Poirot - CopyFamous Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot is set to return in print as a new novel will be published next year.

Agatha Christie’s famous sleuth will return in a novel penned by crime novelist and poet Sophie Hannah; the new novel has the backing of Christie’s family. The new novel hasn’t yet got a name but will be published in September 2014.

The last novel to feature the sleuth was Curtains which was published in 1975 after the death of Agatha Christie.  The new novel will be the first official Poirot novel since 1975 and the first not to be penned by Christie herself.

Author Sophie Hannah is quoted by BBC News as saying “I read and collected all her novels within a year, and have been a passionately – some might even say obsessively – devoted fan ever since. It was Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple who, between them, made me want to devote my working life to crime fiction and it was Christie’s brilliant plotting and deep understanding of the human psyche that shaped my identity as a crime writer.  Therefore, it is almost impossible to put into words how honoured I am to have been entrusted with this amazing project – in fact, I still can’t quite believe that this is really happening.”

The character of Hercule Poirot first appeared in the 1920 published book The Mysterious Affair at Styles and subsequently appeared in various other novels and short stories written by Christie. Some of the more famous novels featuring the sleuth include The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile.

Hercule Poirot is played on the small-screen by David Suchet in ITV’s Poirot series. The critically acclaimed drama started in 1989 and is due to conclude later this year by which time nearly all the novels in the Poirot range will have been adapted. The books have also been turned into films featuring Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov as the Belgian while radio adaptations have featured Peter Sallis, John Moffatt and Maurice Denham playing the character.

Marple_HicksonChristie also created the character of Miss Marple; an elderly sleuth who appeared in stories such as Murder at the Vicarage and Nemesis. Joan Hickson [pictured] is perhaps the most famous actress to portray Christie’s other famous sleuth in the BBC adaptations. ITV’s own version of Marple originally starred Geraldine McEwan but currently stars Julie McKenzie as the sleuth with a new Marple film due to air later this year.

Poirot is one of several characters in recent times to be resurrected following the death of their original author. In recent years new novels featuring James Bond, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula have been published giving their respective brands new leases of life.

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