Personalities

Personality of Agatha Christie - 5/5 (1)

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The Personality of Agatha Christie

 

1. Getting To Know Agatha Christie

 

“Very few of us are what we seem.”

 

She is still known as the Queen of Crime. With over 100 million copies of her books sold, Agatha Christie redefined the mystery novel into the captivating and creative stories known and loved today. It was clear from the beginning of her career that her talents would be appreciated globally. Her works had such an impact that even her character, Hercule Poirot, became the only fictional figure who had an obituary in the New York Times. Many of her pieces of writing drew from experiences travelling the world. Yet despite her international fame and worldly travels, when one thinks of Agatha Christie, one calls to mind a true Englishwoman.

She was a realist yet a romantic. She was a conservative, yet pushed boundaries far beyond the status quo. She, at times, displayed her gregariousness; in other moments, she was quite reserved. She found life at its most vibrant in the most ordinary and orderly things. Her genius lay somewhere between speed and innovation. Agatha Christie was, first and foremost, a proper lady. But underneath the woman’s conventional nature stood a life so unique and so unexpected that even her famous disappearance read straight out of a detective novel.

But Mrs Christie wasn’t only a novelist. She was a playwright, a writer of short stories, a poet, a loved daughter, a conflicted mother, a wife, a wife a second time, and a woman of faith. Her childhood uniquely shaped her ability to spot substance in everyday things. Her strong relationship with her mother formed a bond that would influence her throughout her life. Surrounded by countless ideas and encouraged to write as a child, Agatha grew into her authorship at a young age, always having a voice and never needing to find it.

However, her voice and writing styles changed throughout her life. War, marriages, and shifts in economic status impacted her life and career. Financial struggles, motherhood, characters she met overseas, infidelity, depression, grief, and new passions would all dictate the road ahead. Her life was like one of her novels at times, most notably when she disappeared for eleven days in 1926. Ultimately, Mrs Christie’s legacy is more than literary. It’s a monument to writing of all forms – film, theatre, and television. Her influence grew tremendously and continues to do so.

 

2. Agatha Christie’s Personality

 

“The tragedy of life is that people do not change.”

 

Personality of Agatha Christie

Mrs Christie’s personality type fits well within the INFJ, or The Counsellor, Myers Briggs type indicator. These personalities are packed with innovation, passion, empathy, and romance. Agatha wrote at an incredible speed, illustrating her countless ideas and fascinations that couldn’t be held within for long. Other writers would spend decades completing the number of works that Mrs Christie published in one year. There was no mistake of quantity over quality either. Though, like any author, some books sold better than others, Agatha’s literary legacy epitomises the phrase “page turner”.

Her world was also filled with enjoyment. During her time overseas, even when working, she would find pleasure wherever she went. When she was home, she spent her free time with her friends. She would attend concerts, plays, and parties. Luckily for her, she did not marry her work as many authors do. She enjoyed living in the moment, whether that entailed soaking up the view of her backyard gardens in peaceful silence, or telling a story among a crowd.

INFJ personalities also possess the tendency to form symbols more so than others. For Agatha, this came in many forms. One notable example was her childhood home, a symbol of order, solitude, and her mother’s love. When it was sadly destroyed, her heart ached for its death. She would grieve the home’s loss even after being so far away from it for years.

Mrs Christie, like other INFJ personalities, was steered in directions led by her own values. She valued order in her everyday things. She found comfort in having a grip on life, and change didn’t sit well with her. She didn’t drink, presumably due to a lack of control over her body and mind, though she would admit she was simply never fond of the taste of alcohol. She valued conservatism and had an appreciation for authority. But this did not mean she would remain strictly within the confines expected of a woman in her day. Though her family encouraged her writing, no one (including herself) believed she would become a career woman.

The author’s relationship with her mother, Clara, is likely from where her idealistic nature and passion stemmed. The two had such a strong bond, shared by a love for writing and family. Clara was a profound influence in Agatha’s life. From her childhood until her second marriage, Agatha confided in her mother. INFJs tend to be more optimistic than others. It is believed that Clara was a symbol of light for Agatha.

Her appreciation for romance is illustrated through her love life as well. Her marriage to Archie Christie was incredibly meaningful to her. So when the bond was broken for many reasons, including alleged infidelity on Archie’s end with his soon to be wife, Nancy, Mrs Christie was devastated. INFJs tend to be disheartened by such challenges, but in the end, they find their way back to the belief that the future will turn out in their favour.

But one must remember not to generalise the Myers Briggs scale as a one size fits all system. Agatha was complex and ever-changing. In fact, in her later years, she transitioned more toward another personality: The Thinker or NT-Green. She questioned the future in ways she hadn’t before, as shown in her later book, Passenger to Frankfurt:

“What a world it was nowadays . . . Everything used the whole time to arouse emotion. Discipline? Restraint? None of these things counted for anything any more. Nothing mattered but to feel. What sort of a world . . . could that make?”

Perhaps this was the effects of war or the desperation for privacy as her fame grew. Maybe her obligations as a mother had interfered with the control of her well-structured lifestyle. Whatever sparked such doubt in the future, we may never fully understand.

 

3. Agatha’s Birth and Childhood

 

“Between the ages of 5 and 12 years old, I led a wonderfully happy life.”

 

Agatha Christie’s Birth

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie Miller was born on 15 September 1890. She entered the world in Torquay, Devon, England, up a big hill in the Miller family home just outside of town. Luckily for baby Agatha, she was born into a loving, upper middle class household, which laid the foundations for her success as a writer.

 

The Miller Family

Agatha’s parents were Clara and Frederick Miller. She had two siblings, one sister who was eleven years older named Margaret (Madge for short), and a brother ten years her senior named Louis Montant (Monty for short). No matter what was going on in the world around her, Agatha’s family protected her in the early years. She lived a sheltered life, which likely led to the early development of her imagination and interest in placing her thoughts on paper. She wasn’t the only person in the family interested in writing. Her sister grew up to be an author. Her mother encouraged her to write throughout her entire life, including childhood. Unlike the conventional paternal restrictions of the time, her father did not oppose any of his daughters’ creativity. This atmosphere contributed to Agatha’s independent nature, a suitable environment for any young artist.

The Millers were not perfect, however. Agatha’s father had multiple affairs, was sketchy with his money, and had an idle disposition. He persisted in asking for Clara’s hand in marriage, which Agatha’s mother initially rejected. She was insecure about her more unconventional beauty. But eventually, Frederick won her over with his charisma. The couple enjoyed married life together before having their first child, Madge, in 1879,while on an extended Swiss honeymoon.

 

Agatha and Her Father

c.1892 Agatha Christie with her father

Frederick was an American who was raised by his father Nathaniel and stepmother Margaret. The man was a true New Yorker, but like his daughter Agatha, he would experience many cultures from a young age. His family fortune was primarily built in the United States. He was a successful stockbroker who would later impress his future wife with his lifestyle and charm.

But life was not all glitz and glam for the American. His finances took a massive hit, which was largely brushed aside, even as problems grew worse. Several of his trustees suffered from mental health issues, and many believed him to be involved in an embezzlement scheme. Unfortunately, as his money issues worsened, so did his health. He passed away in 1901 in Ealing, a London suburb where his stepmother lived. Agatha was only eleven years old at the time.

Agatha and her father had a loving relationship, but nothing compared to the relationship she had with her mother. Still, his death severely affected the child. Agatha suddenly became nakedly exposed to life’s harsh realities. Describing her days after her father’s death, she wrote:

 

“I stepped out of my child’s world . . . to enter the fringes of the world of reality.”

 

Agatha and Her Mother

Agatha Christie’s mother, Clara Miller

No family dispute or quarrel could ever break the bond that Agatha and her mother shared. They were each other’s anchor in calm seas and torrential storms. They were also fairly similar. Both had broad imaginations that inspired them to dream big. But Clarissa did not have the luxury of growing up in a secure household. Born in 1854, Agatha’s mother, Mary Ann, spent most of her time raising her children without Clara’s father, Captain Frederick. He tragically fell off his horse and died from his injuries. That left Clara and her family destitute and struggling. It was simply too much for Mary Ann to handle, and when Clara’s father died, her mother’s sister offered to raise one of the four children.

Clara was the chosen child, and at only nine years of age, she was sent to live with her aunt Margaret and uncle Nathanial. This decision shaped the course of her life, along with Agatha’s upbringing. Though Clara perhaps felt abandoned, her strength as a mother was undoubtedly her most reliable asset to her family. Much of that strength came from her independence. She stepped up as the family’s matriarch, especially when her husband was away and after he died. She even took on financial aspects of the household, an unusual practice of any middle or upper-class housewife in Britain. One day when Frederick came back to Torquay, he found out that his wife had purchased their new home with the money she inherited from her uncle.

Clara was, first and foremost, a mother to her daughter. Though her initial feelings about the young writer’s reading habits were shrouded in doubt, she softened to the idea as Agatha matured. Discouraging reading was a mere product of the times the Miller family lived in. Soon enough, Agatha’s mother would become quite the encouraging force in her daughter’s career, even after she died. It was her mother who suggested the girl start writing in the first place. Agatha became very ill with the flu and was stuck on bed rest. The boredom was unbearable, and more so than the sickness itself. Clara suggested that her daughter start writing in her notebook. She told a young Agatha that writing down her thoughts would keep her occupied for the time being. And thus, the writing began.

Agatha’s relationship with Clara cannot be overstated. The writer describes that she received “a dangerous intensity of affection” from her mother in Unfinished Portrait. When Clarissa passed away in April 1926, Agatha suffered the most upsetting loss she likely ever felt.

