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Famous Like Me > Writer > C > Agatha Christie

Profile of Agatha Christie on Famous Like Me

Name: Agatha Christie  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 15th September 1890
Place of Birth: Torquay, Devon, England, UK
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, DBE (September 15, 1890 – January 12, 1976), was a British crime fiction writer. She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott.

Agatha Christie is the world's best-known mystery writer and all-time best selling author of any genre other than William Shakespeare. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 45 foreign languages (as of 2003). As an example of her broad appeal, she is the all-time best-selling author in France, with over 40 million copies sold in French (as of 2003) versus 22 million for Émile Zola, the nearest contender.

Her stage play The Mousetrap holds the record for the longest run ever in London, opening at the Ambassadors Theatre on November 25, 1952 and as of 2005 still running after more than 20,000 performances.

Christie published over eighty novels and stageplays, mainly whodunnits and locked room mysteries, many of these featuring one of her main series characters, Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. Although she delighted in twisting the established detective fiction form - one of her early books, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, is renowned for its surprise denouement - she was scrupulous in "playing fair" with the reader by making sure information for solving the puzzle was given.

Most of her books and short stories have been filmed, some many times over (Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, 4.50 from Paddington). The BBC has produced television and radio versions of most of the Poirot and Marple stories. A later series of Poirot dramatizations starring David Suchet was made by Granada Television. In 2004, the Japanese broadcasting company Nippon Housou Kyoukai turned Poirot and Marple into animated characters in the anime series Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple, introducing Mabel West (daughter of Miss Marple's mystery-writer nephew Raymond West, a canonical Christie character) and her duck Oliver as new characters.


A plaque showing the Agatha Christie Mile at Torre Abbey in Torquay.

Born Mary Clarissa Miller, in Torquay, Devon, England. Christie's first marriage, an unhappy one, was in 1914 to Colonel Archibald Christie, an aviator in the Royal Flying Corps. The couple had one daughter, Rosalind, and divorced in 1928.

During World War I she worked at a hospital and then a pharmacy, a job that also influenced her work: many of the murders in her books are carried out with poison.

In December 1926 she disappeared for eleven days, causing quite a storm in the press. Her car was found abandoned in a chalk pit. She was eventually found staying at a hotel in Harrogate, where she claimed to have suffered amnesia due to a nervous breakdown following the death of her mother and her husband's confessed infidelity. Opinions are still divided as to whether this was a publicity stunt or not. A 1979 film, Agatha, starring Vanessa Redgrave as Christie, recounted a fictionalised version of the disappearance.

In 1930, Christie married (despite her divorce) a Roman Catholic, Sir Max Mallowan, a British archaeologist 14 years her junior, and her travels with him contributed background to several of her novels set in the Middle East. Other novels (such as Ten Little Indians) were set in and around Torquay, Devonshire, where she was born.

In 1971 she was granted the title of Dame Commander of the British Empire.

Dame Agatha Christie died on January 12, 1976, at age 85 from natural causes, at Winterbrook House, Cholsey near Wallingford, Oxfordshire. She is buried at St. Mary's Churchyard in Cholsey. Agatha Christie's only child, Rosalind Hicks, died on October 28, 2004, coincidentally also aged 85, from natural causes. Christie's grandson, Matthew Prichard, now owns the royalties to his grandmother's works.

Two of her novels were written at the height of her career, but held back until after her death: they were the last cases of Poirot and Miss Marple. In the final Poirot novel Curtain, Christie killed her creation and explained in her diary that she had always found him insufferable. She had a great fondness for Miss Marple however, as she had based her characterisation largely on her own grandmother, so she allowed Miss Marple to solve one more mystery in Sleeping Murder and return to the solitude of her village.


