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Reading Agatha Christie for pleasure, mental exercise-- & English: English Detective #124
March 05, 2019
Reading Agatha Christie for pleasure, mental exercise-- & English-- #124
Have you read any of Agatha Christie’s mysteries? I’m guessing you have, if you’ve read any fiction in English. Her detectives Hercules Poirot and Miss Marple are almost as well known as Sherlock Holmes, and many of her “closed room” mysteries are classics.
Two (or Many) More Perspectives on ChristieFor some fun (and often surprising) facts about Christie, check out “8 Things You May Not Know” about Christie by biography.com
The Irish Times offers a very brief glimpse into Christie’s thinking by the man who asked to go through her notebooks.
They also have a very long article giving contemporary mystery writers’ opinions of Christie, how she influenced them, and their choices for her best works.
I read the whole article but finally realized it’s too long to recommend. However, it was very interesting to note that MOST of these crime novelists read her in their teens (or before!), and she moved a number of them to choose mystery writing.
A few of them feel her characters are “cardboard” (standard or stereotyped rather than fully-developed individuals), but the majority still enjoy her books, admire her skill, and enthusiastically recommended a wide range of favorites.
Detective VocabularyThe best page I know for practicing detective vocabulary is Be a Word Detective. It suggests putting detection language into categories and then filling in the blanks in a gap-fill story about crime and investigation.
If you’ve been reading “English Detective” very long, it’s probably obvious I’m fascinated by scientific and medical research as well as mysteries. (In fact, in college I did an independent study on the history of disease.)
A few years ago, I wrote some short articles for English learners on “The Impact of Disease in History,” “Solving the Mystery of Yellow Fever,” and “The Mystery of Scurvy,” as well as some lesson plans for using them and some ideas for student investigations of major “Disease Detectives” like Louis Pasteur, John Snow, and Walter Reed.
Those lesson plans are available as “Medical Mysteries” or as individual lessons on the Reading Comp. Lesson Plans page,
I just finished making the same true stories and comprehension questions into downloads for individual study. (The first set was designed for teachers and for classroom use.) If you’re interested, they’re on the Reading Comprehension Worksheets page.
In the next several issues I hope to look at Earth Day topics: links between protecting wildlife and human welfare and innovation for a greener, better future.
Catherine Simonton, EnglishHints.com
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