 

Agatha’s Childhood Home Ashfield

 

Ashfield, birthplace and first home of Agatha Christie

 

Much of Agatha’s best childhood moments took place within the family home, which her mother bought with an inheritance from her uncle. It was where she played with her first dog named Tony, a Yorkshire terrier who was buried nearby. It was the place where she first began writing as a child. She grew up with the home’s accompanying view, which would imprint in her mind for a lifetime. Ashfield was the birthplace of Agatha and her ability to find beauty in the most average of things. It also became the first symbol she knew and loved, representing her mother, imagination, and childhood. The large windows, the yard’s green garden, and the multiple chimneys all made this house the treasured home of the young Agatha.

Sadly, the home had to be sold after her father’s death. But it still stood for another twenty years. Agatha would visit the house before it was destroyed in 1960, a sad day for her inner child.

 

Growing Up as Agatha Christie

Agatha watering plants in her childhood home

Agatha Christie grew up like many other young girls her age and of her social status. She had some formal schooling, but not as much as her brother. The school she did attend taught her the graces of a proper lady. But even a part-time education couldn’t hold a young Agatha back in her love for reading. Most of her writing skills as a child came from her older sister and father. They taught her what she didn’t learn in school. Her father also taught her maths and sports. Her mother pushed back on such activities, likely because Agatha was spending too much time on these activities instead of more ladylike pursuits. But Clara gave up her resistance eventually and ultimately understood that her daughter would be no different than her: an independent lady.

As a child, Agatha still partook in those normal activities for young girls of her status. She would help cook in the kitchen, run around the garden, visit her aunt when her parents would travel, and other ventures. She was particularly fond of the family’s cook, Jane, who would remain with the family even when they would lose most of their house staff due to the war.

 

Agatha and Her Siblings

Margaret ‘Madge’ Frary Miller, the sister of Agatha Christie.

Madge became a successful writer before Agatha. In fact, Agatha looked up intensely to her big sister, almost as much as to her mother. Her journal entry shows this in 1903, which points out both women as significant influences in her life. Agatha put aspects of her sister into her stories as early as 1908,in The House of Beauty.

Agatha Christie holding her hands over the eyes of her elder brother, Louis ‘Monty’ Montant

On the other hand, Agatha and her brother did not have as close a relationship. He struggled throughout his life, unable to hold down a job. First, he tried the banking industry, then shipbuilding. In 1899 during the Boer War, Monty signed up for the army. This proved better for him than other careers but ultimately didn’t work out either. It’s unknown exactly what caused such life struggles for the man. It is generally believed that Monty suffered from mental health issues, as circumstantially, he was set up for a successful life. Agatha would later describe her brother as “childish.” But in reality, it was more chaotic than immaturity. Monty died in 1929, leaving behind some stories and poems of his own authorship. Despite their rocky connection, Agatha loved her brother. After he passed away and was buried in France, the writer took it upon herself to tend to his grave as the years passed.

 

 

4. Miss Agatha Miller

 

“It’s what’s in *yourself* that makes you happy or unhappy.”

 

Agatha as a Teenager in France

Agatha in Paris, 1906.

Agatha and her mother set off to Paris when she was about fifteen years old. After the devastating loss of her father, the young lady found joy again in the arts. She learned painting, dancing, and music, all with rigorous ambition. She even spent time practising the piano, sometimes seven hours in one day, with her teacher, Charles Furster. Of course, the teenager did not give up on writing. She wrote more frequently in France. But Agatha’s desire to become a musician grew at an accelerating rate, even more so than her writing interests. Mrs Christie would later admit that she dreamt of becoming an opera singer, though she knew her talents didn’t lie as a vocalist.

 

Agatha’s First Trip to Egypt

Agatha Christie in Egypt

Agatha was delighting in dancing and socials when the young woman and her mother decided to travel to Egypt in 1907 for three months. This would not be the only time she visited Cairo, as she would return with her second husband, an archaeologist, who would work extensively in the area. But as a teenager turning into a young woman, Agatha relished in the tourist activities that many Brits of a particular class enjoyed. She attended polo matches, toured historical monuments, met new friends, and even received her first two marriage proposals while visiting.

The Christie women stayed for three months at the glamourous Gezirah Palace Hotel. Though the family was in a worse financial position ever since her father’s death, Agatha still enjoyed holidays, as Egypt was a relatively affordable destination. The trips influenced her writing heavily. Agatha pulled ideas for her stories from life experiences. This included the recent Egyptian adventure. She wrote the book Snow Upon the Desert after her visit, which was set in Cairo.

 

5. Agatha and Archie Christie

 

“Everybody said, “Follow your heart”. I did, it got broken.”

 

The Beginning

Archibald Christie

On 12 October 1912, Archie Christie decided to ask a young Agatha to dance at Ugbrooke House, where a social gathering was being hosted by Lord and Lady Clifford. Archie, twenty-three at the time, was so intrigued by the woman that he asked her for a dance a total of five times. Agatha, just one year younger than Archie, fell for the lieutenant and soon to be pilot after several dates.

But though their passion ignited quickly, their romance was not straightforward. Their marriage was postponed time and time again, and they finally married after nearly two years. Much of the delay was caused by external factors such as World War I and financial struggles. Still, other factors were at play in the resistance towards the couple’s union. There was also hesitation from Agatha’s mother. Though Clara was endlessly supportive of her daughter, it didn’t mean she wouldn’t express her fierce opposition if she felt the need to do so.

 

The Marriage

Agatha and Archie Christie

Before the couple wed, Archie left for the war. They tied the knot when he was home for a limited leave on 24 December 1914 but was sent back to France once again soon after. The wedding was quite unconventional for more reasons than the war. The pair married at Archie’s family church in their street clothes. The newlyweds spent little time together before Archie was sent back to fight. But the two reunited in 1918 and settled down. Archie landed a job at the Air Ministry, lending him the ability to finally be a husband who lived with his wife at home. The couple made the most of his return and had their only child, Rosalind, in 1919.

Agatha also did her part in the war effort. She joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment and worked on and off from 1914 to 1918, with a total of 3,400 hours as a nurse. One wouldn’t peg Agatha to be a natural at nursing, given her sheltered childhood. But her life experiences so far shaped her surprisingly to be an effective hospital worker. She found pleasure in the work, as well. She confessed it might have been her chosen career path if she had never married Archie. But she was with her husband and must have felt pain every time she thought about him when he was overseas. One could imagine that working with such horrific injuries on young soldiers had given her a harsh dose of reality.

After the war, the Christie family experienced much change along with the rest of the country. They were poorer, less secure, and lived a life similar to all but the most wealthy in Britain. The family had a maid, but otherwise, Agatha ran the home. Archie made less money when out of the army working in finance. This was the beginning of the long road ahead for the couple. Agatha became more successful in her writing as Archie struggled to maintain a decent income. The couple and their daughter went on an overseas tour where Archie became ill, which further compromised his ability to work. This, plus the continued disapproval of Clara, likely led Archie to unhappiness.

 

The End of Agatha and Archie

He fell out of love with Agatha, and the family was broken. After requesting a divorce in 1926, the same year of Clara’s death and Agatha’s famous disappearance, the couple made it final in 1928. Archie then married Nancy Neele. Whether he had an affair with the woman during his marriage to Agatha can only be speculated.

 

 

6. Agatha and Her Daughter Rosalind

 

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world.”

 

Mrs Christie and Motherhood

Agatha Christie with her daughter Rosalind

It was clear that Agatha did not enjoy motherhood as Clarissa, her mother had. When Rosalind Margaret Clarissa was born in August 1919, Mrs Christie was evidently forced to shift her priorities. She was no longer solely focused on travelling the world, writing stories, and enjoying her time with her husband. She was running the home and taking care of her daughter. She, of course, loved little Rosalind, but it is evident that the bond she and her own mother had was far from the one she engendered with her daughter. This curious disconnect is shown in her own words from the author’s autobiography. She states that a child “is yours and yet is mysteriously a stranger . . . it is like a strange plant which you have brought home, planted, and can hardly wait to see how it will turn out.”

Motherhood did not sway Mrs Christie away from her writing, however. She wrote many books after childbirth, which was likely thanks to the help of her maid. But even as she juggled running a home and taking care of Rosalind, Agatha was determined to keep up the fast-paced work.

As Rosalind entered adulthood, it was clear she was damaged in some regard from her mother’s devotion to her career. Though she vigorously defended Mrs Christie’s stories and successes after she died, Rosalind’s early life was characterised by the emotional absence of her mother. This is not to say Agatha had no love for her only child. Agatha dedicated her book, Murder at the Vicarage, to the girl when she was eleven years old.

 

Rosalind Extends the Family

Mrs Christie found out she would gain a son-in-law named Hubert Prichard in Spring 1940. He was twelve years older than Rosalind, and the couple’s marriage ended when Hubert died in the Battle of Normandy. In 1943, Rosalind gave birth to Agatha’s grandson, Mathew Prichard. Rosalind married her second husband in 1949. He was a lawyer named Anthony Hicks. Hicks developed a professional and personal relationship with Mrs Christie. He fit well in the family and even had a strong friendship with Max, Agatha’s second husband. But for Rosalind, her first marriage would always hold more emotional significance than her second.

 

 

7. Agatha Christie and Her Disappearance

 

“The simplest explanation is always the most likely.”

 

1926: A Sad and Mysterious Year

Without a doubt, the year 1926 was a horrible one for the famous author. Not only did her mother pass away, but her husband asked her for a divorce. Suspicions of an affair with Nancy Neele surrounded Archie. She was already known to Agatha as a friend of a friend, and perhaps Agatha guessed something was going on. Agatha must have still felt a shift when her husband fell out of love with her even if there was no love affair. On the evening of 3 December 1926, the two got into an argument over Archie wanting to take a weekend holiday without Agatha. What ensued following this quarrel would be subject to meticulous investigations from fans, police, and future readers to this day. The question remains: what happened to Agatha Christie when she disappeared for eleven days?

 

What Were the Facts of Mrs Christie’s Vanishing?

