Solved: The mystery of Agatha Christie's missing Miss Marple

Now, the case of the missing amateur detective has finally been solved after a new story featuring her was discovered, 35 years after her creator's death.

Christie expert John Curran has unearthed previously unseen material including the Miss Marple short story and a further two new short stories, to be published by
HarperCollins in Agatha Christie's Notebooks And Beyond next September, the 'Sunday Express' reported.

"These three new stories have come out of another rummage through the archive," said David Brawn, HarperCollins’ publishing director. When Christie's Devon home Greenway was given to the National Trust, cabinets and boxes undisturbed for 25 years were examined for the first time since the author's death, and the new material was discovered.

Curran's book, a companion piece to his recent work, Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks, will also reveal the original ending for her first novel, The Mysterious Affair At Styles, which her publisher insisted she change.

Brawn added: "Everyone assumed that the original ending was long lost. But in one of the earliest notebooks the original novel is written out in longhand. It's quite a different version of what has become a familiar tale."

There will be details about the novel that Christie was working on when she died in 1976, aged 85. "The book will follow her career from her very first book to what might have been her very last," said Brawn.

The Miss Marple story is a radical reworking of an existing unnamed story that neither Brawn nor Curran will name, although Brawn added: "The differences are a revelation." Curran added: "There is a very early draft of a story that she subsequently rewrote and which is very unusual because there is an element of the supernatural."

Christie remains the biggest-selling fiction author ever, her sales exceeded only by Shakespeare and the Bible, having sold more than two billion books.

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