Yesterday, Wednesday 20 May, Agatha Christie, the ‘Queen of Crime’, broke a new world record for the book with the thickest spine – ever. For the first time, all the Miss Marple stories - 12 novels and 20 short stories - are collected and published in one volume, for fans and collectors alike.
The Complete Miss Marple runs to a staggering 4,032 pages. Its spine, a work of inspired engineering by master craftsmen, is over a foot thick (322mm). Agatha Christie already holds two world records – for the longest running play, The Mousetrap – and as the best-selling novelist of all time.
In all, 43 murders are solved: 12 poisonings; 6 strangulations; 2 drownings; 2 stabbings; a burning; one blow to the head; one death by an arrow and 2 people pushed.
There are 68 crimes committed; 11 philandering lovers; 68 secrets and lies; 22 false accusations; 59 red-herrings and 21 romances. 143 cups of tea are drunk in the massive volume, there are 66 maids and 47 garments are knitted.
It is a visually stunning book bound in dark red leather with gold lettering and red-edged pages. Weighing 8.02 Kg, it is presented in a suede-lined wooden box with brass fittings and a leather handle.
The Complete Miss Marple is introduced by Kate Mosse, a lifelong fan of Agatha Christie’s work and bestselling author of Labyrinth. She writes, ‘The character continues to speak to readers some eighty years and more after her debut precisely because, in those quiet moments at the end of the day or when a
difficult decision needs to be made, each of us wishes for our own Miss Marple to give clear and unequivocal advice’.
The book was launched and judged by Guinness World Records™ at Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London.
In his preface, Agatha Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard, writes, “My family and I are delighted to welcome the appearance of this giant Miss Marple book, the only way in which it has been possible to fulfil a long-held ambition of mine. Indeed, over the years, everyone has told me it could never be done – to collect together all my grandmother’s stories about Miss Marple into a single volume. Whilst this book is, in publishing terms, a landmark event, it also symbolises the great affection the public, both in Britain and elsewhere, have for Miss Marple. And with everything finally in one book, we hope that some people may even find a story or two they have not yet read!”
Only 500 copies of this limited edition record-breaking book have been produced and they retail at £1,000 each. They come complete with Guinness World Records™ certificate, can be purchased via http://www.agathachrisie.com/.
The Complete Miss Marple is 4,032 pages long and printed on Munken Pure 130gsm paper by Cromwell Press. It measures more than a foot in width (322mm) and weighs 8.02 kg. In its box, the book weighs 10.02 kg.