Police search for Agatha Christie

The morning after Agatha and Archie argued over his weekend getaway, her car was found at Newlands Corner, only a few miles away from her home. There were clothes inside the car, along with an expired licence. Authorities searched for days on end. They looked deep under lakes and covered nearby ground with about 15,000 people volunteering to find Mrs Christie. The police tapped the writer’s phone and searched nearby cottages. On 6 December, The Daily Mail printed her photo and disappearance. On 10 December, the newspaper published Archie Christie’s statement on the matter. He claimed she was indeed alive and that she likely vanished of her own volition. Superintendent Kenward, the man supervising the search, concluded that the writer most likely drove off the road and escaped as her car plunged beneath a hill. After evading the car accident, the policeman suspected she was too disoriented to find her home. Mrs Christie was found eleven days after her disappearance at a hotel in Harrogate. She checked in under her husband’s alleged mistress’s last name, Neele. But any reasoning for this bizarre occurrence would be left unturned.

At this point in her career, Mrs Christie had much success. Needless to say, she had fans obsessing over her unfortunate and ominous disappearance. But of course they would, as they were avid murder mystery readers. It was straight out of one of her detective books. A woman disappeared, an investigation ensued, the husband was suspected, but this time there was no murder.

 

The Theories

After Agatha was found safely in the hotel, the rumours ran even more wildly than when she was still missing. Many people sensationalised the story as a plot by Agatha herself, luring authorities to follow one of her mysteries, but this time in real life. Another wild theory was that she wanted to frame her husband for her murder. Some believed that she was upset about Archie’s alleged infidelity, so she abruptly left to take time for herself. A message that turned out to be a hoax sparked more conversation about what happened. One may choose to believe the police in the matter, claiming the author simply became lost. This was far less imaginative than many of the conspiracy theorists who studied the events. However, it very well could have been a mixture of stress, depression, and grief, that led the writer to fall off the grid.

Agatha Christie and her daughter, Rosalind, (right), are featured in a newspaper article reporting her mysterious disappearance

Archie provided several more statements to the papers. He claimed that Agatha did not remember a thing of what occurred, something many could not believe. He even went as far as to say that she did not have a clue who she was. One of the last comments from Agatha’s husband was that she was “extremely ill” and suffered from amnesia. Mrs Christie never disclosed a statement on the events in late 1926. Amid all the theories, one thing remains clear: the world will never know what truly happened and why.

 

 

8. Agatha and Max Mallowan

 

“I married an archeologist because the older I grow, the more he appreciates me.”

 

Meeting Her Second Husband

Agatha Christie and Max Mallowan, during his digging in Syria between 1935 and 1937

Max Mallowan was an archaeologist who met Mrs Christie due to a lucky conversation at a dinner party. In 1928, Agatha took some friendly advice from a couple to travel to the Middle East. She was impressed by their description and departed to the region on holiday. The couple, the Woolleys, encouraged her to go again a few years later. Mrs Christie and her friends grew closer, so she again followed their friendly advice, not least because she had thoroughly enjoyed her trip the first time around.

When she arrived, she met a young man, only twenty-five years old. This was Max. He was working on an archeological excursion at the time, and though both he and Agatha were an unlikely pair, primarily due to their age difference, they clicked instantly. On 11 September 1930, Max and Agatha married. The two purchased a home in 1934 called Winterbrook. Like Ashfield, the house had a yard with a garden for Agatha to enjoy. But nothing would compare to her childhood home. She would even refer to Winterbrook as Max’s home, not their home together.

 

Life With Max Mallowan

Agatha Christie and Max Mallowan

Max was a short young man of unremarkable looks. But he was very charming and impressed his future wife with the idea of an enjoyable relationship. Though he wasn’t keen on big romantic gestures, he would prove to be a more fitting husband than Archie. They both loved to travel and explore other cultures. Agatha even found interest in Max’s work. She would join her husband on archaeological digs and record his findings. Agatha’s life was driven by her leisure. Rosalind was a grown woman (in fact, she was almost as old as Max), so Agatha could focus on her new marriage without any motherly responsibility tugging at her every urge to do something for herself. Mrs Christie spent her time writing, travelling, relaxing, attending the theatre (with her favourite being Shakespearean productions), and spending time among her active social circle, which grew significantly with the addition of Max’s work colleagues.

 

When his wife passed away, Max would marry again to Barbara Parker. Parker had a professional relationship with the archaeologist, helping to organise excavations. Max married her only a couple of years after Mrs Christie died, sparking suspicions of infidelity. But ultimately, it was clear that Max and Agatha had a happy life together, enjoying their work and leisure as a unit.

 

Agatha and Stephen Glanville

Stephen Glanville

One of Max’s friends and colleagues was named Stephen Glanville. Agatha and Stephen became quite friendly thanks to the new marriage, which was encouraged by Max, especially when he was busy with work. But the friendship grew very deep from an outside perspective, more so than what a typical platonic relationship would be considered appropriate for two married people. There was ample time when the two were away from their spouses. Max was abroad, and Stephen’s wife and children were in Canada. Agatha’s book, Five Little Pigs, was dedicated to Stephen. He also convinced Agatha to write a story based in ancient Egypt, which she rarely did based on the persistence of others. They frequently visited each other into the 1940s, which Max was fully aware of. However, it’s unknown whether or not his approval wore off, given their deepening fondness. Perhaps Agatha found her third love. Maybe it was a one-sided attraction, given Mrs Christie’s blatant transparency about the relationship. Like many aspects of her life, the exact nature of the relationship will likely remain a mystery.

 

 

9. Agatha and Her Beliefs

 

“Everything that has existed, lingers in the Eternity.”

 

Mrs Christie and Religion

Growing up and as a young woman, Agatha was a very religious person. She attended an Anglican church, but after her divorce, may have lost a bit of her faith. After splitting up with Archie, she did not take communion ever again. This could have been due to the embarrassment or guilt she felt for breaking up her family. But she wasn’t thrown off from religion altogether. She respected Max as a Catholic, though the Church wouldn’t acknowledge their marriage as Agatha would not convert.

Aside from her personal beliefs, she was still very interested in the faiths of other cultures. Her work with Max further ignited this curiosity. She placed spiritual references within her stories from Egypt and her home country.

 

Mrs Christie and Gender

Mrs Christie always held a woman’s role to a high standard and mostly in line with traditional values. In the early sixties, she was asked about the increased emergence of women in public life. Her response illustrated her firmly held beliefs. She said the reason for such a rise was, “Probably due to the foolishness of women in relinquishing their position of privilege attained after many centuries of civilisation. Primitive women toil incessantly. We seem determined to return to that state voluntarily – or by listening to persuasion, and therefore forfeiting the joys of leisure and creative thought, and the perfecting of home conditions.” In other words, Agatha, despite her claim against feminism, was quite clearly, a feminist in some fashion. Her work alone reflects the ambition of a successful woman. She believed that women were “the privileged sex.” She grew up in a matriarchy and was heavily influenced by the women around her.

Her writing also reflected equality among men and women. Typical murder mysteries were centred around male murderers. But criminals in Mrs Christie’s eyes were blind to gender, expanding the narrow-minded fiction into a world exploring complex female characters.

But at her core, she was a traditional English lady. She undoubtedly supported the empowerment of females to claim their own place in the world. But she would never hold such beliefs when it came to sexuality. Ultimately, Mrs Christie understood the importance of females taking control of their lives, especially when enjoying life’s pleasures. But she believed this should take place within a man’s world.

 

 

10. Mrs Christie and Her Writing

 

“Plots come to me at such odd moments, when I am walking along the street, or examining a hat shop…suddenly a splendid idea comes into my head.”

 

Early Writing

As early as 1901, Agatha wrote poetry in her journal. She was a young girl, so naturally, she wrote about what surrounded her: her garden, her cat, her father, and so forth. Her first publication was a poem in a local newspaper. Though she enjoyed writing poetry and short stories, she is best known for her detective novels. During World War I, Agatha started to write her beloved genre. After the war, her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was published. Styles was the name of the home that she and Archie bought together as they settled into married life. Her use of real-life references would continue from there. She was always pulling from cultures she encountered, people she knew, the family and friends she loved, and relatable experiences.

The Secret Adversary was published in 1920. At this point in her career, she finally picked up the pace, publishing more novels and short stories. What began as a hobby quickly turned into her career. The writer herself didn’t consider it until she received positive feedback from her published works in the early 1920s from both English critics and readers overseas. In 1922, Mr and Mrs Christie toured Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa together on the author’s first major tour. But the writer never strayed too far away from what she truly desired to write. This is shown early in her career as she financed her own publication of, The Road of Dreams. It was a series of poems that didn’t perform well monetarily but certainly gave the young writer pleasure in her work.

Agatha Cristie writing

Throughout the 1920s, Mrs Christie was published in newsletters and magazines. She continued to write novels alongside her shorter pieces, further promoting her growing reputation as a speedy and intriguing writer. In 1925, her novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, was a turning point in her success. It became a best-seller instantly, and with a surprising twist ending, the story captivated readers everywhere.

 

How Did the World Receive Mrs Christie’s Works?

Agatha Cristie signing books

Agatha was always coming up with new ideas. She was a quick thinker and a fast writer. She would observe everyday life and turn them into stories, and captivating ones at that. Where an average author would take years to finish just one novel, Agatha Christie would write dozens. Her stories were easy to read, yet unique and engaging. Her works were translated into numerous languages. Because of the relatively easy translation and readability, people around the globe learned much about English culture thanks to the author.

The status quo challenged Mrs Christie’s early works. Her debut novel was not well-received. Many thought the readability meant that her books were simple. Despite her accessible language, her books are quite complex. She focused on character development more than any ordinary murder mystery story. To follow her stories properly, one must always seek beyond a character’s layers. If someone had an alibi, this didn’t discount them as the murderer. If someone was a sinful character, this didn’t mean they were involved in any nefarious activity surrounding a particular crime. What her writing came down to at its core was human fallibility, fragility, and mystery.

