Classic Crime

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie was born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller on the 15th September 1890 in Torquay. Her father was American and her mother was British. Agatha Miller married an airplane pilot called Archibald Christie in 1914 and five years later, her only child, a daughter, Rosalind, was born.

Agatha Christie always gave the reason for writing her first book down to a bet she had with her sister that she could write a crime novel. She used her knowledge from her time spent as a nurse in a hospital pharmacy during the First World War and the result was The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Christieís first book was by no means a runaway success. In fact, it languished in an agentís office for nearly a year before it saw the light of day. After some alterations, the book was finally published in 1920.

Agatha Christie published a book a year but it wasnít until 1926, with the publication of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, that this gifted author became an international star on the crime scene. From then on Agatha Christie was highly prolific and often brought out at least two, if not more books in a year. It wasnít until her later years that she reduced this output to one book a year!

After her divorce from Archie Christie, she married Sir Max Mallowan who was to remain her husband for the rest of her life. Christie accompanied her husband on a number of expeditions to places like Iraq and Egypt. It was doubtless living in these far-flung settings that gave Christie the inspiration for some of her novels like Murder in Mesopotamia and Appointment with Death.

On the 25th November 1952, Christieís play, The Mousetrap, opened at the Ambassadorís Theatre in London. It played there until 1974. Then the play transferred to its current home, the St. Martinís Theatre on Monday 25th March 1974. It is the longest-running play in history.

Agatha Christie is still selling massively today. She has sold over 1 billion books in the English language and another billion in other languages around the world. More will be sold with the release of the new film, ĎDeath on the Nileí. Agatha Christie Mallowan died on the 12th January 1976 at the age of 85.

Review: Death on the Nile

Poirot takes a cruise down the Nile on the small steamer, The Karnak. Before, at the hotel, Poirot had been privy to the game played by Jacqueline de Bellefort towards Simon and Linnet Doyle. Poirot had warned Jacqueline to ĎBury your deadí, to stop her persecution of the newly married couple, even if Simon had once been hers. Little did Poirot know that Linnet Doyle had made so many enemies and that many of them of were now onboard The Karnak. It isnít long before murder stalks the steamer and will resemble a floating morgue by the time it reaches its destination..

There are certain Christie novels that stand head and shoulders from the others, and ĎDeath on the Nileí is such a classic. Here Christie delivers the whole shebang in spades. Forget the movie which we have all seen numerous times, read the book which delivers great characterisation as well as simmering grievances and a solution that I remember blew me out of the water when I first read this book back in my teens. It is one of the best, full-rounded book Christie ever wrote. You can tell from her writing that Christie was in love with Egypt, but also frustrated at its antiquated ways. Now with the new film released, this is one Poirot case definitely to re-visit or one of the best to start for any new Christie fan. Now Iím off to the cinema!

Reviewed by: C.S.

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