September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Agatha Christie!

Born on this day in 1890 as Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, she grew up to be the “Queen of Crime.” She wasn't a criminal!!! Instead, she was one of the most popular and prolific mystery writers in the English language. (She wrote other novels, short stories, poems, non-fiction, and plays, including romances under the name Mary Westmacott.)

A prolific writer writes a lot. Christie wrote 80 novels and short story collections (in addition to the plays, poetry, and non-fiction). According to the Agatha Christie website, she is the best-selling author of all time, and one of her plays, The Mousetrap, is the longest running play in theatrical history.

My favorite of her detectives is Hercule Poirot, an eccentric but brilliant Belgian detective who solved crimes by noticing a lot, talking to people a lot, and thinking a whole heck of a lot. Another famous main character is an English spinster / amateur sleuth named Jane Marple.

Celebrate Christie!

Read one of her mysteries, or watch a movie.

A good book to start with is Death in the Clouds or Cards on the Table.

Two of the more recent movies are Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Ten Little Indians (1989). You'll notice that these are not very recent at all!

Starting in 2007, many of Christie's books have been adapted into graphic novels (published by Euro Comics India). Other recent adaptations are video games for the PC and Wii and an anime series called Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple.

Want more?

Here is a short, 4-part video biography of Agatha Christie.

Try reading other mysteries. MysteryNet has a kids' section with Solve-It stories. 

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