Editing Poirot Investigates

The Book

Poirot Investigates is a collection of eleven short stories, in which famed eccentric Detective Poirot ingeniously solves mysterious cases involving greed, jealousy, and revenge. 

It was written by Agatha Christie, known for her sixty-six detective novels and fourteen short story collections. First published in the UK by The Bodley Head in March 1924, it's a classic literary marvel that has sold many millions of copies. 

The Philosophy

Even today, people who study English Literature learn about the genius and works of Agatha Christie.

And yet, she had to apply her incredible intellect to develop stories that celebrated the intelligence of a man (Hercule Poirot). It seems she thought this was the only feasible option.

She clearly wasn't satisfied by this because, in 1927, Agatha Christie became brave enough to tentatively start publishing stories featuring a woman as the ingenious protagonist investigator (Miss Marple). 

Another indication of her disatisfaction with that status quo was her choice of name. 

Agatha Christie needed a male name for her Detective. She decided upon 'Hercule Poirot'. The word "hercule" means "the glory of Hera", from the name of the Greek Goddess 'Hera' combined with the Greek word κλέος (kleos) meaning 'glory'. 

So, the name Agatha chose provided a connection to a powerful woman!

Nowadays, women are leading investigations across the world. Strong, clever women like Detective Jane Mugo feature in the news.

It's time to celebrate the true intellect behind Poirot - the intellect of the woman Agatha Christie. 

It's time to give women a place in one of the most significant works of literary history. 

It's time to edit this book!

Editing Method

I started with the Detective's first name: Hercule 

The word "hercule" means "the glory of Hera", from the name of the Greek Goddess 'Hera' combined with the Greek word κλέος (kleos) meaning 'glory'. 

And so, I've simply switched the Detective's name to Detective Hera Poirot.

As per Editing History style, I've also swapped the gender of characters throughout the book. These are very small changes, but they bring a refreshing change and new points of interest in the otherwise original text!

This has required some changes to other first names, but I've used the female version of the original name wherever possible. For example, Luigi Valdarno became Luigina Valdarno.

I've also found and switched racist words (e.g. 'jap' can be changed to Japanese person).

First Publication

This book has been published and is available via Amazon Kindle.

Next Steps

The whole time I was editing, I was thinking about the fact that Detective Jane Mugo was an inspiration for this work. 

She was already world famous and controversial before the BBC News feature article entitled Detective Jane Mugo: Meet Kenya's 'spy queen'.

As the CEO of Trimo security and a successful private investigator, Detective Mugo is a modern-day Poirot!

It would be incredible to reinforce these edits with the inspirational words of a powerful Detective who also just happens to be an incredibly intelligent woman too!

I'm going to reach out and invite her to add a Forward for the book. If she agrees, I'll re-publish it as a Second Edition. 

Watch this space. 😸

 xox Penelope