Agatha Christie is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in English with another billion in foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time and, in many languages, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. She is the author of 66 crime novels, 150 short stories, over 20 plays, and six novels written under the name Mary Westmacott. Her work includes Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, and the genre-defining And Then There Were None.
Agatha Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was written towards the end of the First World War, in which she served in the VAD. In it she created Hercule Poirot, the little Belgian detective who was destined to become the most popular detective in crime fiction since Sherlock Holmes. It was published by Bodley Head in 1920.
In 1926, after averaging a book a year, Agatha Christie wrote her first masterpiece. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was the first of her books to be published by Collins and marked the beginning of an author-publisher relationship that lasted for 50 years and well over 70 books. Ackroyd was also the first of Agatha Christie’s books to be dramatized – under the title Alibi – and to have a successful run in London’s West End.
By 1930, Agatha had introduced a new character to act as detective. When she created Miss Marple, Agatha did not expect her to become Poirot’s rival, but with The Murder at the Vicarage, Miss Marple’s first full-length outing, it appeared she had produced another popular and enduring character.
The Mousetrap, her most successful play of all, opened in 1952 and is the longest-running play in history.
Agatha Christie was made a dame in 1971. She died in 1976.
Agatha Christie Limited (ACL) has been managing the literary and media rights to Agatha Christie's works around the world since 1955, working with the best talents in film, television, publishing, stage and on digital platforms to ensure that Christie’s work continues to reach new audiences in innovative ways and to the highest standard. The company is managed by Christie’s great grandson James Prichard.
Visit www.agathachristie.com for more information.
Photo courtesy of The Christie Archive Trust
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