Agatha Christie

Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie
DBE

Born

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller
15 September 1890
Torquay, Devon, England

Died

12 January 1976 (aged 85)
Wallingford, Oxfordshire,England

Resting place

Church of St. Mary, Cholsey, Oxfordshire,
England

Pen name

Mary Westmacott
Agatha Christie

Occupation

Novelist, short story writer, playwright, poet

Genre

Murder mystery, thriller, crime
fiction, detective, romance

Literary
movement

Golden Age of Detective Fiction

Notable works

Creation of characters Hercule Poirot and Miss
(Jane) Marple

Spouse

Archibald Christie
(m. 1914; div. 1928)

2 Early literary attempts and the First World War: 1910–1919 o 1. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was voted the best crime novel ever by 600 fellow writers of the Crime Writers' Association. and one of the best-selling books of all time.[2] behind Shakespeare's works and the Bible. radio. 15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976) was an English crime novelist. She was initially unsuccessful at getting her work published.000 performances. 1930–76. She also wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott.[7] In 1955. most of which revolve around the investigations of such characters as Hercule Poirot.[4] In 1971. Her novels have sold roughly 2 billion copies.3 First novels: 1919–1923 . and Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. video games and comics. Most of her books and short stories have been adapted for television.Sir Max Mallowan (m. but she is best known for the 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections she wrote under her own name.[1] Born into a wealthy upper-middle-class family in Torquay. her death) Children Rosalind Hicks (1919–2004) Website www. featuring the character of Hercule Poirot. According to Index Translationum.agathachristie.1 Childhood: 1890–1910 o 1.com Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie. she was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.[3]:201 And Then There Were Noneis Christie's best-selling novel with 100 million sales to date.[5] In 2013. and in the same year Witness for the Prosecution was given an Edgar Award by the MWA for Best Play. Christie was the first recipient of the Mystery Writers of America's highest honour. making it the world's best-selling mystery ever. before marrying and starting a family in London. but in 1920 The Bodley Head press published her novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles. DBE (née Miller. she remains the most-translated individual author – having been translated into at least 103 languages.[6] Christie's stage play The Mousetrap holds the record for the longest initial run: it opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in London on 25 November 1952 and as of 2012 is still running after more than 25. This launched her literary career.Harley Quin/Mr Satterthwaite. and her estate claims that her works come third in the rankings of the world's most-widely published books. Jane Marple. Christie served in a hospital during the First World War. the Grand Master Award. Parker Pyne. andplaywright. Contents [hide]  1 Life and career o 1. The Guinness Book of World Records lists Christie as the best-selling novelist of all time. The Mousetrap. short story writer. Devon. She wrote the world's longestrunning play. and more than thirty feature films have been based on her work.

4 Disappearance o 1.3 Critical reception  4 List of writings  5 Interests and influences o 5.1 Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple  3.1 Agatha Christie's estate and subsequent ownership of works o  3 Writings 3.o 1.1 Fictional writings o  3.2 Books 13 External links .2 Formula and plot devices  3.1.2 Non-fictional writings o 3.2 Spirituality o 5.3 Use of archaeology and spirituality in her writing  6 Portrayals of Christie  7 Lists of works and adaptations  8 See also  9 Notes  10 References  11 Sources  12 Further reading  o 12.1 Archaeology o 5.5 Second marriage and later life  2 Death 2.1 Articles o 12.1.3 Character stereotypes o 3.1.