As her fame grew around 1945-1950, so did the book sales. She sold approximately fifty million books by 1950, and she only became more successful afterwards. Her writing style became a staple of literary fiction. It was simple, intelligent, and glamourous. Instead of ordinary deaths, there were poisons, crimes of passion, female murderers, and virtually anything that wouldn’t be in a respectable newspaper. Her plot structure was consistent yet played out in unique ways throughout her works. It was the type of over-the-top and compelling content that was nearly impossible not to love. She alone uplifted and then upgraded the murder mystery genre.

 

Agatha Christie and Her Influences

From her childhood to her travels as an adult, it seemed that nothing would pass Agatha by without it being deeply analysed as a potential plot point, character, or other source of inspiration. When Agatha was a little girl, she would play with imaginary friends. These friends appeared in her early journal writing, along with other childhood memories. Growing up with her sister, Margaret, she had someone to obsess with her over detective stories and other works. In her autobiography, the author admits that Madge significantly influenced her continuation to write and her interest in the mystery genre. Madge indeed was a writer herself, publishing before her little sister’s debut novel was released. Agatha’s interest in detective stories began when Madge was tasked with writing her own.

She also drew inspiration from her Auntie Granny for the famous character Miss Marple. Auntie Granny was her nickname for Margaret West Miller, her step-grandmother on her father’s side of the family. Christie would reference her step-grandmother as highly suspicious of everyone around her, a perfect reference point for the writer’s most popular female detective.

As the inventor of the most adored murder mystery tropes, Christie could captivate an audience with simple motives. Money was an ample theme in nearly every mystery she wrote. It is a perfect motive for a heinous crime. But besides money behind the secrets, finances were a prominent theme of Mrs Christie’s real life. She pulled from the experience of switching from an upper-middle-class household to a poor home after the first world war. She experienced the threat of bankruptcy and tax concerns. Oftentimes, money was a key motivator for her speedy production of novels.

Agatha’s choice of reading material also impacted her works. Among her favourites were Gaston Leroux, Sherlock Holmes, and Shakespeare. If she was not writing, she was reading. A holiday for Mrs Christie involved books, whether that meant her own writing process or enjoying a classic Shakespearean play.

 

Agatha Christie as Mary Westmacott

In true mystery fashion, Mrs Christie assumed a secret identity while writing six of her novels. She disguised herself as novelist Mary Westmacott. She wrote the first book in 1930, and the entire series was a shift in the author’s typical story type. It was more of an experiment than anything else she’d ever published. Seeking a departure from the ordinary literary sphere she was grouped in, she decided to push boundaries as an entirely different person. She was very successful in her journey as Westmacott. Mrs Christie went to great lengths to hide her true identity, including practising different handwriting styles. The hard work paid off, as the famous writer beneath the false name was kept hidden for twenty years. But her exposure wasn’t her own doing. She desired to continue the literary freedom that the identity gave her. Unfortunately for the secret author, in 1946, an American critic outed her.

 

Detective Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple

Mrs Christie developed two popular characters throughout her career: Detective Poirot and Miss Marple. Both investigators became Agatha Christie staples in English mystery. Her first issued book introduced Detective Hercule Poirot, who was in thirty novels and nearly double that number in the author’s short stories. Mrs Christie became tired of the popular character, however. She admitted that she prefered Miss Jane Marple, going so far as to say that Poirot was “insufferable.” In 1930, Miss Marple emerged in Agatha’s story, The Murder at the Vicarage. The character was based on Mrs Christie’s grandmother, which could help to explain why she preferred this detective over her male counterpart.

Agatha Christie again surprised fans everywhere when it was revealed that she wrote the final detective novels featuring the two characters during the Second World War. It came as a shock because they were only released to the public toward the end of Mrs Christie’s career. The stories were hidden for thirty years.

 

Agatha and Her Other Famous Characters

Though Miss Marple and Detective Hercule Poirot were the novelist’s most well-known characters, with the most stories of their adventures, Mrs Christie wrote other notable figures. Tommy and Tuppence are young detectives who encounter criminals and foreign operatives after World War I. Ariadne Oliver helps to solve mysteries with Detective Poirot, giving the story a compelling character dynamic from both the male and female perspectives. Christie also produced the notable characters Harley Qin and Parker Pyne.

 

Agatha Christie and Her Plays

Just as Mrs Christie enjoyed attending the theatre, she also became an avid playwright. It makes sense that she would dip her toes into the world of theatre, as her love for the great English dramatist, Shakespeare, nearly consumed her. Mrs Christie’s plays emerged in late 1941 with Black Coffee. She would continue to write for the stage, and in 1955, she was awarded the Edgar Grand Master Award. Her passion for playwriting continued throughout the rest of her career, but the main focus of her work in the 1940s and 1950s was the stage. Though it goes without saying, the novelist took the theatre very seriously and spent a lot of her time preparing productions. Throughout the 1950s, playwriting consumed her so much that she released six shows.

Even today, Mrs Christie is the only woman playwright whose three productions would be shown in the West End of London at the same time. The Mousetrap, Witness for the Prosecution and Spider’s Web all made this historic achievement a reality for the author. Over sixty years later, she still holds this title. The Mousetrap was a great success. It opened on 25 November 1952 and is the longest-running play worldwide. About ten million people have seen the production, and fans continue to do so to this day. The story began as a birthday present for Queen Mary, as merely a short radio production, adding to its special history.

The up and coming playwright didn’t leave her beloved novel characters on pages only. Her famous detective Poirot made an appearance in 1928. This was thanks to Michael Morton’s theatre recreation of the popular story, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. He appeared again in 1930 when Christie’s show Black Coffee was released. Many of the playwright’s shows appeared throughout the world. Her story, Chimneys, was finally presented to the public in 2003 in Canada. Drifting slightly from her typical murder mystery genre, the writer wrote the play Akhnaton, set in ancient Egypt. It was released in the early 1970s, but unfortunately, Agatha never lived to see it performed live.

Her novels and plays intertwined. She would base many of her plays on characters and other features within her books. But she played with each story and changed them depending on her feelings or the historical moment. She would think about circumstances that would draw focus on different characters. If she didn’t want too much attention spent on someone, she would opt to take out special situations in her books when adapting to the stage. This occurred with her character Poirot, as he was sometimes displaced in play adaptations. She also changed endings on occasion For instance, during the stage adaptation of And Then There Were None, she decided to alter the conclusion to produce a “happier” feeling for the audience. This decision was made in the wake of the Second World War. It was an attempt to brighten the looming depression of the time.

Agatha wrote the following about her love for playwriting:

“I find that writing plays is much more fun than writing books. For one long descriptions of places and people. And you must write quickly if only to keep the mood while it lasts, and to keep the dialogue flowing naturally.”

 

Agatha and Her Favourites

Among the dozens of works she wrote, Mrs Christie did have her favourites. She admitted that they change depending on her mood or circumstance and that sometimes she would simply pick up one of her earlier books and read. In the early 1970s, she revealed that And Then There Were None was a challenging story to write but among her favourites. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was arguably the biggest success of her career, and the author shared the same love for the novel as her fans did. She particularly enjoyed the characters in A Murder is Announced, and of her many short stories, The Thirteen Problems was a series she was very fond of. In Towards Zero, the author approached her plotline differently than usual. Her books would typically begin with a murder, but this story worked up to the crime. She also noted Endless Night, Crooked House, Ordeal By Innocence, and The Moving Finger as some of her favourites.

 

Agatha and Her Methods

Like many writers, the need for a notebook everywhere one went was essential for Mrs Christie. Even as a young girl, her first writings were in these journals, and she would accumulate over one hundred bound texts of thoughts throughout her career. Seventy-three have been preserved, containing loads of unpublished and revealing ideas that allow fans to enter her most intimate thoughts. Better yet, one could literally see her famous ideas forming as she wrote in these books. An entry from 1963 describes a plotline:

“West Indian book – Miss M? Poirot . . . B & E apparently devoted – actually B and G (Georgina) had affair for years . . . old ‘frog’ Major knows – has seen him before – he is killed.”

Besides developing her stories in notebooks, she also spoke the words out loud as a part of the creative process. Her grandchild, Matthew Prichard, recalls her dictation. He states that his grandmother would use a Dictaphone to talk out her plot points and character arcs. As her career flourished, she would have help from an assistant to type out the recordings, presumably helping her send out many books to her publishers in a short period of time. Matthew describes her process:

“I think a book used to take her, in the 1950s, just a couple of months to write and then a month to revise before it was sent off to the publishers.”

 

 

11. Money Issues, World War II, and Controversy

 

“There are things in life that make one truly sad when one can make oneself believe them.”

 

Threat of Bankruptcy

Though the author’s fame soared as she kept printing story after story, Mrs Christie’s financial situation wasn’t always what a typical best-selling writer’s would be. In the late 1940s, Agatha faced the threat of bankruptcy over tax matters. Later in her seventies, she fought the government again over liabilities, which proved to be exhausting. But it is clear that Mrs Christie wasn’t foolish with her money. She enjoyed travelling and life’s leisures, but never enough to overspend her earnings.

 

Agatha Christie and World War II

Agatha Christie in her uniform during her period as a nurse in WW1

Whether it was the ignition of creativity, financial pressure, the perspective shift from the war, or a combination of all three, Agatha Christie was highly motivated to write book after book during the war. These books were slightly more emotional than her others, which was expected given the heart-wrenching effect the war had on Britain at the time. The most fascinating aspect of her work throughout the war was arguably how she wrote so much. She only had a short holiday during that time but otherwise was being pulled in many different directions. She worked at the University College Hospital, endured the fear of bombs dropping, all while facing economic pressures.

