The writer commissioned to pen a new Hercule Poirot novel has insisted that she will not introduce radical change to Agatha Christie's much-loved Belgian detective.
Poet-turned-crime writer Sophie Hannah is to resurrect Poirot after being signed up by Christie's family for the new book.
Hannah told the Radio Times: "Since the news broke that I've been commissioned to write a new Hercule Poirot novel, it's been suggested to me by several people that the only sensible way to approach such a project is to impose radical change and do something revolutionary with the character and the format.
"I strongly disagree. Poirot on a spaceship? Post-apocalyptic Poirot? Sacre tonnerre, as he might say."
Hannah, whose as-yet-untitled book will be published next September, told the magazine: "He would hate to be reinterpreted for the sake of allowing some contemporary fly-by-night to prove how interesting and innovative she is.
"I'm sure he'd think, as I do, that the only proper approach is for me to bring a case – the most challenging, exciting and unpredictable one I can come up with – to the Poirot we all know and love."
Hannah added that if a contemporary crime writer were to pitch the story in Christie's famous novel Murder On The Orient Express, an editor would probably turn it down complaining that it involved too many coincidences.
But she said that Agatha Christie, who lived in Devon, didn't care how likely it was that a particular plot scenario would happen in real life.
"Maybe it would never happen, and had never happened – all that mattered was that it could in theory."
She told the magazine: "Similarly, Poirot and Miss Marple might seem unrealistically successful as detectives, solving every case they encounter, but so what?... Are there any real-life detectives who have a 100% success rate? No, probably not. Could there be, theoretically? Yes, of course."
Hannah's psychological crime fiction is published in 24 countries, while two of her novels have been adapted for TV.
Christie, who died in 1976, has sold more than two billion books which have been adapted for the stage, TV and film.