date unknown Christie would describe her childhood as "very happy". and to be able to perform basic arithmetic. Captain Boehmer was killed in a riding accident while stationed on Jersey in April 1863. including The Adventures of Herr Baby (1881). where her family would holiday during the winter.[8]:6–7 Agatha Christie as a girl. she sent Clara to live with her aunt Margaret Miller (née West). one of whom died young.[8]:15. was an Englishwoman who had been born inBelfast. [8]:2–4 Frederick was a member of the small and wealthy American upper class. They also taught her about music. including The Story of the Treasure Seekers (1899). a subject that she particularly enjoyed. [8]:14 Her time was spent alternating between her home in Devon. in which to raise her family.Life and career[edit] Childhood: 1890–1910[edit] Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born on 15 September 1890 into a wealthy upper middleclass family in Ashfield. Colonel Fairfax. and like her siblings believed that their mother Clara was a psychic with the ability of second sight. and it was here that her third and final child. and she learned to play both the piano and the mandolin. Ireland (present-day Belfast. 24 Agatha was raised in a household with various esoteric beliefs.Christmas Tree Land (1897) and The Magic Nuts (1898).S.[8]:1 Her mother. Louis "Monty" Montant (1880–1929) was born in the U. and had been sent to Europe to gain an education in Switzerland. and they were married in April 1878. When a little older she moved on to reading the surreal verse of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll. although she spent much time with her pets. Agatha. he soon developed a romantic relationship with Clara. Clara Boehmer. and so her parents were responsible for teaching her to read and write. she noted that "one of the highlights of my existence" was her appearance with them in a youth production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Yeomen of the Guard.Torquay. Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950) was born in Torquay. she had four brothers. the couple's only daughter. while their second. among her earliest memories were those of reading the children's books written by Mrs Molesworth. Clara soon purchased a villa in Torquay. Nathaniel Frary Miller. where Frederick was on a business trip. "an experience that you really enjoyed should never be repeated. in which she played the hero. West Sussex. She also read the work of Edith Nesbit. [9]:3 and was surrounded by a series of strong and independent women from an early age. The couple lived in Prinsted. West London and parts of Southern Europe. Clara stayed with Margaret.[8]:20–21A voracious reader from an early age. who was the son of Nathaniel.[8]:23–27 This was to be her last operatic role. The Phoenix and the Carpet (1903) and The Railway Children(1906). where the couple were renting lodgings.[8]:13 Her mother insisted that she receive a home education. Under financial strain."[10]:125 .[8]:4–5 Their first child. [8]:18–19 Much of her childhood was spent largely alone and separate from other children. whom she adored. in 1863. who had married a wealthy American. her step grandmother/aunt's house in Ealing. for as she later wrote. an American stockbroker named Frederick Alvah Miller. Devon in South West England. Northern Ireland). in 1854 to Captain Frederick Boehmer and Mary Ann West. was born. named "Ashfield". Considered personable and friendly by those who knew him. and there she would meet her future husband. Eventually making friends with a group of other girls in Torquay. leaving Mary Ann to raise her children alone on a meagre income. state of New York.

[13] As an unpaid VAD nurse. but found it difficult to adjust to the disciplined atmosphere. he[who?] also rejected Snow Upon the Desert. then a popular tourist destination for wealthy Britons. His death left the family devastated. John's Wood. Writing and performing in amateur theatrics. she earned £16 a year until the end of her service in September 1918. Various magazines rejected all her early submissions. and drew from her recent experiences in that city. the couple settled into a flat at 5 Northwick Terrace in St. Archie proposed marriage. Philpotts obliged her enquiry.[8]:32–34 In 1902. Hughes Massie. but did not exhibit the great interest in archaeology and Egyptology that became prominent in her later years. Bristol. Some early works saw publication. She visited such ancient Egyptian monuments as the Great Pyramid of Giza. This was about 6000 words on the world of "madness and dreams". encouraged her writing. After the war. Snow Upon the Desert. Les Marroniers and then Miss Dryden's – the last of which served primarily as a finishing school. [8]:49–50 Christie then set her first novel. and in November 1901 he died. [8]:40–41 Returning to Britain. They decided to spend time together in the warmer climate of Cairo. Archie had been born in India. 37 Early literary attempts and the First World War: 1910–1919 [edit] Returning to England in 1910. which was close to the home of his parents. most of them illustrating her interest in spiritualism and the paranormal. Under the pseudonym Monosyllaba. Agatha found that her mother Clara was ill. as a dispenser. Upon learning he would be stationed in Farnborough. the story was nevertheless "compelling". about 12 miles (19 kilometres) from Torquay. In 1905 she was then sent toParis. but she decided against focusing on either of these as future professions.[8]:54–63 With the outbreak of World War I in August 1914. suffering from a series of heart attacks. and Agatha accepted. Agatha involved herself in the war effort. and in an uncertain economic situation. He was an army officer who was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps in April 1913. Madge had moved to the nearby Cheadle Hall with her new husband and Monty had joined the army and been sent to South Africa to fight in the Boer War. although some were revised and published later. However. northwest London.[8]:50–51 Clara suggested that her daughter ask for advice from a family friend and neighbour. She qualified as an "apothecaries' assistant" (or dispenser) in 1917 and.[8]:22–23. she was perturbed when various publishers all declined.[12] Rising through the ranks. occurring when she was 11 years old. aged 55. where she was educated in three pensions – Mademoiselle Cabernet's. The couple quickly fell in love. often with new titles. joining the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) in 1914. Agatha would be sent to receive a formal education at Miss Guyer's Girls School in Torquay. Christie continued searching for a husband. Clifton.Her father was often ill. While Archie was on home leave.400 hours of unpaid work between October 1914 and December 1916. Agatha would later claim that her father's death. made under pseudonyms. he was eventually stationed back to Britain in September 1918 as a colonel in the Air Ministry. she also helped put on a play called The Blue Beard of Unhappiness with female friends.[8]:64–74 . Biographer Janet Morgan later commented that despite "infelicities of style". These included "The Call of Wings" and "The Little Lonely God". and attending to wounded soldiers at a hospital in Torquay.[8]:48–49 Other shorts followed. She then met Archibald Christie (18891962)[11] at a dance given by Lord and Lady Clifford of Chudleigh at Ugbrooke. staying for three months at the Gezirah Palace Hotel. she continued her social activities. and sent her an introduction to his literary agent.[8]:51–52 Meanwhile. in Cairo. Archie was sent to France to fight the German forces. and suggested a second novel. marked the end of her childhood for her. they married on the afternoon of Christmas Eve 1914 at Emmanuel Church. Her writing extended to both poetry and music. [8]:45–46 While recovering in bed from an undisclosed illness she penned her first short story – "The House of Beauty". Clara and Agatha continued to live together in their Torquay home. the successful writer Eden Philpotts. she was responsible for aiding the doctors and maintaining morale and she performed 3. the son of a judge in the Indian Civil Service. a subject of fascination for her. Agatha – always chaperoned by her mother – attended many social functions in search of a husband. and entered into short-lived relationships with four separate men and an engagement with another.