 

Accusations of Anti-Semitism

There are hints of anti-Semitism in Mrs Christie’s novels. Some are so slight that many don’t even notice. Many of the microaggressions towards Jewish people fall within her stories about her famous detective Poirot. The references were insensitive toward Jewish physical features and would play into Jewish stereotypes of greed and deception. After several complaints to her publishers from the United States, changes were finally made to existing novels. American readers likely possess copies of her books that have been revised, taking out any negative connotation to Jews. This only needed to be done for her pre-war era stories, and after World War II, she presumably recognised racism more clearly.

The accusation of racism was further perpetuated after her encounter with a Nazi when travelling in 1933. Julius Jordan, the Director of Antiquities for Germany in Baghdad, stated that Jews should be exterminated when speaking with the author. She wordlessly disagreed with the man, but still, her silence was heavily criticised.

But Mrs Christie did not firmly hold anti-Jewish beliefs. She still has countless Jewish fans, and her works inspired Jewish writers like Lev Raphael, who was deemed one the best contemporary Jewish-American authors. Her references to Jews within her pre-war novels were akin to virtually any other British author of her time. Anti-Semitism was engrained within the culture, leading to both covert and overt racism daily. As casual racism exists today, so did it back then. But Mrs Christie’s legacy in her home country either chooses to dismiss the infrequent racism or remains willfully ignorant. Many British readers don’t discuss these unfortunate mistakes of the famous writer.

After more exposure to Jews when travelling, Mrs Christie stopped her foolishness. Her resignation from such racism illustrates her ability to learn, listen, and change for the better. But it still must be acknowledged to paint an accurate picture of Britain’s history.

 

 

12. Agatha Christie and Her Later Years

 

“What can I say at seventy-five? Thank God for my good life, and for all the love that has been given to me.”

 

Agatha and Her Passions

As the years flew by, Mrs Christie continued to write down every thought, idea, or plotline that came to her. As late as 1966, she was sorting out ideas for a story titled, The Cyanide Murder. Throughout the 1960s, she released nearly one book per year, which for any writer is virtually unimaginable to succeed at if one indeed aims for the highest quality of work. Agatha was a writer, if anything, until she passed away.

Mrs Christie also explored other passions in her later years. When she married her second husband, she began accompanying him on his archaeological digs. She turned this interest into a serious hobby throughout her travels of ancient lands. In the early 1950s, Mrs Christie built dozens of writing boards made from woof and ivory. Joan Oates described this stunning activity as “her greatest contribution to archaeology.”

Despite her remarkable ambition and work ethic, Agatha would never put off enjoying the extraordinary world around her, even up until she died. She relished the second chance at building a life in her second marriage. It allowed her to continue exploring the world side by side with her beloved husband. Mrs Christie went to Sri Lanka, the West Indies, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Baghdad, Egypt, Iraq, Canada, and many more countries. She sought to soak up every ounce of culture, wherever she went.

 

Agatha and Her Family in Her Later Years

As in her earlier life, the author continued to explore the world around her. She even embraced her American heritage by visiting the headstones of her distant family in Brooklyn, New York. However, her heritage wasn’t the only longing for family Agatha displayed in her later years. As Rosalind wrote about, her mother still cared for Archie Christie and their life together. Rosalind wrote, “I planned to see him and his family some years ago, but my mother got in a terrible state and although she felt no animosity towards him she just couldn’t seem to accept anything more intimate between us.”

Though it was clear that Mrs Christie did not experience motherhood as Clara did, she still had a deep fondness for her family. Matthew Prichard, Agatha’s grandson, recalls the evenings they would all spend together as a family. He remembers that she would read ideas out loud, sometimes even several chapters from her novel’s drafts. She would use her family’s opinions on her stories to determine a suitable direction or simply to enjoy bonding with her daughter and grandson.

Agatha Christie and her grandson Mathew Prichard.

 

Agatha Christie’s Death

The Queen of Crime died at the age of eighty-five on 12 January 1976. She passed away from natural causes at Winterbrook in Oxfordshire, England. Near the end, Mrs Christie held firmly to her religious beliefs. Her loved ones heard her say that she was “joining my Maker.” The author is buried in Oxfordshire at the Church of St Mary. The ceremony highlighted her preferred reading of Psalm 23, which was also carved into her headstone. Her body lay to rest near fields of green, the view of which she would most certainly have enjoyed.

 

 

13. The Legacy of the Queen of Crime

 

“Writing is a great comfort to people like me, who are unsure of themselves and have trouble expressing themselves properly.”

 

Agatha and Her Writing Legacy

She yielded thirty books about her famous character, Poirot, twelve Miss Marple stories, five novels about Tommy and Tuppence, three Colonel Race books, and so many others. Her short stories and plays were also significant pieces of British literary history. Mrs Christie even created the longest ever running play, beating Shakespeare himself. Internationally revered, Mrs Christie’s imprint on the literary world is incredible. Her stories have influenced countless writers and readers in ways that history will never capture fully. She formulated the most desirable structure to the murder mystery. Books, stories, film, and tales of crime would never be the same after her influence.

 

Agatha’s Awards and Recognitions

In 1955, Mrs Christie won the Edgar Grand Master Award, Edgar Award for Best Play, and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play. In 2000, she acquired the Anthony Award for Best Writer of the Century and Best Series of the Century. Other recognitions of the author include but are certainly not limited to: her appointment to the Order of the British Empire in 1971, the official best-selling writer of fiction according to The Guinness Book of World Records, and the 2013 title from the British Crime Writers’ Association of the Best Crime Novel Ever from her career-changing book, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

 

Film and Television Adaptations of the Works of Agatha Christie

Based on The Coming of Mr Quin, the film titled Passing of Mr Quinn was Agatha Christie’s first film adaptation released in 1928. The following year, The Secret Adversary was made into a movie in Germany, which was the writer’s first international screen adaptation. From here, the Queen of Crime cast a long shadow on film and television for decades. Her famous character Hercule Poirot was the subject of many films and series. Beginning in 1931, Alibi was released based on Christie’s playwright and book that turned her career into an international phenomenon. Five film adaptations from her works were issued in the 1930s. Mid-career, her plays and books became hits. And Then There Were None and Love from a Stranger came out in the mid to late 1940s. The film, Witness for the Prosecution, was based on her play and short story featuring Leonard Vole’s character. A whopping nine screen recreations from the author’s works were released throughout the 1960s, many of which were based on Miss Marple’s beloved character. Each decade from then on produced various movies inspired by her captivating writing. Even as recently as 2021, did Mrs Christie’s story, Death on the Nile, become a film nearly one hundred years after the release of her first book to movie. This came shortly after the new version of Murder on the Orient Express, shown to fans everywhere in 2017.

Agatha Christie’s writing also influenced numerous television shows throughout the past one hundred years. From as early as 1938’s Love from a Stranger to the series currently in the works for release in 2022, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans, her writing will be seen within homes for more decades to come. From 1984 until 1992, there have been twelve series based on Miss Marple’s character. For about a decade beginning in the early 2000s, Agatha Christie’s Marple was a hit television show based on her stories and life. Seventy episodes based on Detective Poirot were released from the series Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Graphic novels, radio, and even a comic book were all influenced by the Queen of Crime.

 

Contemporary Adaptations

Agatha Christie remains highly relevant within pop culture today. Her contemporary adaptations are a hit among fans of all demographics, and the market is ripe for even more Agatha Christie inspired content. In The Pale Horse, Mark Easterbrook is played by actor Rufus Sewell. The show aired on BBC One and was produced by Mammoth Screen. In December 2018, Detective Hercule Poirot, played by John Malkovich, graced fanatics with his presence in The ABC Murders. Also in 2018, Ordeal by Innocence aired. The show presented the Argylls, a family caught up in wealth, disloyalty, and murder. Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, and Judi Dench starred in the revered story, Murder on the Orient Express in 2017. The film was such a hit that a sequel was greenlit not too long after its premiere. Eager fans await its release in 2022. Other adaptations include Sony Picture’s production of Crooked House, with Glenn Close, Gillian Anderson, and Max Irons; The Witness for the Prosecution released in 2016 on BBC One; and Sarah Phelp’s creation, And Then There Were None, one of the more recent recreations of the famous novelist’s works.

 

 

14. The Story Never Ends

 

“With method and logic one can accomplish anything.”

 

Mrs Christie epitomised the British mystery. Her influence began as a young writer, writing down every idea, thought, feature, or detail that popped into her head. Each holiday, excavation, relationship, and adventure has shaped her life’s work. Luckily for fans worldwide, directors, writers, producers, and artists will continuously be inspired by her captivating stories. Therefore, Mrs Agatha Christie’s legacy, memory, and beloved characters will always be alive. But the world will never know some of the most sought after secrets of her private life—what a fitting end to an unsolvable mystery.

 

agatha-christie-profile-picture

 

 

Works by Agatha Christie between 1920 and 1971: Plot Summaries

 

  • 1920    The Mysterious Affair at Styles

This novel is set in England amidst the Cold War. It revolves around a popular detective who discovers that Emily, one of the characters, is a rich widow. This serves as the motive for murder.

 

  • 1922    The Secret Adversary

The novel revolves around the characters Tommy Beresford and Prudence, who are young and in love but broke. Their situation makes them vulnerable and leaves them engaging in unscrupulous business schemes. They later find themselves in danger of losing not only their business but their lives.

 

  • 1923    Murder on the Links

The novel is about an urgent need for help that takes Poirot to France. However, he is unable to save his client because he arrives late and finds his body stabbed brutally and lying in a shallow grave at a golf course. However, Poirot discovers that the dead man is wearing an overcoat that belongs to his son, which carries a love letter in the pocket. Poirot also discovers another corpse murdered identically as the first one.

 

  • 1924    The Man in the Brown Suit

The novel captures the adventures of Anne Beddingfeld. She finds herself caught up in a world of murderers and thieves. Political intrigue also reigns in this fascinating South African setting.

 

 

  • 1925    The Secret of Chimneys

The novel concerns a young drifter who gets more than what he asked for. He agrees to make a delivery of a parcel to a country house in England. Anthony Cade later becomes the centre of an international conspiracy.

