Readers who come for the history, the mystery or the gore will be fascinated to discover how much science has changed and contributed to solving crimes since Agatha Christie first published. Local author duo Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl hit #1 new release on Amazon for their book “The Science of Agatha Christie” before its release date, proving audiences are curious how the “impossible” was possible.
Known as “gothic media moguls,” Hafdahl and Florence are also the authors of “The Science of Stephen King” and cohosts of the “Horror Rewind” podcast, called “the best horror film podcast out there” by Film Daddy. In 2023, they present a guide to the Agatha Christie stories and her supersleuths that we all know and love. Through interviews, literary and film analysis and bone-chilling discoveries, “The Science of Agatha Christie” uncovers the science behind the 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections that have become an integral part of the modern murder mystery.
Hafdahl explains, “We’ve been heavily focused on horror topics with our other titles and wanted to challenge ourselves with something new. We both grew up reading Agatha Christie. We call her ‘horror adjacent’ because many people who say they are too scared of Stephen King can handle Christie’s mysteries. Either way, there’s murder!”
The Bram Stoker Award-nominated horror duo agreed they enjoyed the biographical aspect of writing the book, as well as digging into beloved characters like Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.
Florence adds, “We love exploring the genre of horror and mystery through the lens of science. In our research, we’ve discovered truth is often scarier than fiction and Agatha Christie’s stories are no exception! She used real science, chemistry and her knowledge of pharmaceuticals to tell thrilling stories.”
When they’re not collaborating on horror nonfiction, Florence is a communications professor at Lake Superior College in Duluth, and Hafdahl is a full-time author who’s lived in Rochester for 12 years. (She moved here when her husband started his medical residency at Mayo Clinic. He is now on staff in internal medicine.) Hafdahl was first published in 2014 in a short story anthology. She then went on to write six books for a small, female-owned press. She says, “Our journey writing together started in 2019 when ‘The Science of Monsters’ was published by Skyhorse Publishing. And now we have our seventh ‘The Science of . . .” coming from Skyhorse, as well as a travel book coming from Sourcebooks in 2024. So it’s been a lot of work but so much fun!”
Hafdahl and Florence hope their books act as a gateway into the horror genre. They view their books as approachable in that they can be read straight through, or readers can jump around to find a favorite story. Hafdahl adds, “Either way, you’ll come away with fun facts to share at your next gathering. Like, did you know Agatha Christie once went missing?”
Find “The Science of Agatha Christie” and the rest of the nonfiction horror anthology wherever books are sold. To shop local, purchase copies at Garden Party Books in Rochester. To request author-signed copies or find links to the podcast and books, visit meghafdahl.com.