An American reporter. New Zealand and Hawaii. [10][17] Although two doctors diagnosed her as suffering from amnesia. opinion remains divided as to why she disappeared. on the promotional tour a few years earlier.[15] Disappearance[edit] In late 1926.First novels: 1919–1923[edit] Christie had long been a fan of detective novels. having enjoyed Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White and The Moonstoneas well as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's early Sherlock Holmes stories. Surrey. who took refuge in Britain after Germany had invaded Belgium. Again published by The Bodley Head. Christie disappeared from her home. she was found at the Swan Hydropathic Hotel (now the Old Swan Hotel[a]) in Harrogate. leaving behind a letter for her secretary saying that she was going to Yorkshire. William JoynsonHicks.000 volunteers and several aeroplanes scoured the rural landscape. Public reaction at the time was largely negative. follows her closely and stops the plan. The film starred Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Dalton as Agatha and Archie. and a newspaper offered £100 reward. then offered to accept it provided Christie change the ending. around 9:45 pm. and depicts Christie planning suicide in such a way as to frame her husband's mistress for her "murder". However.Dorothy L Sayers visited the house in Surrey. it earned her £50. the Christies quarrelled. Berkshire. [8]:79 Archie left the Air Force at the end of the war and started working in the City financial sector at a relatively low salary. Archie asked Agatha for a divorce. She wrote her own detective novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles featuring Hercule Poirot. daughter Rosalind Margaret Christie at Ashfield in August 1919. with an expired driving licence and clothes. then in Waikiki were among the first Britons to surf standing up.[8]:86–103 [14] They learned to surf prone in South Africa. where the couple – having few friends in London – spent much of their time. She was known to be in a depressed state from literary overwork. though they still employed a maid. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle even gave a spirit medium one of Christie's gloves to find the missing woman. was later found at Newlands Corner. in Sunningdale. featured a new detective couple Tommy and Tuppence. He was in love with Nancy Neele.[8]:83 In order to tour the world promoting the British Empire Exhibition the couple left their daughter Rosalind with Agatha's mother and sister then travelled to South Africa. Australia. editor of Sketch magazine. Over a thousand police officers. by a lake near Guildford. to spend the weekend with his mistress atGodalming. 15. Christie's autobiography makes no reference to her disappearance. Christie's inspiration for this stemmed from real Belgian refugees who were living in Torquay. registered as Mrs Teresa Neele from Cape Town. and then signed a contract that she later felt was exploitative. Despite the extensive manhunt. Murder on the Links (1923). a Morris Cowley. That same evening. Her car. She duly did so. Yorkshire. later using the scenario in her book Unnatural Death. The Home Secretary. her mother's death earlier that year and her husband's infidelity. as did short stories commissioned by Bruce Ingram. 81–82 Christie meanwhile settled into married life.[8]:75–79 The Styles manuscript was not accepted by such publishing companies as Hodder and Stoughton and Methuen.[8]:79. who had been a friend of Major Belcher.[citation needed] . and Archie left their house.John Lane at The Bodley Head kept the submission for several months. The film outraged Christie's heirs who fought two unsuccessful lawsuits in the United States to try to prevent the film from being distributed. On 3 December 1926. director of the British Empire Mission. The Secret Adversary (1922). Styles. portrayed as a former Belgian police officer noted for his twirly large "magnificent moustaches" and egg-shaped head.[8]:80–81 Christie's second novel. pressured police. played by Dustin Hoffman.[17] Christie's disappearance featured on the front page of The New York Times.[21][b] The 1979 Michael Apted film Agatha features a disclaimer in the opening credits stating that what follows is an imaginary solution to an authentic mystery. giving birth to her only child. she was not found for 10 days. A third novel again featured Poirot. supposing a publicity stunt or attempt to frame her husband for murder. [17][18][19][20] On 14 December 1926.[16] Her disappearance caused an outcry from the public.

