I must confess that I am writing this without having finished every page of this work. I commend any author for attempting to sort out and cross-reference every character and piece of writing, along with film and TV adaptations, of as prolific an author as Agatha Christie. But I have two complaints. The first is that, so far in my reading, there have been a great many silly errors throughout, ranging from wholly incorrect names to the misidentification of a character's position in a novel (in one example, a person is listed as a victim when in reality that person is the killer!), to incorrect details in plot. For a long-standing fan of Dame Agatha's work, the relatively large amount of errors suggests sloppy research and makes the author's methods suspect.
The other point that strikes me is that I am not sure who the author considers his intended audience for this book. The entries of the novels are particularly light in terms of fact or discussion. They tend to describe the beginnings of the stories in great detail and then end quickly with "And then Poirot solves the case. The notes following these synopses are often quite brief, with a casual mention of of trivia ("This novel demonstrates Christie's knowledge of poisons) or a recounting of an anecdote well-known to real Christie fans, such as an explanation for why a particular book was dedicated to a particular person. I suppose these stories would be of most interest to new readers of Christie, although why they would be reading this book rather than the novels and stories themselves is puzzling to me. For a person such as myself who has made a study of Christie's work and read each book many times with pleasure, he or she should be warned that Bunson's work doesn't offer much insight into Christie's mind, style, much less any new "fun facts" about our favorite novels.
When the author moves from the section on novels to the one on characters, the errors become deeper, not just ones of fact but of, I assume, perception. Here's an example: Maude Abernethie, a character from "After the Funeral," one of my favorite Christie novels: "An imperious member of the ... family....She is the very dominant wife of Timothy Abernethie, and uses her position to keep her husband under her control. It thus comes as a terrible blow to her when she breaks her ankle and is forced to employ the cook and housekeeper, Mrs. Gilchrist, thereby losing a little control over her husband." I don't see how anyone could interpret Maude as a dominant character. She is completely under the thumb of her hypochondriacal husband and does everything she can to protect his interests. HE controls HER. And to add a little period to the mistakes, the author has married off MISS Gilchrist! I know I sound picky, but a true fan of Christie has a right to expect accuracy, if not enlightenment.
I can't ask for a book to be something it's not, but I long for a book that really analyzes Christie's work. I know it's usually considered forbidden to reveal endings, (I wouldn't mind this at all, since I know all the solutions!), but a look at Christie's observations of British society through an analysis of her characters and plots would be fascinating to me. Even an encyclopedia that delves a bit more into a plot or a character than this work does would have been more enjoyable for this big time Christie fan to read.