Agatha Christies first novel was The Mysterious Affair at Styles. The method of death in The Mysterious Affair at Styles is poison and was so well described that Agatha received an unprecedented honour for a writer of fiction – a review in the Pharmaceutical Journal.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles was also the first to feature her eccentric Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
During the First World War there were Belgian refugees in most parts of England. Although he was not based on any particular person, Agatha thought that a former great Belgian policeman who was now a Belgian refugee, would make an excellent detective for The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Hercule Poirot was born.
One of the most famous fictional creations of all time, Poirot’s ‘little grey cells’ triumphed over some of the most devious criminal minds ever created in crime fiction. However the charachter was no universally liked. Despite being the star of 33 novels, one play and 50 short stories, Christie herself wasn’t overly fond of Poirot. It was suggested that by the 1960s she felt he was ‘an ego-centric creep’. Indeed, when adapting Go Back For Murder, based on the novel called Five Little Pigs, Christie edited out the Belgian detective, and inserted Justin Fogg, a young lawyer, to investigate.
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