the southern terminus of the railway. she published six novels. and a number of short stories in magazines. Agatha Christie and the Eleven Missing Days. Other novels (such as And Then There Were None) were set in and aroundTorquay. During their marriage.[26] TheGreenway Estate in Devon. where she acquired a knowledge of poisons that she put to good use in her post-war crime novels. London In 1930. basing at least two stories there: a short story "The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding". Her travels with Mallowan contributed background to several of her novels set in the Middle East. having met him during an archaeological dig. never supposing the resulting escalated melodrama. Stoneygates. James Watts. where she wrote Murder on the Orient Express Blue plaque. the use of thallium as a poison was suggested to her by UCH Chief . Kensington. where she was raised. The hotel maintains Christie's room as a memorial to the author. Turkey. The descriptions of the fictional Chimneys.[22] He provided substantial evidence to suggest she planned the event to embarrass her husband. 58 Sheffield Terrace. Agatha retained custody of daughter Rosalind. and the Christie name for her writing. "Abney became Agatha's greatest inspiration for country-house life. London. is now in the care of the National Trust. Christie often stayed at Abney Hall.[23] The Christies divorced in 1928. Their marriage was happy and lasted until Christie's death in 1976. Cheshire." [27] During the Second World War. which she never enjoyed – preferring to drink water in restaurants. [24] Mallowan introduced her to wine. Christie married archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan. She tried unsuccessfully to make herself like cigarettes by smoking one after lunch and one after dinner every day for six months. a collection of short stories. Christie worked in the pharmacy at University College Hospital. For example. revised 2011. and Archie married Nancy Neele. Christie's 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Expresswas written in the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul. [citation needed] Second marriage and later life[edit] Agatha Christie's room at the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul.Author Jared Cade interviewed numerous witnesses and relatives for his sympathetic biography. and other houses in her stories are mostly Abney in various forms. and the novel After the Funeral. with all its servants and grandeur being woven into her plots. owned by her brother-in-law. acquired by the couple as a summer residence in 1938.[25] Christie frequently used settings that were familiar to her for her stories. in the story collection of the same name.

adjoining Wallingford in Oxfordshire (formerly part of Berkshire).[34] They were one of the few married couples where both partners were honoured in their own right. Bletchley Park.[32] In the 1971 New Year Honours. a subsidiary of the British food and transport conglomerate Booker-McConnell (now Booker Group). Rosalind Margaret Hicks. Christie's health began to fail.Pharmacist Harold Davis (later appointed Chief Pharmacist at the UK Ministry of Health)."[30] To honour her many literary works. and around 1959 she had also transferred her 278 acre home. she had set up a private company. the founder of theBooker . So accurate was her description of thallium poisoning that on at least one occasion it helped solve a case that was baffling doctors. Both properties are now marked by blue plaques. she employed it to dispatch a series of victims. to her daughter Rosalind.[33] three years after her husband had beenknighted for his archaeological work in 1968. using experimental tools of textual analysis. when Christie was almost 80 years old. she was promoted Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE). A character called Major Bletchley appeared in her 1941 thriller N or M?. From 1968. first in Cresswell Place and later in Sheffield Terrace. and in The Pale Horse. to hold the rights to her works. Cholsey. published in 1961. Agatha Christie's gravestone in Cholsey From 1971 to 1974. owing to her husband's knighthood. the British intelligence agency MI5 investigated Agatha Christie. she became the President of the Detection Club. The agency's fears were allayed when Christie commented to codebreaker Dilly Knox that Bletchley was simply the name of "one of my least lovable characters. which was about a hunt for a pair of deadly fifth columnists in wartime England. [35][36][37][38] Death[edit] Dame Agatha Christie died on 12 January 1976 at age 85 from natural causes at herWinterbrook House in the north of Cholsey parish. although she continued to write. the first clue to the murder method coming from the victims' loss of hair. She was survived by her only child. Canadian researchers have suggested that Christie may have begun to suffer from Alzheimer's disease or other dementia. she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1956 New Year Honours.[31] The next year. Recently. Around 1941–42.[28][29] Christie lived in Chelsea. Agatha Christie's estate and subsequent ownership of works [edit] During Agatha Christie's life. Christie could also be styled Lady Mallowan. She is buried in the nearby churchyard of St Mary's.Greenway Estate. she sold a 51% stake in Agatha Christie Limited (and therefore the works it owned) to Booker Books (better known as Booker Author's Division).[30]MI5 was afraid that Christie had a spy in Britain's top-secret codebreaking centre.[39] In 1968. Agatha Christie Limited.

