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Agatha Christie (1890 - 1976)

Lifespan: 1890 - 1976

Related: British literature - detective fiction - mystery fiction - murder


Agatha Mary Clarissa, Lady Mallowan, DBE (September 15, 1890 January 12, 1976), better known as Dame Agatha Christie, was an English crime fiction writer. She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott.

Agatha Christie is the world's best-known mystery writer and, apart from William Shakespeare, is the all-time best-selling author of any genre. Her books have sold over two billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 103 foreign languages (as of 2006). As an example of her broad appeal, she is the all-time best-selling author in France, with over 40 million copies sold in French (as of 2003) versus 22 million for Emile Zola, the nearest contender. She is famously known as the 'Queen of Crime' and is, arguably, the most important and innovative writer in the development of the English mystery novel.

Her stage play The Mousetrap holds the record for the longest run ever in London, opening at the Ambassadors Theatre on November 25, 1952, and as of 2006 is still running after more than 20,000 performances.

Christie published over eighty novels and stageplays, mainly whodunnits and locked room mysteries, many of these featuring one of her main series characters, Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. Although she delighted in twisting the established detective fiction form - one of her early books, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, is renowned for its surprise denouement - she was scrupulous in "playing fair" with the reader by making sure information for solving the puzzle was given.

Most of her books and short stories have been filmed, some many times over (Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, 4.50 From Paddington). The BBC has produced television and radio versions of most of the Poirot and Marple stories. A later series of Poirot dramatizations starring David Suchet was made by Granada Television. In 2004, the Japanese broadcasting company Nippon Housou Kyoukai turned Poirot and Marple into animated characters in the anime series Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple, introducing Mabel West (daughter of Miss Marple's mystery-writer nephew Raymond West, a canonical Christie character) and her duck Oliver as new characters. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha_Christie [Jun 2006]


Agatha Christie and Georges Simenon, were both labeled gialli when first published in Italy.

For a long time Lenin, Queen of Crime Agatha Christie, The Bible and Walt Disney jostled for a place among the top four of the 10 most translated authors.

Agatha Christie has conributed to The Strand Magazine

Christie's books are numerous, though her literary reputation has suffered.

Agatha Christie's 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd', Shakespeare's 'Five Great Tragedies', and 'Bambi' were of the first paperbacks published.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) - Agatha Christie

In search of unreliable narrators

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (published in 1926) is a detective novel by Agatha Christie. It features Hercule Poirot as the lead detective. It is one of Christie's most well-known and most controversial novels, its innovative twist ending having a significant impact on the genre.

The murderer is Dr. Sheppard, the story's narrator.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Murder_of_Roger_Ackroyd [Jun 2006]

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