About the Author
Agatha Christie (1890-1976), English novelist, was a prolific writer of mystery stories. She was born in Torquay. The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920) began her career. Her mysteries are noted for clever and surprising twists of plot and her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in 44 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time in any language, outsold only by the Bible, Shakespeare and Harry Potter.
Her writing career spanned more than half a century, during which she wrote 79 novels and short story collections, as well as 14 plays, one of which, The Mousetrap, is the longest-running play in history. Two of the characters she created, the brilliant little Belgian Hercule Poirot and the irrepressible and relentless Miss Marple, went on to become world-famous detectives. Both have been widely dramatized in feature films and made-for-TV movies.
Without being a “literary” author in the general used sense of that term, and always writing in the style familiar to the legions of her fans, she managed to experiment within the murder-mystery genre. For example, Five Little Pigs and Sleeping Murder were about deaths occurred long in the past, being newly investigated. The iconic And There Were None presented a series of “countdown murders” with no apparent solution. While books like The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and Curtains: Poirot’s Last Case hinged on the shocking identity of the killer, in other mysteries like Death on the Nile, the most obvious suspect turns out to be the murderer but the surprise lay in how the murder was planned and carried out.
But then in Christie’s world, even the murderer, once unmasked, is likely to be ruefully corteous rather than dangerous. They don’t write them like that anymore.
Agatha Christie also wrote six romantic novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. As well, she wrote four nonfiction books including an autobiography and an entertaining...