Star Over Bethlehem
is an illustrated book of poetry and short stories
on a religious theme by crime writer Agatha Christie
. It was published under the name "Agatha Christie Mallowan" (whose only other book to be published under this by-line
was the 1946 short autobiography Come, Tell Me How You Live
). It was published in the UK by Collins
on 1 November 1965 in an edition priced at thirteen shillings
(13/6) and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company
in an edition retailing at $4.95.
The volume contains five poems and six short stories
, all on the theme of Christianity. Some of the poems can be taken as comments or epilogues on the short stories (e.g. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh
refers to the gifts in the stable which The Naughty Donkey
in the preceding story attempts to eat). Although relatively unknown, this work, when referred to at all, is often stated as being for children; however the stories it contains are firmly aimed at an adult audience and with adult themes, especially for 1965. For instance, in the story The Water Bus
, Mrs Hargreaves's cleaner tries to offload her woes to her employer, the main one of which is that her daughter is dying in hospital after an illegal abortion went wrong. Read more...