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Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks

Agatha Christie wrote more than 90 books, most of them mysteries, which have sold an estimated four billion copies. How did she do it and why?

HarperCollins – with whom she first signed a three-book deal back in 1924 – is about to publish Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks, a hefty volume that details, exhaustively, the contents of the 73 extant notebooks in which she sketched out plots for her detective fiction.

Christie biographer Laura Thompson discusses the notebooks and suggests the clues lie elsewhere.

As to why we like to read mysteries - those clues lie within us.

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