John Curran on Agatha Christie: “If I learned anything from my study of the Christie Notebooks – and my deciphering of her frequently indecipherable handwriting – it was that to create a story that reads easily, you need to work very hard.” Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

I first saw the Notebooks of Agatha Christie on Friday, November 11th, 2005. Her grandson, Mathew Prichard, had invited me to spend the weekend at Gre(...)

The new Stieg Larsson: David Lagercrantz, author of The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Photograph: Moa Karlberg/New York Times

Once upon a time every crime writer from anywhere north of Letterkenny who produced a half-decent book was described as the new Stieg Larsson. But (...)

Although slightly off the beaten path, ‘First Editions’ is really worth a visit and the contents of the shop will delight book lovers of all types and ages. Photograph: Declan Clancy

Who collects books these days? “Mostly men in their 50s and upwards,” according to Allan Gregory the proprietor of ‘First Editions’ who specialises in(...)

Sunjeev Sahota who wrote ‘The Year of the Runaways’. Photograph:  Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images

The Year of the Runaways - Sunjeev Sahota At a chunky 450-plus pages, Sunjeev Sahota’s The Year of the Runaways is a big book. The title is a b(...)

‘Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?” Edmund Wilson asked in the New Yorker in 1945. Taking its title from Who Killed Roger Ackroyd? , an Agatha Chris(...)

French new wave: François Ozon shooting his film Young & Beautiful

François Ozon first came to prominence in 1998, when Sitcom, his debut feature, won over critics and an international audience. The Paris-born film-ma(...)

Belmond Grand Hibernian: the firm has refitted 11 Irish Rail carriages for luxury at a cost of $10 million.

Imagine the Orient Express, luxury dining cars in tow, steaming through Limerick junction – and not an Irish Rail ham sandwich in sight.It’s set to (...)

Peter Swanson: ‘Goldfinger by Ian Fleming... was the first adult book I read. It was filled with sex and violence and it was a real page turner. I thought: Where can I get more books like this?’

Peter Swanson is the author of two novels, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart, and The Kind Worth Killing (Faber & Faber, £14.99). His poems, st(...)

PD James’s  first novel was Cover Her Face (1962), which harked back to the cosy murders of the golden age, set in a country house with a body in a locked room and a cast including the vicar and a genial country doctor.

PD James, latterly Lady James of Holland Park, who has died aged 94, was the grande dame of the British crime novel. She was a link with the golden ag(...)

Joe Millar Who volunteered for the Irish Red Cross in 1945 (centre) pictured with other volunteers from left to right Jane Ronan, Cormac McGinn, Emma Gannon, Andrew Patton, Paraic McGahey, Lea Pepper and Barbara Cole. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

‘That it’s only about overseas aid.” “And disasters.” “And it’s only for adults.” There are nine of us sitting in the slightly chilly meeti(...)