Monday, November 25, 2013

Agatha Christie

  • NAME: Agatha Christie
  • OCCUPATION: AuthorPlaywright
  • BIRTH DATE: September 151890
  • DEATH DATE: January 12, 1976
  • PLACE OF BIRTH: Torquay, Devon, England, United Kingdom
  • PLACE OF DEATH: Cholsey, England, United Kingdom
  • FULL NAME: Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie
  • AKA: Mary Westmacott
  • MAIDEN NAME: Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller
  • AKA: Agatha Miller
  • AKA: Agatha Christie
  • NICKNAME: "Queen of Mystery"
  • AKA: Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie
  • NICKNAME: "Queen of Crime"


Agatha Christie was a mystery writer who was one of the world's top-selling authors.

Agatha Christie is reputably known throughout the world as the “Queen of Crime”. 

Dame Agatha Christie, (15 September 1890 - 12 January 1976)
Agatha ChristieAgatha Christie was an English writer of crime and romantic novels. She is best remembered for her detective stories including the two diverse characters of Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. She is considered to be the best selling writer of all time. Only the Bible is known to have outstripped her collected sales of roughly four billion world wide copies. Her works have been translated into more languages than any other individual writer.
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay, Devon 1890 to Clarissa Margaret Boehmer and a wealthy American stockbroker. She was brought up by both her mother and her sister. In the First World war, she trained and worked as a nurse helping to treat wounded soldiers. She also became educated in the field of pharmacy. She recalled her time as a nurse with great fondness, saying it was one of the most rewarding jobs she ever undertook.
Agatha Christie's married an aviator in the Royal Flying Corps - Archibald Christie in December 1914. The marriage was somewhat turbulent and ended in divorce in 1928, two years after Archibald had begun an affair. In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. The circumstances were never really resolved and it created widespread media interest in the disappearance of this famous novelist. She was eventually discovered in a Harrogate hotel eleven days later. Though Agatha Christie never said why, it was probably a combination of shock over her mother's death and the discovery of her husband's affair. In 1930, she married her second husband, Max Mallowan. This marriage was happier, though her only child, Rosalind Hicks, came from her first marriage.

Writing Career of Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie began writing in 1920, after the end of the First World War. Her first story was The Mysterious Affair at Styles, (1920). This featured the soon to be famous detective - Hercule Poirot, who at the time was portrayed as a Belgian refugee from the Great War. The book sold well and helped meet the public's great appetite for detective novels. It was a genre that had been popularised through Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories at the turn of the century.
Agatha Christie went on to write over 40 novels featuring the proud and immaculate Hercule Poirot. Like Conan Doyle, Christie had no great love for her own creation - Poirot seemed to be admired by the public more than the writer herself. Agatha Christie preferred her other great detective - the quiet but effective old lady - Miss Marple. The character of Miss Marple was based on the traditional English country lady - and her own relatives.
The plot of Agatha Christies novels could be described as formulaic. Murders were committed by ingenious methods - often involving poison, which Agatha Christie had great knowledge of. After interrogating all the main suspects, the detective would bring all the participants into some drawing room before explaining who was the murderer. The psychological suspense of the novels, and the fact readers feel they have a good chance of solving the crime undoubtedly added to the popularity of the books.
During the Second World War, Christie worked in the pharmacy of the University College London, which gave her ideas for some of her murder methods. After the war, her books continued to grow in international popularity. In 1952, her play The Mousetrap was debuted at the Ambassador's Theatre in London, and has been performed without a break ever since. Her success led to her being honoured in the New Year's honour list. In 1971 she was appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire.
She died in 1976 aged 85.


Born on September 15, 1890, in Torquay, England, Agatha Christie published her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920, and went on to become one of the most famous writers in history, with mysteries like Murder at the Vicarage,Partners in Crime and Sad Cypress. She sold billions of copies of her work, and was also a noted playwright and romance author. She died on January 12, 1976.


