By Kate Gingold


About Katharine Kendzy "Kate" Gingold

Annotated by Kate GingoldKate has always wondered what life was like in days past. As a teen she read historical romances, collected old trinkets, and dressed in costume at the Renaissance Faire. She convinced her beau, Don, to wear RenFaire garb, too, and he married her anyway.

While raising their children in Naperville, Illinois, Kate became interested in the local history. When the 175th anniversary of the town’s founding approached, both Kate and Don got involved helping with the celebration. Looking for a quick read, Kate checked the library for a children’s book on the town’s early days, but there weren’t any. So she decided to write one, 

Inspired by a life-long interest in writing and drawing, Kate had graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois with a double major in creative writing and painting with the intention of creating children’s books. Instead, she wound up writing for a couple of newspapers and for web development companies and spent a lot of time with her children. Now, the time was finally right for that children’s book. 

Ruth by Lake and Prairie is a narrative history of the journey to Naper’s Settlement as experienced by Joseph Naper’s niece, Ruth. The book was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from the Illinois State Historical Society in 2008, jumpstarting a new career. Two more local history books and the long-running Kate’s Brief History blog followed.

Having a deep affection for Agatha Christie novels, Kate often researched tidbits of history when puzzled by a reference in one of Christie’s books. It occurred to her that other Christie fans might also be interested in what she learned, so she set about the task in earnest.

Since Agatha was especially prolific, Kate sees a lot of fascinating research in her future.


Kate visiting her favorite author at Madame Tussaud's London in 1987.

Kate's Books

Ruth by Lake and Prairie

Honored by the Illinois State Historical Society for "use of creativity within an accurate framework of history" in telling this pioneer girl's tale.

A companion activity book provides prairie-themed puzzles, paper crafts, recipes and more.

Buy On Amazon

Six Degrees of Abraham Lincoln

Little known facts about connections between the sixteenth President and Chicago's suburbs.

Buy On Amazon

Haunted by History: Spectres in a Small Town

Sparks a youngster's interest in history by weaving imagined ghost stories around real landmarks. History lessons so much fun, it's scary!

Buy On Amazon

Book Rookie:Tips for First-Time Authors

"Dumb" questions (although there are NO dumb questions!) are answered and checklists provided for knocking off an author's first tasks in digital marketing, networking and public speaking.

Buy On Amazon

Kate's Blogs

Kate's Brief History

Kate's Brief History

Monthly posting of historical tidbits from 1920s England to 1830s Illinois.


Kate's Tips for Authors

Kate's Author Tips

Monthly posting of the writing life and tips for authors.


Kate's Sprocket Report

Kate's Sprocket Report

Important topics for website owners - a mix of business and technology always in layman's terms - running every other Tuesday without fail since April of 2003!

And Her Latest Work:

  • Glossary of terms, Volume 1: Books of the 1920s, in paperback and Kindle
  • Annotated editions of the early novels, beginning with The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in both paperback and Kindle


Agatha Annotated: Glossary of Terms

Agatha Annotated glossary, books, data base, essays and all content on this website are property of Gnu Ventures Company; all rights reserved; no copying without express permission.

Gnu Ventures logo

Annotator Kate Gingold

Kate Gingold

... has been a huge fan of the works of Agatha Christie her entire adult life. Christie's vivid descriptions of picturesque English life in the early-to-mid twentieth century fascinated Kate, but many of the people and places were unfamiliar to her. A writer herself, as well as a researcher and historian with several local history books to her credit, Kate began a list of these strange words and set out to define them. Now, Christie fans like you and all those who come after will be able to fully enjoy the richness of Agatha Christie novels with their own copy of Agatha Annotated.

Learn more about Kate