The Orient Express, which later inspired her successful murder mystery, Murder on the Orient Express (1934). Influences of her time spent in the Middle East can be seen in many of her works including, Murder in Mesopotamia (1936), Death on the Nile (1937), Appointment with Death (1938), and They Came to Baghdad (1951).
8. She holds another record as the first woman to surf standing up.
Though many famed writers, including J.D. Salinger, were recluses who shut themselves away with their work, Christie wasn’t one of them. She loved spending time outdoors and had a particular passion for surfing. Her interest arose during a stay in Hawaii and she is believed to be the first British woman who surfed while standing up.
9. Her fear of poverty inspired her portrayal of money as a motive.
Though she was born to a middle-class family, Christie was conscious of the power and limitations of money throughout the childhood after her father experienced financial setbacks. After her father passed away when she was eleven, the author was reportedly haunted by a constant worry of her family’s financial situation. Tracing the author’s life, career, and legacy in her 2007 biography, Agatha Christie: An English Mystery, Laura Thompson wrote, “Agatha had a fear of poverty, deriving from her memory of the sudden downward swoop of the Miller fortunes. Money is central to Agatha’s writings. As both Poirot and Miss Marple [Christie’s two most famous characters] are aware, it constitutes the prime motive for crime.”
10. She was a self-proclaimed “sausage machine.”
Though the exact number of works written by Christie varies between sources, everyone agrees that she wrote a freaking lot. The “queen of mystery” is known not only for her compelling reads, but the sheer volume of written works. At the height of her career, Christiereferred to herself as a “sausage machine,” in reference to her ability to churn out a lot of material rapidly.
11. Her pseudonym Mary Westmacott remained a secret for nearly two decades.
Though the name Agatha Christie is known by many, the famed author also wrote six novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott around 1930. Unlike the murder mysteries associated with her name, the author created a new reputation by diving into the romance genre releasing titles like Giant’s Bread (1930). Her pseudonym went undisclosed for nearly 20 years.
12. Her number of sold works outnumbers the populations of China and America (combined).
Christie has sold more than 2 billion copies of her written work, cementing her status as the best-selling novelist of all time.
13. She detested marmalade pudding.
Christie disliked marmalade pudding, so much so in fact that she used it as a murder accessory in her novel A Pocket Full of Rye (1953). Perhaps she wanted to warn off readers from consuming the treat. Guess we’ll never know.
14. Her protagonist Hercule Poirot was adored by many people… except for Christie herself.
One of the most prolific literary characters is Christie’s murder mystery detective Hercule Poirot, who made around 100 appearances in Christie’s works. Though beloved by many, the author repeatedly voiced her dislike of Poirot, once referring to him as an “detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep.” In an interview with BBC, Christie’s grandson Matthew Prichardrevealed that the Poirot’s popularity with readers led Christie’s publishers to push the writer to continuously “churn out” Poirot mysteries. So if you think his frequent appearances was a result of Christie’s love of him, think again.