"People often ask me what made me take up writing ... I found myself making up stories and acting the different parts. There's nothing like boredom to make you write. So by the time I was 16 or 17, I'd written quite a number of short stories and one long, dreary novel. By the time I was 21, I finished the first book of mine ever to be published."
– Agatha Christie


Best-selling author Agatha Christie was born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller on September 15, 1890, in Torquay, Devon, in the southwest part of England. The youngest of three siblings, she was educated at home by her mother, who encouraged her daughter to write. As a child, Christie enjoyed fantasy play and creating characters, and, when she was 16, moved to Paris for a time to study vocals and piano.
In 1914, she wed Colonel Archibald Christie, a Royal Flying Corps pilot, and took up nursing during World War I. She published her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920; the story focused on the murder of a rich heiress and introduced readers to one of Christie's most famous characters—Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

Fame and Tumult

In 1926, Christie released The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, a hit which was later marked as a genre classic and one of the author's all-time favorites. She dealt with tumult that same year, however, as her mother died and her husband revealed that he was in a relationship with another woman. Traumatized by the revelation, Christie disappeared only to be discovered by authorities several days later at a Harrogate hotel, registered under the name of her husband's mistress.
Christie would recover, with her and Archibald divorcing in 1928. In 1930, she married archaeology professor Max Mallowan, with whom she travelled on several expeditions, later recounting her trips in the 1946 memoir Come, Tell Me How You Live. The year of her new nuptials also saw the release of Murder at the Vicarage, which became another classic and introduced readers to Miss Jane Marple, an enquiring village lady.

Cast of Characters

Poirot and Marple are Christie's most well-known detectives, with the two featured in dozens of novels and short stories. Poirot made the most appearances in Christie's work in titles that includedAckroydThe Mystery of the Blue Train (1928) and Death in the Clouds (1935). Miss Marple has been featured in books like The Moving Finger (1942) and A Pocket Full of Rye (1953), and been played on screen by actresses like Angela LansburyHelen Hayesand Geraldine McEwan. Other notable Christie characters include Tuppence and Tommy Beresford, Colonel Race, Parker Pyne and Ariadne Oliver.

Sold More Than Two Billion Copies

Writing well into her later years, Christie wrote more than 70 detective novels as well as short fiction. Though she also wrote romance novels like Unfinished Portrait (1934) and A Daughter's a Daughter (1952) under the name Mary Westmacott, Christie's success as an author of sleuth stories has earned her titles like the "Queen of Crime" and the "Queen of Mystery." Christie can also be considered a queen of all publishing genres as she is one of the top-selling authors in history, with her combined works selling more than 2 billion copies worldwide.
Christie was a renowned playwright as well, with works like The Hollow (1951) and Verdict(1958). Her play The Mousetrap opened in 1952 at the Ambassador Theatre and—at more than 8,800 showings during 21 years—holds the record for the longest unbroken run in a London theater. Additionally, several of Christie's works have become popular movies, including Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Death on the Nile (1978).
Christie was made a dame in 1971. In 1974,
she made her last public appearance for the opening night of the play version of Murder on the Orient Express. Christie died on January 12, 1976.
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Chronological List of Agatha Christie Books

Click on Title to read a description of each novel:

1920 The Mysterious Affair at Styles (introducing Hercule PoirotChief Inspector Japp and Captain Hastings)
The Secret Adversary (introducing Tommy and Tuppence)
Murder on the Links
The Man in the Brown Suit
The Secret of Chimneys
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
1927 The Big Four
1928 The Mystery of the Blue Train
The Seven Dials Mystery
The Murder at the Vicarage (introducing Jane Marple)
The Sittaford Mystery (also known as Murder at Hazelmore)
Peril at End House
Lord Edgware Dies (also known as Thirteen at Dinner)1934 Murder on the Orient Express
Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (also known as The Boomerang Clue)
Three Act Tragedy (also known as Murder in Three Acts)
Death in the Clouds (also known as Death in the Air)
The A.B.C. Murders (also known as The Alphabet Murders)
Murder in Mesopotamia
Cards on the Table
Death on the Nile
Dumb Witness (also known as Poirot Loses a Client and Mystery at Littlegreen House and Murder at Littlegreen House)
Appointment with Death
1938 Hercule Poirot's Christmas (also known as Murder for Christmas and A Holiday for Murder)1939 And Then There Were None (also known as Ten Little Indians and originally as Ten Little Niggers)1939 Murder is Easy (also known as Easy to Kill)
Sad Cypress
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (also known as An Overdose of Death and The Patriotic Murders)
Evil Under the Sun
N or M?
The Body in the Library
Five Little Pigs (also known as Murder in Retrospect)
The Moving Finger (also known as The Case of the Moving Finger)
Towards Zero (also known as Come and Be Hanged)
Death Comes as the End
Sparkling Cyanide (also known as Remembered Death)
The Hollow (also known as Murder After Hours)
Taken at the Flood (also known as There is a Tide)
Crooked House
A Murder is Announced
They Came to Baghdad
Mrs McGinty's Dead (also known as Blood Will Tell)
They Do It with Mirrors (also known as Murder with Mirrors)
A Pocket Full of Rye
After the Funeral (also known as Funerals are Fatal and Murder at the Gallop)
Destination Unknown (also known as So Many Steps to Death)
Hickory Dickory Dock (also known as Hickory Dickory Death)
Dead Man's Folly
4.50 From Paddington (also known as What Mrs. McGillycuddy Saw and Murder She Said)
Ordeal by Innocence
Cat Among the Pigeons
The Pale Horse
The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (also known as The Mirror Crack'd)
The Clocks
A Caribbean Mystery
At Bertram's Hotel
Third Girl
Endless Night
By the Pricking of My Thumbs
Hallowe'en Party
Passenger to Frankfurt
Elephants Can Remember
Postern of Fate (final Tommy and Tuppence, last novel Christie wrote)
Curtain (Poirot's last case, written four decades earlier)
Sleeping Murder (Miss Marple's last case, written four decades earlier) 

