In 1921, a publishing phenomenon began with the publication of The Mysterious Affair at Styles, a sophisticated murder mystery with a protagonist by the name of Hercule Poirot.
It was the first of more than 60 crime novels by Agatha Christie, and heralded the career of an author who has been unsurpassed by any crime novelist and went on to outsell even Shakespeare.
To many, the terribly English world created by Agatha Christie is part of the myth of a more civilized era – a land of quiet reserve, stiff upper lips, cricket on the village green, gossipy old ladies and tea at the vicarage, but with the added ingredient of murder most foul.
Her most famous mysteries include such titles as Murder on the Orient Express, And then there were none and Death on the Nile and her ingenious construction of whodunits carried forward the genre of crime fiction, laying the foundation for the Golden Age of the detective novel.
Agatha Christie’s works remain a literary phenomenon and many of her mysteries have been immortalized through various television and cinema adaptations.
Christie herself was a discreet, private and ladylike person, avoiding publicity and disliking celebrity. Yet her life was far from dull: she travelled widely, to Germany, France, Cairo, and the Pyrenees amongst many other places, and in 1626 she hit the headlines when she disappeared for eleven days, creating a mystery around her life as intriguing as any plot she had ever written.
The world of Agatha Christie looks at this and other factors that have shaped her life, providing a colourful and informative life at the world’s greatest crime writer.
You can find further details of The world of Agatha Christie on the main catalogue, available in ‘Catalogues’ on the Library’s website.