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Fan club keeps the magic alive

By Zhang kun (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-02-22 10:10
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Fan club keeps the magic alive

Fans just can't get enough of the exploits of French-speaking Hercule Poirot and the good-humored Miss Marple, the protagonists of murder mystery writer Agatha Christie's works.

Since Christie passed away in 1976, fans have been penning their own continuations of her suspense franchise.

China's largest online fan club devoted to Christie, found at www.cnajs.com, has more than 20,000 registered members.

In addition to delving into deep discussions about the author, they also upload their own writings based on the mystery series' original characters and settings.

"I enjoyed reading detective stories as a child," says the website's forum administrator who goes by the Internet name of "huosangnan" and has been involved with the online fan club since 2004.

Guizhou People's Press had published the Sherlock Holmes series and Christie's books, which captivated his imagination, the 24-year-old says.

He volunteered to present Chinese subtitles when the English-language play The Mousetrap was staged in Shanghai in 2010.

He also took second prize at a 2010 book review competition organized by 99 Readers Club, the publisher of the Chinese editions of Christie's novels.

The club organized various events to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Christie's birth, he says.

Huosangnan designed a quiz about Christie and other classic mystery writers.

He also gave 10 key words to members of the website's forum and asked users to write a detective story based on them within a time limit. Awards were given to the best works.

His forum focuses on film and theater productions of Christie's works, while others on www.cnajs.com focus on such topics as her characters, publication of her works in China and video games based on her writings. A popular forum is devoted to crime stories written by users.

"It's a quite mature genre that has created new sequels for classic works, such as the Holmes and Poirot series," he says. "Today's readers love the characters so much that they want more stories about them."

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