9 December 2012

MYSTERY WRITERS OF THE PAST - Dame Agatha Mary Carissa Christie 1890-1976

Yet another mystery writer from the past, and one of my favourites; Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, better know as Agatha Christie.  The youngest of three children, Agatha Christie spent her childhood at Ashfield, the family home, in Torquay, Devon.

In 1914, at the beginning of WWI, she married Archibald Christie.  During the war years while her husband was away, she became a nurse in the Voluntary Air Detachment of the Red Cross Hospital in Torquay, eventually working in the dispensary after passing the Society of Apothecaries examination.  

The Mysterious Affair at Styles
After the war ended, she and Archie moved into "Styles", the house they named after Agatha's first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

This book, featuring Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgium detective, launched Agatha Christie's writing career.

Agatha's marriage to Archibald Christie ended in 1926.

Murder in Mesopotamia
In 1930, she married Max Mallowan, an archaeologist.  Agatha Christie accompanied Max on his annual expeditions to Iraq and Syria for the next 30 years.  She describes her travels in a memoir entitled Come Tell Me How You Live.

I imagine that many of the settings for her books were inspired by her travels in the Middle East. Books such as Murder in Mesopotamia and Murder on the Orient Express.

Murder on the Orient Express

A prolific writer, Agatha Christie wrote 66 detective novels, over 20 short stories, more than 17 plays, not to mention other works.

And Then There Were None

She is the author of the world's best selling mystery, And Then There Were None with 100 million copies sold, to date.  

Her play The Mousetrap opened in London in 1952 and is still running in 2012. 

Other mystery writers of the past
NGAIO MARSH 1895-1982


  1. Murder On The Orient Express is the only book of Agatha Christie's that I remember reading but may have to check out a couple more. Great profile of her and her work Jill!

  2. Thanks, Anna. You might also find her autobiography interesting too. I've just ordered 'Come Tell Me How You Live. It's about her years in the Middle East while on archaeological excavations.