  • 1920 The Mysterious Affair at Styles (her first book, which introduced Hercule Poirot, Chief Inspector Japp and Captain Hastings)
  • 1922 The Secret Adversary (introduced Tommy and Tuppence)
  • 1923 Murder on the Links
  • 1924 The Man in the Brown Suit
  • 1924 Poirot Investigates (eleven short stories)
  • 1925 The Secret of Chimneys
  • 1926 The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • 1927 The Big Four
  • 1928 The Mystery of the Blue Train
  • 1929 Partners in Crime (fifteen short stories)
  • 1929 The Seven Dials Mystery
  • 1930 The Murder at the Vicarage (introduced Jane Marple)
  • 1930 The Mysterious Mr. Quin (introduced Mr. Harley Quin, short stories)
  • 1931 The Sittaford Mystery
  • 1932 Peril at End House
  • 1933 The Hound of Death (twelve short mysteries)
  • 1933 Lord Edgware Dies
  • 1933 The Thirteen Problems (thirteen short mysteries)
  • 1934 Murder on the Orient Express
  • 1934 Parker Pyne Investigates (twelve short mysteries) (introduced Parker Pyne and Ariadne Oliver)
  • 1934 The Listerdale mystery (twelve short mysteries)
  • 1935 Three Act Tragedy
  • 1935 Why Didn't They Ask Evans?
  • 1935 Death in the Clouds (first published as Death in the Air)
  • 1936 The A.B.C. Murders
  • 1936 Murder in Mesopotamia
  • 1936 Cards on the Table
  • 1937 Death on the Nile
  • 1937 Dumb Witness
  • 1937 Murder in the Mews (Four short stories: Murder in the Mews, The Incredible Theft, Dead Man's Mirror, Triangle at Rhodes.)
  • 1938 Appointment with Death
  • 1939 And Then There Were None (first published as Ten Little Niggers, also known as Ten Little Indians)
  • 1939 Murder is Easy
  • 1939 Hercule Poirot's Christmas
  • 1939 Regatta Mystery and Other Stories (Nine short stories)
  • 1940 Sad Cypress
  • 1941 Evil Under the Sun
  • 1941 N or M?
  • 1941 One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
  • 1942 The Body in the Library
  • 1942 Five Little Pigs (also known as Murder in Retrospect)
  • 1942 The Moving Finger
  • 1944 Towards Zero
  • 1944 Sparkling Cyanide
  • 1945 Death Comes as the End
  • 1946 The Hollow
  • 1947 The Labours of Hercules (twelve short mysteries featuring Hercule Poirot)
  • 1948 There is a Tide (also known as Taken at the Flood)
  • 1948 Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories
  • 1949 Crooked House
  • 1950 A Murder is Announced
  • 1950 Three Blind Mice and Other Stories
  • 1951 They Came to Baghdad
  • 1951 The Under Dog and Other Stories (Nine short stories)
  • 1952 Mrs McGinty's Dead
  • 1952 They Do It with Mirrors
  • 1953 A Pocket Full of Rye
  • 1953 After the Funeral (also known as Funerals are Fatal)
  • 1955 Hickory Dickory Dock (also known as Hickory Dickory Death)
  • 1955 Destination Unknown
  • 1956 Dead Man's Folly
  • 1957 4.50 from Paddington (also known as What Mrs. McGillycuddy Saw!)
  • 1957 Ordeal by Innocence
  • 1959 Cat Among the Pigeons
  • 1960 The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (Six short stories)
  • 1961 The Pale Horse
  • 1962 The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side
  • 1963 The Clocks
  • 1964 A Caribbean Mystery
  • 1965 At Bertram's Hotel
  • 1966 Third Girl
  • 1967 Endless Night
  • 1968 By the Pricking of My Thumbs
  • 1969 Hallowe'en Party
  • 1970 Passenger to Frankfurt
  • 1971 Nemesis
  • 1971 The Golden Ball and Other Stories (Fifteen short stories)
  • 1972 Elephants Can Remember
  • 1973 Akhnaton - A play in three acts
  • 1973 Postern of Fate (final Tommy and Tuppence, last novel Christie wrote)
  • 1974 Poirot's Early Cases (eighteen short mysteries)
  • 1975 Curtain (Poirot's last case, written four decades earlier)
  • 1976 Sleeping Murder (Miss Marple's last case, written four decades earlier)
  • 1979 Miss Marple's Final Cases and Two Other Stories
  • 1997 While the Lights Last and Other Stories

Co-authored works:

  • 1931 The Floating Admiral written together with G. K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers and certain other members of the Detection Club.

