A delectable collector’s edition of Agatha Christie’s Sparkling Cyanide joins the Folio Society crime library. With exquisite illustrations by Michael Philip Dunbabin.
Illustrated by Sally Dunne
The newest addition to the Folio crime library is Crooked House, the book that Agatha Christie herself believed was one of her best. This edition features evocative illustrations by Sally Dunne.
A mysterious poisoning. A house full of eccentric characters. And one amateur sleuth racing to fit all of the crooked pieces together. Crooked House is the epitome of an Agatha Christie novel – in fact, Christie herself described it as one of her own ‘special favourites’. Acknowledged the world over as the undisputed queen of crime, Christie composed the plot of Crooked House with all her usual brilliance, teasing the reader with multiple red herrings and canny psychological insights before leading them to a resolution that still has the power to shock, even today. This edition features seven evocative colour illustrations by artist Sally Dunne that perfectly capture the 1940s period and country-house setting, as well as a binding design that, like Christie’s writing, is both beautiful and sinister.
Three-quarter bound in blocked cloth, with a printed and blocked Modigliani paper front board
Set in Bell with Kabel as display
Frontispiece plus 6 colour illustrations
9˝ x 5¾˝
‘Well, in books there’s always a second murder about now. Someone who knows something is bumped off before they can tell what they know’
Charismatic businessman and patriarch Aristide Leonides has been poisoned in his own home. Charles Hayward hoped to marry Leonides’ granddaughter Sophia, yet instead finds himself in the midst of a dangerous mystery. The eye of suspicion falls heavily on Aristide’s second wife – the cuckoo in the nest was decades younger than her husband, and perhaps she couldn’t wait a few more years for the hefty inheritance she was due. The atmosphere inside the great house is thick with intrigue, and Charles is scrambling for the truth when a second attempted murder shocks the family to their core. Surely the killer couldn’t be among them? It appears that the murderer knows the Leonides family all too well, and their reign of terror is far from over…
For this irresistible collectors edition of Crooked House, artist Sally Dunne has created seven elegant colour illustrations. Dunne moved back to rural Ireland and lived for a time in her own family’s country house while she worked on the images for the book; the resulting illustrations are heady with wistful nostalgia and beautifully capture the period. The binding design, which places the method of poisoning at the heart of the cover, also features charming botanical illustrations of foxgloves and yew bushes, which are also, of course, poisonous plants – a fact with which the meticulous Christie would have been very familiar. The author herself described the process of writing Crooked House as ‘pure pleasure’, and with its exquisite plotting and shocking dénouement, it continues to entertain and thrill readers all over the world.
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and is the author of over 80 works, including detective novels and short stories, 19 plays, and six novels published under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was published in 1920 and introduced the world to Hercule Poirot, who would become one of the most popular fictional detectives since Sherlock Holmes (as would another of Christie’s sleuths, the amateur detective Miss Marple). In 1952 her play The Mousetrap premiered in London’s West End and has run continuously ever since. Christie’s books have sold more than two billion copies in over 100 languages (said to be outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare), and have been adapted many times for film and television. She was made a dame in 1971 and died in Oxfordshire in 1976. In 2013, she was voted the greatest crime writer of all time by the Crime Writers’ Association.
Sally Dunne graduated from the Cambridge School of Art, Angela Ruskin University with an MA in Children’s Book Illustration and began her professional career by winning the Student of the Year V&A Illustration Awards 2020. Folio Art Director Sheri Gee was a member of the judging panel and was so impressed with Sally’s work that she commissioned her to illustrate Crooked House (2021). Sally lives in Ireland and draws inspiration from her surroundings. She enjoys working with a combination of pastel and coloured pencil as well as painting with watercolour.
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