Agatha Christie

Just a private note on Agatha Christie, that might be of some interest for those who, either by habit or by chance, may have the opportunity of reading it. Please let me know of any errors and/or omissions.

agatha-christieAgatha Christie, in full Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, née Miller, (born September 15, 1890, Torquay, Devon, England—died January 12, 1976, Wallingford, Oxfordshire), English detective novelist and playwright whose books have sold more than 100 million copies and have been translated into some 100 languages. Educated at home by her mother, Christie began writing detective fiction while working as a nurse during World War I. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), introduced Hercule Poirot, her eccentric and egotistic Belgian detective; Poirot reappeared in about 25 novels and many short stories before returning to Styles, where, in Curtain (1975), he died. The elderly spinster Miss Jane Marple, her other principal detective figure, first appeared in Murder at the Vicarage (1930). Christie’s first major recognition came with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), which was followed by some 75 novels that usually made best-seller lists and were serialized in popular magazines in England and the United States. Christie’s plays include The Mousetrap (1952), which set a world record for the longest continuous run at one theatre (8,862 performances—more than 21 years—at the Ambassadors Theatre, London) and then moved to another theatre, and Witness for the Prosecution (1953), which, like many of her works, was adapted into a successful film (1957). Other notable film adaptations include Murder on the Orient Express (1933; film 1974 and 2017) and Death on the Nile (1937; film 1978). Her works were also adapted for television. In 1926 Christie’s mother died, and her husband, Colonel Archibald Christie, requested a divorce. In a move she never fully explained, Christie disappeared and, after several highly publicized days, was discovered registered in a hotel under the name of the woman her husband wished to marry. In 1930 Christie married the archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan; thereafter she spent several months each year on expeditions in Iraq and Syria with him. She also wrote romantic nondetective novels, such as Absent in the Spring (1944), under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. Her Autobiography (1977) appeared posthumously. She was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1971. (Source: Britannica)

Agatha Christie published more than ninety stories between 1920 and 1976. Her best-loved stories revolve around two brilliant and quite dissimilar detectives, the Belgian émigré Hercule Poirot and the English spinster Miss Jane Marple. Other stories feature the “flapper” couple Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, the mysterious Harley Quin, the private detective Parker Pyne, or Police Superintendent Battle as investigators. Dame Agatha’s works have been adapted numerous times for the stage, movies, radio, and television.

Further reading:

Hercule Poirot Novels and Short Stories

Miss Jane Marple novels

  1. The Murder at the Vicarage [1930]
  2. The Body in the Library [1942]
  3. The Moving Finger [1943]
  4. A Murder is Announced [1950]
  5. They Do It With Mirrors [1952]
  6. A Pocket Full of Rye [1953]
  7. 4:50 From Paddington [1957]
  8. The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side [1962]
  9. A Caribbean Mystery [1964]
  10. At Bertram’s Hotel [1965]
  11. Nemesis [1971]
  12. Sleeping Murder [1976]

Miss Marple Short Story Collections

  • The Thirteen Problems (1932), a short story collection featuring Miss Marple, also published as The Tuesday Club Murders.
  • Miss Marple’s Final Cases and Two Other Stories (short stories collected posthumously, also published as Miss Marple’s Final Cases, but only six of the eight stories actually feature Miss Marple) (written between 1939 and 1954, published 1979). The Autograph edition of Miss Marple’s Final Cases includes the eight in the original plus “Greenshaw’s Folly”, a short story included as part of the Poirot collection: The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (1960).
  • Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories (1985), includes 20 short stories, from previous books: The Thirteen Problems (1932), The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories (1939), Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1950) and Double Sin and Other Stories (1961).

Tommy and Tuppence

  • Tommy and Tuppence appear together in four full-length novels and one collection of short stories. The collection of short stories is Partners in Crime, (1929, each story referencing another writer’s work); the four novels are The Secret Adversary (1922), N or M? (1941), By the Pricking of My Thumbs (1968); and Postern of Fate (1973). Postern of Fate was the last novel Christie ever wrote, although not the last to be published.

Non-series works by Agatha Christie

  1. The Sittaford Mystery (1931)  aka Murder at Hazelmoor
  2. Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (1934)  aka The Boomerang Clue
  3. And Then There Were None (1939) aka Ten Little Niggers / Ten Little Indians
  4. Death Comes as the End (1945)
  5. Crooked House (1949)
  6. They Came to Baghdad (1951)
  7. Destination Unknown (1954) aka So Many Steps to Death
  8. Ordeal by Innocence (1958)
  9. The Pale Horse (1961)
  10. Endless Night (1967)
  11. Passenger to Frankfurt (1970)

Harley Quin

  • Harley Quin appears in the 12 short stories appearing in The Mysterious Mr Quin, first published in 1930, and in an additional two short stories, “The Love Detectives” and “The Harlequin Tea Set” from Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories. Mr. Quin’s emissary Mr. Satterthwaite, who appears together with him in all the previously mentioned short stories, also appears without him in Christie’s short story “Dead Man’s Mirror” in the collection Murder in the Mews, and in her novel Three-Act Tragedy.

Parker Pyne

Superintendent Battle

  • Superintendent Battle appears as a detective in the following novels:
  1. The Secret of Chimneys [1925]
  2. The Seven Dials Mystery [1929]
  3. Cards on the Table [1936], with Hercule Poirot, Ariadne Oliver and Colonel Race.
  4. Murder is Easy [1939]
  5. Towards Zero [1944]
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