Agatha Christie – the Queen of Crime

Agatha Christie, the queen of crime was born in 1890.

She is the best selling female author in the world – second only to Shakespeare and The Bible. Two of her recurring detectives, Poirot and Miss Marple, have become watchwords in quality crime fiction.

During her long career, Agatha wrote 80 crime novels and short story collections, 2 autobiographies and 8 novels under the pen name Mary Westmacott. She has sold more than 2 billion books worldwide. She is the most translated author, with her books being translated into over 45 languages. According to a survey by Costa Coffee, she is the UK’s best loved crime author and in the top ten list of most borrowed author in UK libraries.

St Martins Theatre, London, home of “The Mousetrap” The theatre opened in 1916, architect W G R Sprague, owned by Lord Willoughby de Broke. Agatha Christie’s play “The Mousetrap” has been there for the last 30 of its 52 year run.
The copyright on this image is owned by David Hawgood
Photo from Wikimedia commons

In addition, Agatha Christie wrote over a dozen plays, the most famous being The Mousetrap. Christie began writing stage plays in response to seeing one of her stories adapted for the theatre. Having not been happy with its adaptation, she took to adapting her stories herself.

Based on the 1948 short story, Three Blind Mice, the 1953 stageplay The Mousetrap is now the longest running play in theatrical history. In 1960 Agatha penned Go Back For Murder, based on a novel called Five Little Pigs (1942). Originally Hercule Poirot had solved the crime but for the play, Agatha edited out the Belgian detective, and inserted a young lawyer named Justin Fogg to investigate.

Although synonymous with crime fiction, Agatha Christie also wrote six romantic novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. She also wrote non-fiction; one book Come Tell Me How you Live, describes her archeological travels with her husband Max and the other two are collections of poems, stories and verses, some with a religious theme. She also wrote her Autobiography which she completed in 1976.

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