If you’re new to the site and would like to get involved please click on one of the buttons in the box below.

When is Sleeping Murders set?

I'm doing a university project on Sleeping Murders where I'm creating props based off of the novel, but I'm struggling to find an exact date for when it is set. I feel that it was around the late 1930s but I wonder if anyone knows the specific year, and as a result when the original murder happened? I might just be being totally oblivious but thought someone might be able to help. Thanks!


  • taliavishay-arbeltaliavishay-arbel ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 17
    It was written during the blitz (1940-1941) and is considered to be set in the 30s. Since usually her novels are set near the time of writing, I would guess late 30s. 
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States mod
    Please excuse my disagreement, but John Curran's research indicates that Sleeping Murder was actually written (or at least revised) during the 1950's, and some Christie scholars place the story in the mid-late 1950's (no specific year).  Since Col. Bantry is still alive, we know it takes place before The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side.
  • Dr.SheppardDr.Sheppard Oxford, UK ✭✭✭
    @Sleeping_murders_lie ;
    I would suggest that you stick with 1940 as the setting for the book. Correspondence in the Christie archives, mention royalty payments for the story and the fee paid to the secretarial agency for typing up the manuscript. Papers also state that on 14 October 1940 she signed over ownership to her husband. When you speak to John Curran his knowledge is based on the Christie notebooks and that’s the flaw in his thinking. Agatha used any notebook that was near at hand when writing, often putting them down and capturing thoughts on the same story in a different notebook, returning to the first one much later, even years later, they do not follow a sequence regarding the dates. Notes for Sleeping Murder and it's variants, can be found in notebooks: 17, 19, 33, 44, 63 and 66. However, the date of 1940, is agreed on by three eminent Christie biographers. The title of the book has various titles, some for the USA market, others relating to the play adaptation of the story. So, yes, the original story was rewritten, but that does not change the date when the original manuscript was written.

    A little more research: On page 249 of his book ‘Agatha Christies Secret Notebooks’, John states: Although published ten months after Christie’s death, Sleeping Murder was written during the Second World War and, like Curtain, placed in safekeeping to appear only after the author’s death. Then John tries to pull this thought apart based on my previous comments.

    An interesting topic, thanks for starting and sharing.

Sign In or Register to comment.