Agatha Christie was an English detective novelist and playwright. She wrote over 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections. Her best work includes Murder on the Orient Express and the Mystery of the Blue Train. She was known as the Queen’ of Crime’. She wrote the world’s longest running play called the Mousetrap.
Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie was born on September 15, 1890 in Torquay, England to Fredrick Alvah Miller and Clara Boehmer. She was the youngest children. Her father was an American stockbroker and her mother was a storyteller. She was home-schooled by her mother. Her parents did not want her to learn to read until the age of eight. Agatha, as the only child at home, taught herself to read by the age of five.
In 1901, her father passed away which led her family into financial crisis. In 1902, she attended Miss Guyer’s Girls School but soon quit the school. Her mother inspired her to write poetry and short stories. Young Agatha was interested in writing poems. She even published her work in the poetry review.
She started her literacy career by writing short stories. Her first story was The House of Beauty (1926; late The House of Dreams). The story described the world of madness and dreams. She used mysticism as a central element in most of her stories.
Agatha also wrote a novel called Show upon the Desert. However, the novel was never published. During World War I, she volunteered and nursed soldiers at the hospital in Torquay, England.
Later, she started to work on her detective novel The Mystery Affairs of Styles. The book got published in 1920. She was praised for her well-described scenes involving poison in the story. It was also published in the famous Pharmaceutical Journal. In 1922, her second novel Murder on the Links came out in 1923.
In her crime novels, she used several real-life experience and factual information. For instance, during World War I she learned about various poisons when she worked in the Hospital. Later, she uses that information in her famous novel The Mysterious Affairs of Styles.
She was the most famous playwright of her time. She released works like The Hollow (1951) and Verdict (1958). Her play titled The Mousetrap held a record for the longest-running show in London’s West End Theater.
The play opened in 1952 and it ran for more than 23,000 performances. Many of Christie’s stories were made into famous movies like Murder on the Nile (1978). She was seen publicly for the last during the opening night of her plat Murder on the Orient Express in 1974.
Agatha married Archibald Christie on Christmas Eve in 1914 and had a daughter, Roseline. Their marriage didn’t last long and she divorced him 1928. She married for the second time to archaeologist Max Mallowan. Her travelled experiences with Mallowan in the Middle East provided a background for several of her detective novels. She described her trips in Come, Tell Me How You Live (1946), an autobiographical and travel piece, and in the Murder at the Vicarage (1930).
Agatha’s most famous characters were ‘Poirot” and “Marple” which she used in many of her novels and short stories. Poirot appeared in 33 novels and 51 short stories.
New York Time Ran a full page obituary when Agatha killed the Poirot character in 1975’s Curtains. While her Miss Marple character appeared in twelve novels and five short story collections, she later revealed that this character was based on her mother.
Agatha’s significant works include the novel Murder in Mesopotamia published in 1936. The characters that she used in this book are based on archaeologist that she met in real life. In 1938, the book Appointment with Death Came out.
The places that she mentioned in her novel were personally explored by Christie and then written about in the book.
Given her success as an author, she was known as the ‘Queen of Mystery’ and the ‘Queen of Crime.’ She became the top-selling author of all time. Billions of copies of all her works were sold worldwide. She wrote around eighty novels during her active years. Many of her books were adapted into films, television shows and even video games. Christie died in 1976, at the age of 85.