who became a long-running character in many of Christie's works. In 2000. In particular Prichard remains as the company's chairman. continue to own the remaining 36% stake in Agatha Christie Limited.[44] As of 2014.[40] and remain associated with the company. intended as the last cases of these two great detectives.[46] Both Jane and Gran "always expected the worst of everyone and everything.[39] Upon Hicks' death. 19 plays. By the end of the 1930s. on 28 October 2004. stuck with a love interest. their 64% stake in Agatha Christie Limited) to the current owner Acorn Media UK (part of RLJ Entertainment. Matthew Pritchard. usually proved right.[39] The family's share of the company allowed them to appoint 50% of the board and the chairman. and were. Christie wrote in her diary that she was finding Poirot "insufferable". Miss (Jane) Marple was introduced in the short stories The Thirteen Problems in 1927 and was based on Christie's grandmother and her "Ealing cronies". updated versions.[40] and also in his own right holds the copyright to some of his grandmother's later literary works (including The Mousetrap). and nearly 40 TV films. She saw herself as an entertainer whose job was to produce what the public liked. of her works. [45] Writings[edit] Fictional writings[edit] Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple[edit] Christie's first book The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published in 1920 and introduced the detective Hercule Poirot. when she realised that she could not write any more novels. [41] As part of that. Booker sold a number of its non-food assets to focus on its core business. also at age 85 like her mother. and began to sell off their literary assets on the market. who passionately preserved her mother's works. Curtain and Sleeping Murder. and republications. Johnson) during that same month.[40] After Christie's death in 1976. Christie was to become increasingly tired of her detective Poirot. which later increased its stake to 64%. including Prichard.Prize for literature. Christie resisted the temptation to kill her detective off while he was still popular. and the RLJ Companies. and legacy until her own death 28 years later.[39][42] Christie's family and family trusts.1m annual revenue [41]) were sold for £10m to Chorion.[41] a major international media company whose portfolio of well known authors' works also included the literary estates of Enid Blyton and Dennis Wheatley. Rosalind Hicks. and thereby to retain a veto over new treatments.[47] Feeling tied down.both the house and its contents . she did .to the National Trust. and the public liked Poirot. Both books were sealed in a bank vault for over thirty years and were released for publication by Christie only at the end of her life. owned by American entrepreneur Robert L. Hicks founded the Agatha Christie Society and became its first president. Chorion found itself in financial difficulties some years after a management buyout. However.[39][41] In 1993. Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple. These publications came on the heels of the success of the film version of Murder on the Orient Express in 1974. Christie wrote two novels. Inc. media reports state that the BBC had acquired the exclusive television rights to Christie's works in the UK (previously associated with ITV) and plans with Acorn's co-operation to air new productions for the 125th anniversary of Christie's birth in 2015. Pritchard gifted Greenway . Like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with his character Sherlock Holmes. [39] In 2004 her obituary in The Telegraphcommented that Hicks had been "determined to remain true to her mother's vision and to protect the integrity of her creations" and disapproved of "merchandising" activities. image. its shares in Agatha Christie Limited (at the time earning £2. and by the 1960s she felt that he was "an egocentric creep". However in February 2012."[9]:422 Marple appeared in 12 of Christie's novels. appearing in 33 novels and 54 short stories. [40] selling their stake in Christie’s estate (specifically. both this and the Greenway Estate passed to Christie's grandson.[43] In 1998. with almost frightening accuracy. [when?] Agatha Christie Limited remains the owner of the worldwide rights for over 80 of Christie's novels and short stories. her remaining 36% share of the company was inherited by her daughter. During the Second World War. unlike Conan Doyle.