 

  • 1926    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The novel is about Dr. James Sheppard, Roger Ackroyd’s friend, who lives in the small village of King Abbot. One morning, he wakes up to the news of the death of Mrs. Ferrars, who he wasn’t able to rescue. However, he realises that Mrs. Ferrars had committed suicide out of remorse for having murdered her husband.

 

  • 1927    The Big Four

The novel tells the story of Captain Hastings, who returns to England with the intention of reuniting with his old friend Hercule Poirot. The two friends solve the crimes of an international group. They find out that the group consists of four evil megalomaniacs who aim to dominate the world. Hastings and Poirot work to stop these crimes.

 

  • 1928    The Mystery of the Blue Train

The novel is about a mysterious woman, a cursed jewel and a night train heading to the French riviera. When the train stops, the jewel goes missing and the woman is discovered to be dead in her compartment. Hercule Poirot has to solve this murder.

 

  • 1929    The Seven Dials Mystery

The story is about a weekend house party that involved seven people in Brent’s house, which was rented out to Sir Oswald Coote. The owners of the house spent two years abroad and when they come back to Chimneys, they find a corpse in Bundles’s room, who is said to have overdosed on sleeping pills. A letter is found beside the dead body. A second dead body is also found, and Bundle remembers the threatening letters she received from George Max, a senior politician.

 

  • 1929    The Underdog

The major occurrences of the novel involve Poirot, a character who is invited to a dinner party by Robrt Astwell. Poirot discovers that Astwell is disliked by many. However, when Astwell is found murdered, there are many suspects.

 

  • 1930    The Murder at the Vicarage

The narrative portrays Colonel Protheroe as the most despised individual in St. Mary Mead. He is hated to such an extent that the vicar suggests that his murder would be a service to the town. When Colonel is murdered in the vicar’s study room, two people confess to having murdered him. Marple is required to use her skills as a detective to solve the case.

 

  • 1930    Giant’s Bread (Mary Westmacott)

The story is about Vernon Deyre, who is a brilliant musician pushed to his limits, by forces he cannot comprehend. His childhood experiences did not prepare him for the harsh realities of his adulthood. He finds himself in a dilemma where he has to choose between the woman he loves and the woman who loves him.

 

  • 1931    The Sittaford Mystery (Murder at Hazelmoor)

During a blizzard in Sittaford village, the guests come together for a séance that turns into terror when the impending murder of Captain Joseph Trevelyan is prophesied and comes to pass. There are many characters who are connected to the dead man through blood or employment. It happens that the captain had established Sitafford in the years earlier, for mysterious reasons.

 

  • 1932    Peril at End House

The novel revolves around Hercule Poirot, a private detective, Arthur Hastings and Chief Inspector Japp. Hercule and Arthur meet Magdala Buckley and her friends. Hercule Poirot is convinced that her life is in danger and intends to protect her.

 

  • 1933    Lord Edgware Dies (Thirteen at Dinner)

The book features Hercule Poirot, a private detective, Arthur Hastings and Chief Inspector Japp. Poirot is approached by an American actress to help her in getting a divorce from her husband, Lord Edgware. Later that evening, the American actress is spotted at a superstitious dinner with thirteen guests and the next morning Lord Edgware is found dead with another American actress, which triggers Poirot’s investigation.

 

  • 1933    The Sunningdale Mystery

The novel is about Captain Sessle, who is found dead. He is stabbed with a hatpin and has red wool in his hand. A gorgeous blond is charged, just because she was wearing a bright red wool coat. However, Beresfords is not satisfied with the manner in which the investigation is conducted. The case is later solved by the Old Man.

 

  • 1934    Murder on the Orient Express (Murder in the Calais Coach)

This is a story that involves a train stopped by a heavy snowfall. A murder case comes up. Poirot has to cancel his trip home in order to solve the case.

 

  • 1934    Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (The Boomerang Clue)

The novel is about Bobby Jones, who finds his ball at the edge of a cliff while playing. When he goes to look for his lost ball, he finds a dying man who asks him “Why didn’t they ask Evans?” which were his final words. These words haunt Bobby and try to solve this murder leads him to great danger.

 

  • 1934    Unfinished Portrait (Mary Westmacott)

Celia considers committing suicide amidst a divorce. She meets Larraby, a portrait painter, while on an exotic island. They spend a night exchanging ideas and he gives her the hope of accepting her past.

 

 

  • 1935    Three Act Tragedy (Murder in Three Acts)

This is a story about a vicar who happens to die first at a dinner party. This party consists of thirteen guests, of which Reverend Stephen Babbington is choked by his cocktail and dies. However, this cocktail is found to contain no poison, as foretold by Poirot, thereby ruling out the possibility of a motive.

 

  • 1935   Death in the Clouds (Death in the Air)

This novel involves a lady who is poisoned and dies confined in a commercial passenger plane. Hercule Poirot was placed to monitor other passengers. Nonetheless, he does not realise that the body of a woman was right behind him.

 

  • 1936    The ABC Murders

It features Hercule Poirot trying to solve a case that involves the murder of Alice Asher. He realises it is the work of a serial killer. He also realises that the killer is following letters of the alphabet in his killings, which means the letter B will be next.

 

  • 1936    Murder in Mesopotamia

This is the story of Amy Leatheran, who agrees to take care of an American archaeologist, Dr. Leidner’s wife. She finds herself not only working as a nurse but also solving murder cases. Hercule Poirot visits the site of excavation, and the big question is whether he will be able to prevent multiple murders.

 

  • 1936    Cards on the Table

Mr Shaitana, a flamboyant host of a party, is murdered. He was a man who was feared by almost everybody. The need for Hercule Poirot to solve the murder turns out to be a more dangerous game than expected.

 

  • 1937    Murder in the Mews (Dead Man’s Mirror)

The novel features a rich man who seems to have committed suicide in a locked room. Poirot is called to interrogate the suspects at the scene of crime, which is the estate of the dead man, Sir Gervase Chevenix-Gore. This is where he finds the wife of the deceased, who believes in the reincarnation of an Egyptian woman.

  • 1937    Dumb Witness (Poirot Loses a Client / Murder at Littlegreen House)

This story involves Emily Arundel, a rich spinster who writes to Hercule Poirot claiming to be a victim of murder after falling in her home. Her family, on the other hand, believes it was an accident. However, the letter reaches Poirot a month after Emily’s death.

  • 1937    Death on the Nile

This involves a travel mystery. The quiet nature of a cruise along the Nile is suddenly brought to an end when it is discovered that Linnet Ridgeway has been shot dead in the head. Hercule Poirot remembers an earlier cry by another passenger, who said “I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.”

 

  • 1938    Appointment with Death

The story revolves around the family of Sarah King and a victim, Dr. Gerald. Dr. Gerald discusses the behaviour of a family. Mrs. Boynton has a dominating and sadistic character, which she might have acquired from her former profession as a prison warden.

 

  • 1938    Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Murder for Christmas / A Holiday for Murder)

This is a story of a multi-billionaire, Simeon Lee, who invites members of his family to his home for Christmas. Since this was an unexpected invitation, the guests are suspicious. The family is not on good terms with one of the members, Harry, and Simeon Lee is murdered during this family reunion.

 

  • 1939    Murder is Easy (Easy to Kill)

The novel is about a policeman, Luke Fitzwilliam, who travels in the same train with Lavinia Pinkerton. Pinkerton talks to the policeman regarding a serial killer. She is murdered the next day and this drives Luke to investigate her murder.

 

  • 1939    And Then There Were None

This is a story of ten guests who were invited to a private island off the coast of Devon. It is hosted by a billionaire who is not known to all the guests. All these guests have murder cases and are willing to reveal their secrets.

 

  • 1940    Sad Cypress

This work concerns the trial of Elinor Carlisle for the murder of Mary Gerrard. All the evidence presented points against her. However, Hercule Poirot is not convinced.

 

  • 1940    One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (The Patriotic Murders)

Hercule Poirot encounters a former actress by the name of Mabelle Sainbury Seale, while coming from his appointment with his dentist, Henry Morley. During this encounter, he finds a shiny buckle that had fallen off from her shoe.

 

  • 1941    Evil Under the Sun

Hercule Poirot goes for a holiday in one of the secluded hotels in Devon. During this time, his fellow holidaymaker is strangled on the beach. Poirot is asked to help solve the case.

 

  • 1941    N or M?

This work involves the character Tuppence Beresford, who appears to be sad while sending his husband, Tommy to Scotland. This is due to the ongoing World War II in Britain. Tommy is tasked with finding two men in Sans Souci, a guest house in England, who are German agents by the names N and M.

 

  • 1942    The Body in the Library

The story is about the maid at Gossington Hall who wakes up Mrs. Bantry by saying “there is a body in the library”. Mrs. Bantry wakes her husband and informs him of the same. Her husband, Colonel Arthur, goes downstairs to find a dead body of a young woman in the library.

 

  • 1942   Five Little Pigs (Murder in Retrospect)

Caroline Crale was found guilty of poisoning her husband, despite there being five other people who could have done it: Elsa Greer, the three-time divorcee, had roast beef; Cecilia Williams, the devoted governess, didn’t have any; and Angela Warren, the defaced sister, whimpered ‘wee wee wee’ all the way headed home. Hercule Poirot has difficulty ridding his mind of a nursery rhyme, sixteen year later

 

  • 1943 The Moving Finger

The 1943 detective novel features Jerry and Joanna Burton, a brother and sister. They arrive in the small Devon town of Lymstock and are promptly accused of being lovers rather than siblings through an anonymous letter. They aren’t the only ones in the village though who get letters like this. One such letter was discovered next to a famous resident’s body. The elderly detective Miss Marple appears in this novel in a minor role, as “a little old lady sleuth who doesn’t seem to do much.” She appears in a few scenes at the end of the book, after the police have failed to solve the crime.

