Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tribute to the Greats: Dame Agatha Christie

I have a confession to make - I had never picked up an Agatha Christie before this week. She did know how to spin a good tale. I believe a writer would have had to draw upon so much more imagination in her time. Certainly today there's no end to the things writers think up, but in her day writers were without the aid of special effect movies to help guide them along to great paranormal heights. This is probably why I enjoy historical fiction so much more than contemporary. I appreciate today's imagination, but I greatly admire those writers who paved the way. Writers who took great strides and added layers of imagination to the written word, which would make way for today's writers to stretch their minds even further.
No matter their writing style, genre or length of work, we owe it to them to read their works, to learn from them and to learn about them. Here are a few tidbits I came across about Agatha though you can find all this and much more through source listings below.
  • Full Name: Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller 
  • Born: 15 September 1890 in Torquay, England
  • Taught herself to read by the age of five.
  • Crime writer of novels, short stories and plays. She was all about the whodunits!
  • Estimated book sales between $2-4 billion (right up there with Shakespeare)
  • Wrote 85 books.
  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time.
  • Used the pen name Mary Westmacott.
  • Many of her works were adapted into television, including a series.
  • Married Archie Christie in 1914.
  • During the war, she became a nurse in the Voluntary Aid Detachment of the Red Cross Hospital in Torquay.
  • She wasn't without her critics and was often regarded more for her ability to plot rather than her literary abilities (not that it hurt her any).
  • In 1926 Christie’s mother Clara died and Archie left her for another woman. They had one daughter together.
  • Agatha then met and accompanied Max Mallowan on his annual archaeological expeditions for nearly 30 years. She and Max were happily married for 46 years. 
  • After a hugely successful career and a wonderful life Agatha passed away on 12 January 1976.

Agatha Christie Kindle books available for free!
Secret Adversary
The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Do you have a favorite Agatha Christie story or want to share an extra tidbit you know about her?

3. (also book image source)
4. (Agatha Christie Image Source)


  1. I'm another person who hasn't read any Christie. I have one of her books on my shelf that is waiting to be read, at least. I also grabbed the two you posted at the end of this post.
    I've been interested to read her because I want to see what made her so great. Thank you for bringing her to my attention. I might have to pick up her book sooner, now what she's fresh in my mind now.

  2. I decided it was time to find out what made her so great too. Her style is definitely different than what we may be used to from contemporary authors, but it's a style all her own.

  3. Which of her books did you read? My first was Murder On the Orient Express, one of her most famous (and justly so). I think I read it in one sitting—and then had to find more of her books! I've read almost all of them, and right now my mom and I are working our way through them again in publication order (we didn't read them in order originally) and picking up the ones we missed on the way. I've always been a mystery lover, and I think she really is the best. I enjoy her writing for its own sake too.

  4. Elisabeth - I just started with Secret Adversary since it was free and I wanted to give her a try. I do like the idea of reading by publication order. I like a good mystery and it's fun reading something not so contemporary.