i.[46] Poirot is the only fictional character to have been given an obituary in The New York Times. Two. ensuring a trial and hanging. the red herring is when and how the killer actually died. At the end. Formula and plot devices[edit] Christie's reputation as "The Queen of Crime" was built upon the large number of classic motifs that she introduced. Christie allows some culprits to escape earthly justice. [48] Following the great success of Curtain. the killer's own death is intrinsic to the plot. plot clarity. or for which she provided the most famous example. almost always Hercule Poirot or Harley Quin. Crooked House (by There Was a Crooked Man). Colonel Arthur Bantry. both rather nihilistic in nature). Dumb Witness. Buckle My Shoe). One. in an attempt to trim her cast commitments. Buckle My Shoe (by One. who has killed four innocent people and attempted to frame an unstable man for the crimes. [49] No other detective. Curtain. The Hollow. and The Unexpected Guest. explains the course of his or her deductive reasoning.[50][51] Seven stories are named for. was killed off by Christie. in a Christie hallmark. in such cases as The Witness for the Prosecution. is still alive and well in Sleeping Murder despite the fact he is noted as having died in books published earlier. It appeared on the front page of the paper on 6 August 1975. set in ancient Egypt. Hickory Dickory Dock (by Hickory Dickory Dock). Crooked House. while The Murder at the Vicarage remained the sole Marple novel until the 1940s. a complete egoist. and Ordeal by Innocence. In a recording discovered and released in 2008. (When Christie adapted Witness for the Prosecution into a stage play. Christie often made the . Christie built these tropes into what is now considered classic mystery structure: a murder is committed. there are multiple suspects who are all concealing secrets. In And Then There Were None. Five Little Pigs (by This Little Piggy). film and television productions of some of these mysteries were traditionally sanitized with the culprit(s) not evading some form of justice. stage. Murder on the Orient Express. This occurs in such widely varying mysteries as Death on the Nile. Christie never wrote a novel or short story featuring both Poirot and Miss Marple. sometimes at the direction or with the collusion of the detective involved. she lengthened the ending so that the murderer was also killed. although there are exceptions in which it is left to the guilty party (or parties) to explain all (such as And Then There Were None and Endless Night. this easy way out. Cat Among the Pigeons. most famously the Charles Laughton/Marlene Dietrich film. and the detective gradually uncovers these secrets over the course of the story. However. The Man in the Brown Suit. well known children's nursery rhymes: And Then There Were None (by Ten Little Indians). InThe A. and reveals the guilty party. Two. husband of Miss Marple's friend Dolly. Peril at End House. This is largely because Christie wrote numerous Poirot novels early in her career. Colonel Hastings. However. A Pocket Full of Rye (by Sing a Song of Sixpence). There are also instances where the killer is not brought to justice in the legal sense but does die as a direct result of his or her plot. the detective usually gathers the surviving suspects into one room.e. including Miss Marple despite Marple's superannuation. censors. and Three Blind Mice (by Three Blind Mice). Christie was fond of Miss Marple. and The Secret Adversary.Nemesis. The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side. Poirot specifically denies the murderer. It may be that Christie simply did not have time to revise the manuscript before she died. such as Five Little Pigs. the Belgian detective's titles outnumber the Marple titles more than two to one. Murders.B.C. the culprit is killed in the act before he can claim another victim by one of the few surviving characters left. would not like being taught his business or having suggestions made to him by an elderly spinster lady". or built around words from. Christie revealed the reason for this: "Hercule Poirot. following the publication ofCurtain. this format was followed in film and television productions. and Christie's own changing tastes.) In Death Comes as the End. In some stories. i.e. This may explain some of the inconsistencies compared to the rest of the Marple series — for example. for a variety of reasons. [9]:268 In contrast. Christie gave permission for the release of Sleeping Murder sometime in 1976 but died in January 1976 before the book could be released. discovering the most shocking twists towards the end. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.Endless Night. the question of whether formal justice will ever be delivered remains unresolved.marry off Poirot's companion.