1920The Mysterious Affair at StylesHercule Poirot
Arthur HastingsInspector Japp
1922The Secret AdversaryTommy and Tuppence
1923The Murder on the LinksHercule Poirot
Arthur Hastings, Monsieur Giraud
1924The Man in the Brown SuitColonel Race
Anne Beddingfeld
1925The Secret of ChimneysSuperintendent Battle
Anthony Cade
1926The Murder of Roger AckroydHercule Poirot
Inspector Raglan
1927The Big FourHercule Poirot
Arthur HastingsInspector Japp
1928The Mystery of the Blue TrainHercule Poirot
1929The Seven Dials MysterySuperintendent Battle
Eileen "Bundle" Brent
1930The Murder at the VicarageMiss Marple
Inspector Slack
1931The Sittaford Mystery
also Murder at Hazelmoor
Emily Trefusis
Inspector Narracott
1932Peril at End HouseHercule Poirot
Arthur HastingsInspector Japp
1933Lord Edgware Dies
also Thirteen at Dinner
Hercule Poirot
Arthur HastingsInspector Japp
1934Murder on the Orient Express
also Murder in the Calais Coach
Hercule Poirot
1934Why Didn't They Ask Evans?
also The Boomerang Clue
Bobby Jones
Frankie Derwent
1935Three Act Tragedy
also Murder in Three Acts
Hercule Poirot
Mr. Satterthwaite
1935Death in the Clouds
also Death in the Air
Hercule Poirot
Inspector Japp
1936The A.B.C. Murders
also The Alphabet Murders
Hercule Poirot
Arthur HastingsChief Inspector Japp
1936Murder in MesopotamiaHercule Poirot
Captain Maitland, Dr. Reilly
1936Cards on the TableHercule Poirot
Colonel RaceSuperintendent BattleAriadne Oliver
1937Dumb Witness
also Poirot Loses a Client/Mystery at Littlegreen House
Hercule Poirot
Arthur Hastings
1937Death on the NileHercule Poirot
Colonel Race
1938Appointment with DeathHercule Poirot
1938Hercule Poirot's Christmas
also Murder for Christmas/A Holiday for Murder
Hercule Poirot
1939Murder is Easy
also Easy to Kill
Superintendent Battle
Luke Fitzwilliam
1939Ten Little Niggers
also And Then There Were None/Ten Little Indians
Sir Thomas Legge
Inspector Maine
1940Sad CypressHercule Poirot
1940One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
also An Overdose of Death/The Patriotic Murders
Hercule Poirot
Chief Inspector Japp
1941Evil Under the SunHercule Poirot
Colonel Weston, Inspector Colgate
1941N or M?Tommy and Tuppence
1942The Body in the LibraryMiss Marple
Inspector Slack
1942Five Little Pigs
also Murder in Retrospect
Hercule Poirot
1942The Moving Finger
also The Case of the Moving Finger
Miss Marple
1944Towards Zero
also Come and Be Hanged
Superintendent Battle
Inspector James Leach
1944Death Comes as the EndHori
1945Sparkling Cyanide
also Remembered Death
Colonel Race
Chief Inspector Kemp
1946The Hollow
also Murder After Hours
Hercule Poirot
Inspector Grange
1948Taken at the Flood
also There is a Tide...
Hercule Poirot
1949Crooked HouseCharles Hayward
Chief Inspector Taverner
1950A Murder is AnnouncedMiss Marple
Chief Inspector Craddock
1951They Came to BaghdadVictoria Jones
1952Mrs McGinty's Dead
also Blood Will Tell
Hercule Poirot
Ariadne Oliver
1952They Do It with Mirrors
also Murder with Mirrors
Miss Marple
Inspector Curry
1953After the Funeral
also Funerals are Fatal
Hercule Poirot
Inspector Morton, Mr. Goby
1953A Pocket Full of RyeMiss Marple
1954Destination Unknown
also So Many Steps to Death
Mr. Jessop, Captain Leblanc
1955Hickory Dickory Dock
also Hickory Dickory Death
Hercule Poirot
Inspector Sharpe
1956Dead Man's FollyHercule Poirot
Ariadne Oliver
19574.50 from Paddington
also What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!/Murder She Said
Miss Marple
Chief Inspector Craddock
1958Ordeal by InnocenceArthur Calgary
Superintendent Huish
1959Cat Among the PigeonsHercule Poirot
Inspector Kelsey, Adam Goodman
1961The Pale HorseInspector Lejeune
Ariadne Oliver, Mark Easterbrook
1962The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side
also The Mirror Crack'd
Miss Marple
Chief Inspector Craddock
1963The ClocksHercule Poirot
Det. Inspector Hardcastle, Colin Lamb
1964A Caribbean MysteryMiss Marple
1965At Bertram's HotelMiss Marple
Chief Inspector Fred "Father" Davy
1966Third GirlHercule Poirot
Ariadne Oliver, Chief Inspector Neele, Mr. Goby
1967Endless NightSergeant Keen
1968By the Pricking of My ThumbsTommy and Tuppence
1969Hallowe'en PartyHercule Poirot
Ariadne Oliver
1970Passenger to FrankfurtStafford Nye
1971NemesisMiss Marple
1972Elephants Can RememberHercule Poirot
Ariadne Oliver
1973Postern of Fate
Last novel Christie wrote
Tommy and Tuppence
Poirot's last case, written about 35 years earlier.
Hercule Poirot
Arthur Hastings
1976Sleeping Murder
Miss Marple's last case, written about 35 years earlier
Miss Marple