 

  • 1944    Towards Zero

Lady Tressilian, despite being confined to her bed, still hosts summer parties at her seaside home in Gull’s Point. Lady Tressilian is displeased with tennis star Nevile Strange, a former ward of her late husband. There have been a string of killings – including Tressilian’s – and Nevile may have been involved in a few of them, including Mr. Teves’ and Adrian Royde’s. However, there isn’t enough evidence to charge him. He’s charged with Lady Tressilian’s murder after his confession when the rope, and the ruse with the bell pull are revealed.

 

  • 1944 Death Comes as the End

This is the only book Christie wrote that isn’t set in the twentieth century and doesn’t have any European characters. It takes place in Thebes around 2000 BC. Renisenb is the protagonist. She is a young widow reacquainting herself with her family after her father Imhotep, a morgue priest, introduces a new “woman,” Nofret, into their lives. Imhotep’s sons, Yahmose, Sobek, and Ipy, as well as their mothers, are soon antagonised by Nofret. Nofret and Satipty died on a cliff. Renisenb, summoned by Hori to the where cliff Nofret and Satipy died, notices her brother’s murderous hate.

 

  • 1944    Absent in the Spring (Mary Westmacott)

Christie wrote this novel under the pseudonym ‘Mary Westmacott’. The novel features Joan Scudamore. After a flooding of the railroad tracks, Joan is suddenly trapped in an isolated rest house after returning from the Middle East after visiting her daughter in Iraq. Joan is forced to evaluate her life for the very first time in her life and confront many of the facts about herself as a result of her unexpected isolation. Joan painfully re-examines her perceptions, relationships, and behavior over the years, becoming more uncomfortable about the person that is revealed to her.

 

  • 1945    Sparkling Cyanide (Remembered Death)

After a dinner attended by seven at “Luxembourg”, there was a fatality. Rosemary Barton dies. Her death was ruled a suicide due to post-flu depression by the coroner. Her husband George receives several anonymous letters six months later, claiming Rosemary was murdered. Ruth sent the anonymous letters to George, encouraging him to re-stage a similar dinner-with plan to kill Iris. Ruth placed cyanide in Iris’s pocket to endorse her attempt to commit suicide; the packet fell to the floor when she took her handkerchief out. Victor pretended to be a waiter in order to poison champagne during the performance.

 

  • 1946    The Hollow (Murder After Hours)

Here Belgian detective Hercule Poirot makes his first appearance in four years. Dr. John Christow, a wealthy surgeon and leading scholar who is depressed and annoyed by his current life, helps his little girl tell his fortune. He does so on the morning that he and his downtrodden companion, Gerda, are scheduled to fly down to the country on the weekend with friends. He pays no heed as the death card is drawn, but the reappearance of an old flame at The Hollow seems to be the last link in a series of fatal events.

 

  • 1948    Taken at the Flood (There is a Tide)

Gordon Cloade is fatally killed by a bomb explosion in the London blitz, just weeks after marrying a beautiful young widow. The former Mrs Underhay now finds herself the sole owner of the Cloade family fortune. Shortly after, Hercule Poirot gets a visit from Mrs Underhay’s first husband’s sister-in-law, who says she has been alerted by “spirits” that he is still alive. When Poirot is asked to locate a lost person that is only led by the spirit world, he has his doubts. Poirot is most perplexed by the woman’s real motivation for contacting him. There are a series of deaths in the novel.

 

  • 1948    The Rose and the Yew Tree (Mary Westmacott)

Isabella marries a working-class egotist, Gabriel, but his efforts to rise through the ranks have unintended repercussions. Hugh Norreys, who was paralysed in a car crash, watches as John Gabriel races for parliament in the remote Cornish town of St. Loo from his sofa. Hugh’s infirmity seems to inspire his guests to share their secrets and feelings with him. Hugh is perplexed by Gabriel, an unattractive little man who attracts women despite his appearance. Isabella, a stunning young woman from the castle down the way, also piques his interest.

 

  • 1949 Crooked House

At his London house, a rich Greek businessman is discovered dead.The Leonides were a large, happy family who lived in a dilapidated mansion. That is, before Aristide, the household’s chief, was assassinated with a lethal barbiturate injection. The old man’s young widow, fifty years his junior, is evidently the object of suspicion.  Josephine assassinated her grandfather when he refused to pay for her ballet lessons; she then reveled in the praise she got and devised her own attack with the marble doorstop to divert attention. She poisoned Nanny for convincing Magda to take her to Switzerland.

 

  • 1950    A Murder is Announced

The book opens with The Gazette, a local newspaper in Chipping Cleghorn, publishing a murder case. The strange thing is that the assassination has yet to occur. At half past six o’clock, the event is scheduled to take place at Miss Blacklock’s house. Neighbors are invited. Others present include Miss Blacklock’s teenage cousins Julia Simmons and her brother Patrick Miss, and the staff – Phillipa and Mitz. Blacklock is grazed by a bullet, and a man lies dead at her side. Phillipa and Julia, who is really Emma, inherit the money at the end of the novel.

 

  • 1951    They Came to Baghdad

Baghdad has been selected as the site for a secret meeting of superpowers interested but not convinced about the existence of an undisclosed and undescribed secret weapon.

Just one man – a British agent called Carmichael – has the evidence that can prove the existence of this amazing hidden weapon. Unfortunately, the criminal organisation behind the weapon’s construction will go to every length to keep him from entering Baghdad and showing his evidence to the gathered delegates. Victoria Jones leaps into the fray. The story heats up as Carmichael dies after being wounded, while uttering ‘…Lucifer …Basrah …Lefarge …’

 

  • 1952    Mrs. McGinty’s Dead

Mrs McGinty’s life was cut short by a crippling blow to the back of the head, and her miserable savings were taken. Suspicion suddenly fell on her unemployed lodger. Hercule Poirot, on the other hand, has other thoughts, notwithstanding the fact that his own life is now in grave danger. Poirot learns that Dr. Rendell may have murdered his first wife. Poirot now believes it was Dr Rendell, not Robin, who attempted to drive him under the oncoming train, believing Poirot was investigating the death of his first wife, not Mrs McGinty’s.

 

  • 1952    They Do It with Mirrors (Murder with Mirrors)

Miss Marple hears about Ruth Van Rydock’s serious worry for her sister Carrie Louise while visiting her American school friend Ruth Van Rydock in London. She invites Miss Marple to pay a visit to Carrie Louise at Stonygates, her English home. The visit is approved by Miss Marple. Miss Marple discovers that Carrie Louise has had health issues as a result of her advanced age. Miss Marple, on the other hand, is relieved to see that Carrie Louise is still the soft, idealistic, and caring girl she remembers. Christian Gulbrandsen pays an unwelcome visit to Stonygates. He’s found dead by a gunshot in his room.

 

  • 1952    A Daughter’s a Daughter (Mary Westmacott)

In Christie’s fifth book under the alias Mary Westmacott, the affection between a mother and her daughter turns to envy and resentment. The resistance of a woman to her mother’s decision to remarry threatens to end their relationship. Ann Prentice falls in love with Richard Cauldfield and dreams of a new life with him. Sarah, her only child, is unable to contemplate her mother remarrying and destroys any hope of her mother remarrying. When they pursue salvation in opposite ways, their friendship is corroded by resentment and envy. Mother and daughter become rivals, but their underlying love may still win out.

 

  • 1953    After the Funeral (Funerals are Fatal)

Cora dies unexpectedly, and his sister believes it was a case of murder. Cora’s exceptional comment made the day before at her brother Richard’s funeral takes on chilling importance as she is brutally killed with a hatchet. Cora was overheard saying after the reading of Richard’s will: ‘It’s been hushed up very well, hasn’t it…’ But wasn’t he assassinated?’ In a desperate attempt to solve the mystery, the family solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot. Poirot surprises everyone that Cora’s killer was Miss Gilchrist, even as Morton prepares to question each family member on their alibi the day of Cora’s murder.

 

  • 1953    A Pocket Full of Rye

Rex Fortescue, a successful London businessman, is discovered dead at Yewtree Lodge, his family’s house, after drinking his morning tea. Gladys Martin, one of the servants, is being interrogated. Inspector Neele, a Scotland Yard detective, is in charge of the case, but Marple is asked to stay by Rex’s sister-in-law, Miss Ramsbottom. Miss Marple then deduces that Gladys was the murderer. Albert Evans, Gladys’ fiancé, was manipulating her. She mistook the substance in the marmalade for a truth serum. Then, Miss Marple discovers Albert is really Lancelot.

 

  • 1954    Destination Unknown (So Many Steps to Death)

A devastated lady is convinced to go on a suicide mission to locate a lost scientist. When a number of prominent scientists vanish without a trace, the international intelligence community becomes concerned. One woman, Hilary, seems to hold the secret to solving the puzzle. Olive Betteron is currently in a hospital bed, dead as a result of burns she suffered in a Moroccan plane crash. Meanwhile, Hilary Craven plans to commit suicide in a Casablanca hotel suite. Her suicide attempt, however, is about to be thwarted by a man who will propose  to her a much more exciting way to go.

 

  • 1955    Hickory Dickory Dock (Hickory Dicker y Death)

Kleptomania cases at a hostel pique Hercule Poirot’s attention. He congratulates the warden, Mrs Hubbard, on a “special and beautiful problem” when he sees the list of stolen and vandalised items, which includeds a stethoscope, some old flannel pants, a box of chocolates, slashed rucksack, and a diamond ring hidden in a bowl of soup. Poirot concentrates on the dismantling of a rucksack. He notices a strange corrugated foundation and informs the cops that the rucksack is part of an illegal drug ring. The rucksacks were sold to unsuspecting students before being used to transport cocaine and precious stones.