[53] However. including South Africa.  Come. "Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?". the English were of all kinds". [9]:327 Non-fictional writings[edit] Christie published relatively few nonfiction works. Regarding Jewish characters.[52] On an edition of Desert Island Discs in 2007. while seen as un-English (such as Oliver Manders in Three Act Tragedy). Christie sometimes showed "foreigners" as victims or potential victims at the hands of English malefactors.. who are idle and gay.[58] List of writings[edit] . one of the more unsympathetic characters is "a Whitechapel Jewess with dyed hair and a voice like a corncrake . For example. she described "Hebraic men with hook-noses wearing rather flamboyant jewellery". such as. Savvy readers could sometimes identify the culprit by simply identifying the least likely suspect. a collection of correspondence from her 1922 Grand Tour of the British empire. UK. Germans good and methodical.  Agatha Christie: An Autobiography was published posthumously in 1977. then decided who the most unlikely suspect was."[9]:187 After trouble with an incompetent Swiss French nursery helper (Marcelle) for toddler Rosalind. in the short story "The Soul of the Croupier". and the American literary critic Edmund Wilson was dismissive of Christie and the detective fiction genre generally in his New Yorker essay. about working on an archaeological dig. After four years of war-torn London. and to whom death is not terrible. drawn from her life with second husband Max Mallowan... which she described as "gentle fertile country and its simple people. Brian Aldiss claimed that Christie had told him that she wrote her books up to the last chapter.. and characterisation. non-Europeans. they are rarely the culprits. she decides "Scottish preferred. and particularly in regard to Italians. and sometimes Americans. the last usually as impossibly naïve or uninformed. in later editions the passage was edited to describe "sallow men" wearing same. Australia. in the first editions of the collection The Mysterious Mr Quin (1930). Christie hoped to return some day to Syria. The novelist Raymond Chandler criticised her in his essay. To contrast with the more stereotyped descriptions. a small woman with a thick nose.. Jews. and who have dignity. In The Hollow. thus contradicting Aldiss's claim. henna red and a disagreeable voice".  The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery. after which she would then go back and make the necessary changes to "frame" that person. John Curran's Agatha Christie: The Secret Notebooks describes different working methods for every book in Christie's biography. published as late as 1946. plotting. and a great sense of humour.[54] Often she is lovingly affectionate or teasing with her prejudices. and Canada. Tell Me How You Live. [55][56][57] Some critics however regarded Christie's plotting abilities as considerably exceeding her literary ones.unlikeliest character the guilty party. but it was not German that I really wanted Rosalind to learn. and often referred to as the "Queen of Crime". The Irish were gay but made trouble in the house. good manners. Agatha Christie is considered a master of suspense.. particularly before the end of the Second World War (when such attitudes were more commonly expressed publicly). who know how to laugh and how to enjoy life. The French were hopeless disciplinarians . Critical reception[edit] The world's best-selling mystery writer. respectively. New Zealand. "The Simple Art of Murder". Olga Seminoff (Hallowe'en Party) and Katrina Reiger (in the short story "How Does Your Garden Grow?"). good with the young. [citation needed] Character stereotypes[edit] Christie occasionally inserted stereotyped descriptions of characters into her work.

which presented the secret life of Agatha Christie and the influences of archaeology in her life and works. — [8]:389[9] Many years ago. This theme was greatly strengthened by those times Christie spent in the Middle East where she was consistently surrounded by the religious temples and spiritual history of the towns and cities they were excavating during Mallowan's archaeological work. Tell Arpachiyah. Chagar Bazar. Christie had not had any extensive brushes with archaeology. a distinguished archaeologist. with its gold glint. One of the stronger influences is her love of the mystical and mysterious. funny episodes. which is often reflected as some type of transportation playing a part in her murderer's schemes. ceremony. The British Museum had an exhibit named Agatha Christie and Archaeology: Mystery in Mesopotamia. The carefulness of lifting pots and objects from the soil filled me with a longing to be an archaeologist myself. The large amount of travel was reused in novels such as The Murder on the Orient Express.[60] During their time in the Middle East. but her fame as an author far surpassed his fame in archaeology. To see a dagger slowly appearing. there was also a large amount of time spent travelling to and from Mallowan's sites. Anecdotes. Sir Max Mallowan. she chronicled her time in Syria with fondness in "Come Tell Me How You Live". Christie would always pay for her own board and lodging and her travel expenses. but also contributed work to the archaeological sites. than factual accuracy. when I was once saying sadly to Max it was a pity I couldn't have taken up archaeology when I was a girl. While accompanying Mallowan on countless archaeological trips (spending up to 3–4 months at a time in Syria andIraq at excavation sites at Ur. "Don't you realize that at this moment you know more about prehistoric pottery than any woman in England?" — [8]:546[9] Christie had a lifelong interest in archaeology. Many of Christie's books and short stories set both in the Middle East and back in England have a decidedly otherworldly influence in which religious sects. lovely scenery.Main article: Agatha Christie bibliography Interests and influences[edit] Archaeology[edit] The lure of the past came up to grab me.[61] After the Second World War.[59] Prior to meeting Mallowan. On a trip to the excavation site atUr in 1930. sacrifices. so as to be more knowledgeable on the subject. Their extensive traveling had a strong influence on her writing. [60] Spirituality[edit] Christie's life within the archaeological world shaped not only the settings and characters for her books but also the issues she highlights. Tell Brak. [citation needed] Use of archaeology and spirituality in her writing [edit] Many of the settings for Christie's books were directly inspired by the many archaeological field seasons spent in the Middle East on the sites managed by her husband Max. developing photos from early excavations which later led to taking photographs of the site and its findings. and seances play a part.[9]:1985 From 8 November 2001 to 24 March 2002. Such stories include "The Hound of Death" and "the Idol House of Astarte". he said. are strung in a rough timeline. memories. reconstructing pottery. she met her future husband. Ninevah. The extent of her . but once the two married they made sure to only go to sites where they could work together. and taking field notes. with more emphasis on eccentric characters.[60] So as to not influence the funding of the archaeological excavations. as well as suggesting the idea of archaeology as an adventure itself. and Nimrud). through the sand was romantic. Christie not only wrote novels and short stories. more specifically to the archaeological restoration and labelling of ancient exhibits which includes tasks such as cleaning and conserving delicate ivory pieces. and supported excavations as an anonymous sponsor.

