Istanbul, Oct 23 () - Istanbul’s Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah is hosting the “Black Week” event in honor of the 125th anniversary of the birth of popular novelist Agatha Christie’s birth, featuring a week of crime fiction-themed events.
The festival, which will continue until Oct 24, will include panel discussions at the historic hotel with local and international detective novelists.
Participants include Turkey’s foremost detective and mystery writer, Ahmet Ümit, and international writers such as Alexander McCall Smith, Leslie Klinger, Roberto Costantini and Mario Mendoza Zambrano.
Guests can also solve a mystery for themselves with “whodunit” nights taking place in popular bookstores throughout the Beyoğlu district where the hotel is located over the week.
Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard, was the guest of honor at the opening ceremony of the event on Oct. 22.
“She came here long before I was born. It may be just ordinary to be in a room full of her photos, but I know that she was very happy here,” said Prichard, adding that he felt strange to be in the hotel where his grandmother famously stayed while in Istanbul.
“Some people have some periods when they are unhappy. They need to go away and be alone. Sometimes they do it to delete this from their memory. I haven’t experienced it but I think she did. She moved away and came back” he added, speaking about the mysterious 11 days during which Christie disappeared.
“We have all the notebooks written by her. It is very difficult to read some of them, which is why some say she was mysterious. But she wasn’t. Also I’m afraid there is no new Agatha Christie book for me to bring out of a suitcase. It’s too late for that,” Prichard added.
He also noted that part of the royalties from his grandmother’s book sales was now being spent on performing arts and opera.