Little, Brown imprint Sphere has acquired a book from Carla Valentine exploring the forensics of Agatha Christie novels.
Senior commissioning editor Rhiannon Smith bought UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights for Murder Isn’t Easy from Martin Redfern at Northbank Talent Management. Sphere will publish hardback, e-book and audio editions in spring 2020, with a paperback to follow in 2021.
Alongside the murders in Christie’s novels, Valentine will look into the real-life cases that inspired the novels. The synopsis states: “Carla will explore how Christie kept at the cutting edge of developments in forensics: How would Poirot have been so easily able to identify a bullet from a Mauser pistol? How would Miss Marple have knowledge of blood spatter patterns?”
Valentine, a curator of the Victorian Pathology Museum and qualified mortuary technician, previously wrote Past Mortems, published by Sphere in 2017.
Smith said: “It was a delight working with Carla on Past Mortems, so when she and Martin approached me with this project I was thrilled. Much of the editing of Carla’s memoir was spent discussing out shared love of crime books and TV, so I can’t think of a better subject for her to bring all of her amazing forensic knowledge to.”
Valentine added: “Agatha Christie wrote her books during an exciting era of scientific discovery. She was aware of some of the most famous contemporary criminal cases – as well as more obscure ones – and she frequently referenced them, or was inspired by them, throughout her works. Because of her unusually long career, it’s possible to chart the fascinating developments in medico-legal sciences via her books, including the use of fingerprints, blood-spatter analysis, ballistics and toxicology – all of which I’m excited to turn into engaging chapters in Murder Isn’t Easy.”