Agatha Christie

April 20, 2015 - Comment

An informed introduction to the Christie phenomenon, updated to include new material on the final Poirot adaptation series and Sophie Hannah’s The Monogram Murders Since her debut in 1920 with The Mysterious Affair At Styles, Agatha Christie has become the chief proponent of the English village murder mystery. Although she created two enormously popular characters—the

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An informed introduction to the Christie phenomenon, updated to include new material on the final Poirot adaptation series and Sophie Hannah’s The Monogram Murders

Since her debut in 1920 with The Mysterious Affair At Styles, Agatha Christie has become the chief proponent of the English village murder mystery. Although she created two enormously popular characters—the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and the inquisitive elderly spinster and amateur sleuth Miss Jane Marple of St Mary Mead—it is not generally acknowledged that she wrote in many different genres: comic mysteries (Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?), atmospheric whodunits (Murder On The Orient Express), espionage thrillers (N or M?), romances (under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott), plays (The Mousetrap), and poetry. She was never afraid to break the rules either, and provoked a storm of controversy with the unorthodox resolution of The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd, now acclaimed as one of the classics of British crime fiction. Christie wrote complex whodunits in a clear, readable style, which is why her books are as popular now as they were 80 years ago. Exemplary film and TV adaptations (Peter Ustinov and David Suchet as Poirot, Margaret Rutherford, and Joan Hickson as Miss Marple), have also encouraged new readers to search out her work. The film, TV, and stage adaptations are listed in this guide, and appendices point readers to books and websites where they can find out more.

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