Kate's Blog

Latest Thoughts on all things Agatha

7 May 2024

Chicagoland Bookstore Crawl Was Great Fun!

Chicagoland Bookstore Crawl Was Great Fun!

The last Saturday in April was the Chicagoland Bookstore Crawl in honor of Independent Bookstore Day. According to press reports, more than 40 bookstores took part, and I was invited to one of them. 

The Pile Bookstore (and coffee shop!) is just a few months old, so this was their first Bookstore Crawl. I was lucky enough to be the first author featured in the morning, with many other local authors reading and signing during the day. The idea of the Bookstore Crawl is for people to visit as many of the local bookstores as possible and accumulate stamps on their passports. A certain number of visits/stamps earns year-long discounts on purchases, but the big thrill is finding new bookshops that you never knew existed. (Or that you hadn't gotten around to visiting yet!)

I put on my settler-woman costume and brought several of my themed kids' crafts. It has been quite some time since I did the Illinois history thing and it was fun to do it again! My first book, Ruth by Lake and Prairie, tells the story of how Naperville, Illinois was settled, as seen through the eyes of twelve-year-old Ruth whose family was in the original community. My next books were Illinois history, too. The Six Degrees of Abraham Lincoln relates little-known connections between Lincoln and the Chicago suburbs while Haunted by History features real people in real landmark buildings wrapped in imagined ghost stories. 

A good number of people visited The Pile while I was there, including a few children who did crafts with me. I also enjoyed talking with folks about Illinois history. With one person, we started discussing linguistics and semantics, so naturally, I had to share Agatha Annotated with him!

My turn as the featured author went by fast. I hope the day was as much fun for the other authors and for Rebecca, the owner of The Pile. If you are local to Berwyn, you should stop by. And if put the Bookstore Crawl on your calendar for next year. There are events all over the United States, so there's bound to be some near you. 

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What is Agatha Annotated?

This website is the home of the Agatha Christie database as annotated by Kate Gingold, hence the name Agatha Annotated.

It's a rich glossary of

  • nearly 1900 terms
  • over 200 illustrations
  • 347 French phrases

Kate found them while reading Agatha Christie novels, and wrote them, along with definitions curated from years of research, into this database.

Currently the first 11 Christie books, those she wrote in the 1920s, are annotated here. 

Anybody can be a member and gain access to this rich glossary. Visit the Community page to learn the details.

We took the 1920s terms and published a book, Agatha Annotated: Investigating the Books of the 1920s, now available on Amazon in Paperback or Kindle format.

Kate will be adding to the database and members get the new terms and definitions first before the second volume is printed, plus members can comment and ask questions about the terms and Kate and other members can reply.

We hope you enjoy. Click around the pages to learn more.

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Agatha Annotated: Glossary of Terms

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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