 

  • 1956 Dead Man’s Folly

At a Devon home, a charity murder game transforms into the real thing. The guests of a village fête, Sir George and Lady Stubbs, had the brilliant idea of conducting a fake murder case. Ariadne Oliver, a well-known mystery novelist, promises to organise their murder investigation in good conscience. Despite weeks of intensive preparations, Ariadne enlists the help of her friend Hercule Poirot at the last instant. Something bad is going to happen, and she knows it instinctively.  Marlene Tucker waits in the boathouse to pose as the deceased. Poirot and Mrs Oliver later find Marlene dead in the boathouse.

 

  • 1957    The Burden (Mary Westmacott)

Laura Franklin despised the birth of her younger sister Shirley, a charming infant who was adored by the whole family. Laura’s feelings for her sister, on the other hand, shifted drastically one night when she promised to protect her with all of her power and affection. Although Shirley yearns for independence and passion, Laura must learn that marriage is only a one-sided affair, and the weight of her sister’s love has a significant impact on all of their lives. Then comes a man who believes Laura could love as passionately as her beautiful sister, if she had the opportunity.

 

  • 1957    4.50 from Paddington (What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!)

This title is amongst the thirteen in  theMiss Marple series, which contains twelve novels and one short stories’ compilation – “The Thirteen Problems.” Elspeth McGillicuddy has just seen a murder on the train that passes her house. She informs a skeptic ticket collector, who refers the case to the police for investigation. Except for her friend Jane Marple, no one believed Elspeth. Thankfully, Marple, the elderly spinster, is surprisingly good at cracking crime mysteries. The only issue was she didn’t know where to begin because there was no body, no motive, and no idea of the victim’s name.

 

  • 1958    Ordeal by Innocence

The Argyle family is furious to learn that one of their own, Jack Argyle, was posthumously pardoned for homicide.  Dr. Arthur Calgary takes the Rubicon River ferry to Sunny Point, the Argyle family’s birthplace. The family matriarch had been murdered two years prior, and Jack was arrested and sentenced to spend the remainder of his life in jail. Jack appealed his conviction during the trial, saying he was hitchhiking on the night of the incident and was collected by a man in a dark sedan. The police mistook Jack’s story for a fib because they couldn’t find this mystery man.

 

  • 1959    Cat Among the Pigeons

Terrible things are happening in a girls-only school ….like murder.  When students go to sleep, two teachers probe a strange flickering light in the sports terrace late at night. They come across the corpse of the unpopular sports mistress, fired through the chest from point blank, among the hockey sticks. When the ‘cat’ attacks again, the school is plunged into confusion. Julia, a young schoolgirl, unfortunately learns too much. She is well aware that without Hercule Poirot’s assistance, she would be the next victim. The case is linked to an item concealed in bags of Joan and her daughter Jennifer.

 

  • 1961    The Pale Horse

Mark Easterbrook, the protagonist, witnesses a brawl between two girls in a coffee shop. One yanks out the other’s hair. He finds out shortly after that the second child, Thomasina Tuckerton, has died. Poppy Stirling, over dinner with a friend, references something called the Pale Horse, which arranges deaths, but then becomes terrified of having said anything and refuses to say more. Mark Easterbrook understands that he must unravel the story from the beginning to understand what’s going on at The Pale Horse Inn. Mark and his sidekick, Ginger Corrigan, may soon find they’ve gotten more than they’ve bargained for.

 

  • 1962    The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (The Mirror Crack’d)

Heather Badcock had been chatting up a movie star, the gorgeous Marina Gregg. Suddenly, Heather has a massive seizure. It turned out to be a poisonous substance. While others search for physical evidence, Jane Marple probes the peculiar nature of the human personality. Mrs. Bantry tells Marple about the festivities and Marina’s frozen expression, comparing it to a line from a poem. Heather died after taking six times the prescribed dosage of the tranquilizer Calmo, according to Detective-Inspector Dermot Craddock, who leads the inquiry.

 

  • 1963    The Clocks

Sheila Webb, a typist-for-hire, has landed at 19 Wilbraham Crescent in Crowdean to take up a new role. She discovers a well-dressed body surrounded by five timepieces. Mrs. Pebmarsh denies knowing who dialed Sheila’s secretarial office. Neither woman seems to know who the victim is. Colin Lamb, a youthful operative working on his own case at a local naval yard, happens to be on the scene when Sheila Webb’s heinous revelation happens. Lamb believes that only one man can solve the perplexing crime at No. 19 – Hercule Poirot.

 

  • 1964    A Caribbean Mystery

Miss Marple has little time for rest. In this classic tale of a vacation-turned-deadly, Agatha Christie’s most enticing sleuth returns. Raymond West, his favorite aunt’s nephew, has surprised her with a trip to a stunning Caribbean island. She comes across an old wind-bag there, who tells a story about meeting a rapist. He has a photograph of himself. He then pauses and becomes flustered. He’s dead the next morning from natural causes. Miss Marple is skeptical. She pretends to be her nephew and asks Dr. Grahame to locate a picture. She interviews people, including hotel owners Molly and Tim Kendal.

 

  • 1965    At Bertram’s Hotel

A famous and fancy London hotel isn’t as trustworthy as it seems! Miss Marple discovers what she’s searching for at Bertram’s as she comes up for a vacation in London: classic décor and excellent services. When an unconventional visitor arrives at the airport one day late, not even Miss Marple can predict the violent sequence of events that will ensue. Two shots rang out, followed by cries outside, on Miss Marple’s last day at the hotel, when she spoke with Davy. Elvira is found alongside Gorman’s body. Elvira claims he was killed while protecting her from bullets. Malinowski owns the weapon.

 

  • 1966    Third Girl

A London flat is shared by three young ladies. They are a secretary; an artist; and a self-proclaimed assassin called Norma Restarick. Poirot gradually discovers more about the rumors about the enigmatic third child, her family, and her disappearance. However, the brilliant prosecutor needs concrete facts before he can declare her guilty, innocent, or insane. Poirot learns that she was sent by Adriane Oliver. Mrs Oliver and Poirot visit her parents’ house and her apartment building to collect evidence.

 

  • 1967    Endless Night

This novel has been cited as Agatha Christie’s own favourite. Gipsy’s Acre was a stunning upland location with views out to sea, and it inspired a childish imagination in Michael Rogers. He wanted to build a home, meet a child, and live happily ever after among the dark fir trees there. Yet, a shadowy sense hung over the land as he left the village. For the setting was plagued by many strange occurrences. Perhaps Michael should have heeded the locals’ warnings not to mess with Gipsy Acre.

 

  • 1968    By the Pricking of My Thumbs

Tuppence meets several strange residents while visiting Tommy’s Aunt Ada at Sunny Ridge Nursing Home, including Mrs. Lancaster. Aunt Ada dies a few weeks later, leaving Tommy and Tuppence a drawing of a building. Tuppence begins her quest for the mystery house. She eventually locates it in the remote village of Sutton Chancellor. The home, it turns out, is separated in an unusual way. The Perrys, a middle-aged couple, rent the back portion of the building. Tuppence is told a harrowing anecdote of past child murders. She is concussed by a knock to the brain and didn’t return home as scheduled.

 

  • 1969    Halloween Party

In a pool of apples, a young murder victim drowns. Joyce, a sassy thirteen-year-old, brags about having seen a murder at a Halloween party. She storms off home because no one believes her. However, her body is discovered hours later, still in the building, drowned in an apple-bobbing pool. Hercule Poirot is summoned that night to locate the ‘evil presence.’ But first, he has to figure out whether he’s searching for a single killer or a double-murderer. Poirot and his companion, mystery writer Ariadne Oliver, are tasked with investigating a group of rambunctious teens as well as the supernatural themes.

 

  • 1970    Passenger to Frankfurt

In an airport bar, a middle-aged ambassador is approached and his identification stolen. Sir Stafford Nye’s return journey from Malaya to London takes an abrupt turn in the Frankfurt passenger lobby, when a young lady confides in him that she is being pursued by assailants. Despite this, their paths would meet again and again, with the mystery woman being revealed as a new entity each time. She is equally at ease in every disguise and in any culture, and she pulls Sir Stafford into a deadly game of political intrigue.

 

  • 1971    Nemesis

Jane Marple read the letter sent to her by the recently dead Mr Rafiel, whom she had encountered briefly on her travels. After his demise, he had left orders for her to look into a murder. The only concern was that he had forgotten to inform her of who was involved, as well as the location and time of the crime. To find out the truth about his strange request, she must pursue the hints across the whole of England. It is a fascinating experience. As many times before, murder crosses her path.

Agatha Christie Mottos and Quotes

  1. A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world.
  2. An appreciative listener is always stimulating.
  3. An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her.
  4. Any coincidence is worth noticing. You can throw it away later if it is only a coincidence.
  5. Any woman can fool a man if she wants to and if he’s in love with her.
  6. Assumptions are dangerous things.
  7. Between the ages of 5 and 12 years old, I led a wonderfully happy life.
  8. Bitterness leads nowhere. It turns back on itself. It is the eternal cul-de-sac.
  9. Books are a habit-forming drug.
  10. But surely for everything you love you have to pay some price.
  11. Courage is the resolution to face the unforeseen.
  12. Darling Daddy, I am so sorry you are still ill, we miss you very much.
  13. Do you know my friend that each one of us is a dark mystery, a maze of conflicting passions and desire and aptitudes?
  14. Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.
  15. Don’t think. That is the wrong way to bring anything back. Let it go. Sooner or later it will flash into your mind.
  16. Everybody said, “Follow your heart”. I did, it got broken
  17. Everyone is a potential murderer-in everyone there arises from time to time thewish to kill-though not the will to kill.
  18. Everything must be taken into account. If the fact will not fit the theory—let the theory go.
  19. Everything that has existed, lingers in the Eternity.
  20. Fear is incomplete knowledge.
  21. Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it.
  22. I did not deceive you, mon ami. At most, I permitted you to deceive yourself.
  23. I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming… suddenly you find – at the age of 50, say – that a whole new life has opened before you.

 

 

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