Well, the first step is done. I sent my manuscript off to a book design firm that promises to convert my word file to something that Kindle can use, in a form that the reader can read. I found a site on the Internet that promises to analyze my writing style and compare it to the style of famous authors. So I posted a chapter to see what would result. 

I was hoping for a favorable comparison with masters of the genre, Joseph Wambaugh, George V. Higgins, Dashiell Hammet, Raymond Chandler, John LeCarre or even Ross MacDonald. What I got was Dame Agatha Christie. I have to admit my first reaction was a letdown. Being compared to an author born in the late Victoria period whose main characters were a fussy Belgian detective of undetermined sexual inclinations and a busy body old maid kind of flies in the face of self-image.

Upon reflection, I’m not so letdown. I have read some of Agatha Christie’s work. I can’t say every story is a murder mystery, but a great many are. That makes her more bloodthirsty that George V Higgins. It is true Dame Christie’s murders were more genteel in nature, but her body count would give the rest of the crew a run for the money. Christie did most of her writing in the twenties and thirties, and those stories are still quite readable today. She has sold more books than any other author. I guess I can live with that.

About Agatha Christie

Picture of Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie DBE (née Miller; 15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976) was a British crime writer of novels, short stories, and plays. She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best remembered for her 66 detective novels, and more than 15 short story collections (especially those featuring Hercule Poirot or Miss Jane Marple), and her successful West End plays.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time. Her novels have sold roughly four billion copies, and her estate claims that her works rank third, after those of William Shakespeare and the Bible, as the most widely published books. According to Index Translationum, Christie is the most translated individual author, with only the collective corporate works of Walt Disney Productions surpassing her. Her books have been translated into at least 103 languages.