Book Review – January 2014 – Sallie Eden

Star Over Bethlehem and other stories by Agatha Christie Mallowan

Published by HarperCollins ebooks and in a hardback facsimile edition, November 2010

Star_Over_Bethlehem5Prompted by the recent TV broadcast of the final Poirot story, I have been searching out some of Agatha Christie’s less well known work, including this volume which contains a range of poems, religious and war stories, some for adults and others suitable for children.

It is described as a “unique volume of three of Agatha Christie’s rarest and most sought-after books – Star Over Bethlehem, The Road of Dreams and Poems”.

Written over a period of around 20 years, the stories include the birth of Jesus, a woman who really doesn’t like people and, my favourite, “The Naughty Donkey”. Some of the poems focus on the Advent and Christmas seasons, others cover war and loss and, in “A Masque from Italy” the characters of Pierrot and Pierrette and their companions are explored..

Verdict: A delightful discovery. Whilst poetry is a probably a niche interest, some of the poems are very good indeed and would make wonderful festive hymns. Even the stories which didn’t really appeal to me are well written…obviously; they are written by the greatest ever author (in my opinion).

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