Christie herself (Dame Peggy Ashcroft) murdered one of her fictional-turned-real characters. such as BBC television's Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures (2004). and the Doctor Who episode "The Unicorn and the Wasp" (17 May 2008). Some of these portrayals have explored and offered accounts of Christie's disappearance in 1926. Also there is the great detail in which she describes life at the dig site in Murder in Mesopotamia. multiple specialists. who plays Hercule Poirot on television. Many archaeological sites are visited along the way and one of the main characters.[65][66] . Christie has often given prominence to the archaeologists and experts in Middle Eastern cultures and artefacts. Most notable are the characters of Dr. in which her disappearance is the result of her suffering a temporary breakdown owing to a brief psychic link being formed between her and an alien). including the film Agatha (1979) (with Vanessa Redgrave. his wife. Others. and Bonnie Wright. in which she sneaks away to plan revenge against her husband).  Death on the Nile (1937) – takes place on a tour boat on the Nile.[62][63] Christie has also been portrayed fictionally. assistants. depicted in Death on the Nile. The death itself occurs at an old cave site in Petra and offers some very descriptive details of sites which Christie herself could have visited in order to write the book. The heroine of Liar-Soft's visual novel Shikkoku no Sharnoth: What a Beautiful Tomorrow (2008). as it is set in the Middle East at an archaeological dig site and associated expedition house. [64] In the TV play. Dr. while many minor characters in They Came to Baghdad were archaeologists. One such site featured in her work is the temple site of Abu Simbel. and the men working on the site. The main characters include an archaeologist. Kojak Budapesten (1980. not to be confused with the 1986 comedy by the same name) create their own scenarios involving Christie's criminal skill. is based on the real-life Christie.  They Came to Baghdad (1951) – inspired by Christie's own trips to Baghdad with Mallowan. Episode 1 of ITV Perspectives: "The Mystery of Agatha Christie" (2013). Mary Clarissa Christie. Eric Leidner. is an archaeologist. with Fenella Woolgar. Christie features as a character in Gaylord Larsen's Dorothy and Agatha and The London Blitz Murders by Max Allan Collins. in which she is portrayed by Olivia Williams. Murder by the Book (1986). Eric Leidner in Murder in Mesopotamia and Signor Richetti in Death on the Nile.  Appointment with Death (1938) – set in Jerusalem and its surrounding area. Several biographical programmes have been made. hosted by David Suchet. which showed the author had spent much of her time in very similar situations.time spent at the many locations featured in her books is apparent from the extreme detail in which she describes them. Poirot. The novel is noted most for its careful description of the dig site and house. and involves an archaeologist as the heroine's love interest. Signor Richetti. and Season 3. Among the characters in her books. Portrayals of Christie[edit] Christie has been portrayed on a number of occasions in film and television. The characters in this book in particular are also based on archaeologists Christie knew from her personal experiences on excavation sites. Anna Massey. Some of Christie's best known novels with heavy archaeological influences are:  Murder in Mesopotamia (1936) – the most archaeologically influenced of all her novels. such as Hungarian film.