Collections of short stories

In addition to her 66 mystery novels, Christie published 153 short stories in her career. Almost all of these were written for publication in fiction magazines with over half of them first appearing in the 1920s. They were then published in book form in various collections, some of which were identical in the UK and US (e.g. The Labours of Hercules) and others where publication took place in one market but not the other.
Twelve of the stories which were published in The Sketch magazine in 1924 under the sub-heading of The Man who was No. 4 were joined in one continuous narrative in the novel The Big Four in 1927. Four other stories, "The Submarine Plans" (1923), "Christmas Adventure" (1923), "The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest" (1932) and "The Second Gong" (1932), were expanded into longer narratives by Christie (respectively The Incredible TheftThe Adventure of the Christmas PuddingThe Mystery of the Spanish Chest and Dead Man's Mirror, although the shorter versions of all four have also been published in the UK).
Only one short story remains unpublished in the UK in book form: "Three Blind Mice" (1948), on which Christie placed a moratorium whilst the stage play based on the story, The Mousetrap, was still running in the West End. Prior to this the story was published in four instalments in the weekly magazine Woman's Own in the issues dated 31 December 1948 to 21 January 1949 with illustrations by K. J. Petts.
In the US, "Christmas Adventure" is the only story unpublished. The longer version "Adventure of the Christmas Pudding", which is based on "Christmas Adventure", can be found in Double Sin and Other Stories under the name "The Theft of the Royal Ruby".
The main collections in both markets are:
In addition, various collections have been published over the years which re-print short stories which have previously appeared in other collections – e.g. Surprise, Surprise! (1965 in the US). On occasion, besides the reprinted material these collections have sometimes contained the first book printing of an individual story – e.g. The Market Basing Mystery in the UK version of Thirteen for Luck! (1966) which later appeared in the same market in Poirot's Early Cases.

Romance novels written under the pen name Mary Westmacott


Radio Plays

Television Plays

  • 1937 Wasp's Nest (Based on the short story of the same name)


Other published works

Co-authored works


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