☛ Miss Marple makes a comeback

The Guardian reports:

The collection, titled Marple, marks the first time anyone other than [Agatha] Christie has written “official” (as recognised by the Christie estate) Miss Marple stories. The 12 women who contributed to the collection include award-winning crime writers Val McDermid and Dreda Say Mitchell, historical novelist Kate Mosse, classicist and writer Natalie Haynes and New York Times bestselling author Lucy Foley.

(If the Guardian link above doesn’t work for any reason, here is an alternative link from Smithsonian Magazine quoting The Guardian.)

This is great! Always room for more Marple mysteries for avid Christie readers such as me!

There have already been several new “official” Poirot novels, written by Sophie Hannah, also sanctioned by the Christie estate, that have been published in the last few years. I have read a couple of them, and they are pretty good reads! The author’s voice seems just that bit different — of course, that is to be expected, and indeed hoped for — and that’s a little jarring after years of reading Christie, but the plots and the characters are quite well-thought-written-fleshed-out. They won’t feel out of place amongst Christie’s Poirot mysteries.

If these new Marple stories are anywhere as good, then they will be worth looking out for.

☛ The ugly scandal that cancelled the Nobel prize in literature

From the Guardian:

In the eyes of its members, there is no more important cultural institution in the world than the Swedish Academy. The members, who call themselves The Eighteen (always in capitals), are elected for life by their peers, and meet for a ritual dinner every Thursday evening at a restaurant they own in the heart of the old town in Stockholm. And once a year, at a ceremony brilliant with jewels and formality, the permanent secretary of the academy hands out the Nobel prize in literature and all the world applauds.

But this year there will be no prize and no ceremony. In November 2017, it was revealed in the Swedish press that the husband of one of the academy members had been accused of serial sexual abuse, in assaults alleged to have taken place over more than 20 years. Jean-Claude Arnault, a French photographer and cultural entrepreneur, is married to the poet and academician Katarina Frostenson. In addition to assault accusations against him, the pair are accused of misusing academy funding. Arnault has denied all accusations, and Frostenson has refused to comment.

The academy is paralysed by the scandal, which was followed by a slew of resignations and expulsions. Six of The Eighteen have withdrawn from any part in its deliberations; another two were compelled to do so. The statutes say that 12 members must be present to elect any new ones, so with only 10, no important decisions can be taken and no new members elected.

What a mess this is. I’m tempted to say “you can’t make this stuff up”; would that be too ironical?