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To the Queen of Crime

Published on Saturday, September 14, 2013

To the Queen of Crime

Many Happy Returns

Born September 15, 1890, British author Agatha Christie is renowned for her brilliant mystery novels which introduced such beloved characters as Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple.  She also wrote plays and romances.  Her play Mousetrap, originally broadcast on radio, premiered on the London stage in 1952 and is still running in a London theatre to this day.  Her romances were written under the nom de plume Mary Westmacott, the most well-known, Absent in the Spring, written entirely over the course of a single weekend – all 160 pages of it!

Belgian detective Hercule Poirot was introduced in Christie’s first published mystery The Mysterious Affair at Styles, a murder which involved poisoning by strychnine.  Christie acquired knowledge of pharmaceuticals and poisons while serving in a dispensary as a Red Cross nurse during WWI, and this served her well as a means to many a fictional murder. She finally killed off Hercule Poriot in Curtains, published in 1975.  The New York Times even ran a full page obit for the fictional character – something that probably had not been done before or since. 

She married her second husband, Sir Max Mallowan and wrote a few non-fiction accounts of the archaeological digs she participated in with him.  The “Queen of Crime” also was known to have a good sense of humor.  She once quipped, “An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have.  The older he gets, the more interested he is in her.”

Christie novels are still very popular among the Library’s many mystery readers.  Her very first The Mysterious Affair at Styles published in 1920, is available from the Library in print, large print, DVD, CD, and downloadable e-book.  Check them out!


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