Writing with Charles Osborne:

  • 1998 Black Coffee
  • 2001 The Unexpected Guest
  • 2003 The Spider's Web

Works written as Mary Westmacott:

  • 1930 Giant's Bread
  • 1934 Unfinished Portrait
  • 1944 Absent in the Spring
  • 1948 The Rose and the Yew Tree
  • 1952 A Daughter's a Daughter
  • 1956 The Burden


  • 1928 Alibi
  • 1930 Black Coffee
  • 1936 Love from a Stranger
  • 1937 or 1939 A Daughter's a Daughter (Never Performed)
  • 1940 Peril at End House
  • 1943 Ten Little Indians
  • 1945 Appointment With Death
  • 1946 Murder on the Nile/Hiddon Horizon
  • 1949 Murder at the Vicarage
  • 1951 The Hollow
  • 1952 The Mousetrap
  • 1953 Witness for the Prosecution
  • 1954 The Spider's Web
  • 1956 Towards Zero
  • 1958 Verdict
  • 1958 The Unexpected Guest
  • 1960 Go Back for Murder
  • 1962 Rule of Three
  • 1972 Fiddler's Three (Originaly written as Fiddler's Five. Never Published. Final play she wrote.)
  • 1973 Aknaton (Written in 1937)
  • 1977 Murder is Announced
  • 1981 Cards on the Table
  • 1993 Murder is Easy
  • 2000? And Then There Were None

Radio Plays:

  • 1937 The Yellow Iris
  • 1947 Three Blind Mice
  • 1948 Butter In a Lordly Dish
  • 1960 Personal Call

Television Plays:

  • 1937 Wasp's Nest

Movie Adaptions

Agatha Christie is no stranger to the cinema. Over the last 77 years, Poirot, Miss Marple, Tommey and Tuppence, Mr. Quin, Parker Pyne, and many others have been portrayed on numberous occasions:

  • 1928 Die Abenteuer G. m. b. H (The Secret Adversary)
  • 1928 The Passing of Mr. Quinn
  • 1931 Alibi
  • 1931 Black Coffee
  • 1934 Lord Edgware Dies
  • 1937 Love From A Stranger
  • 1945 And Then There Were None
  • 1947 Love From A Stranger
  • 1957 The Witness for the Prosicution
  • 1960 The Spider's Web
  • 1962 Murder, She Said
  • 1963 Murder at the Gallop (Based on After The Funeral)
  • 1964 Murder Most Foul (Based on Mrs. McGinty's Dead)
  • 1964 Murder Ahoy! (An original Movie, not based on any of the books)
  • 1966 Ten Little Indians
  • 1966 The Alphabet Murders (Based on The ABC Murders)
  • 1972 Endless Night
  • 1974 Murder on the Orient Express
  • 1975 Ten Little Indians
  • 1978 Death on the Nile
  • 1980 The Mirror Crack'd
  • 1982 Evil Under the Sun
  • 1984 Ordeal by Innocence
  • 1988 Appointment with Death
  • 1989 Ten Little Indians

Television Plays

  • 1938 Love from a Stranger
  • 1947 Love from a Stranger
  • 1949 Ten Little Indians
  • 1959 Ten Little Indians
  • 1970 Murder at the Vicarage
  • 1980 Why Didn't They Ask Evans?
  • 1982 The Spider's Web
  • 1982 The Seven Dials Mystery
  • 1982 The Agatha Christie Hour
  • 1982 Murder is Easy
  • 1982 The Witness for the Prosecution
  • 1983 Partners in Crime
  • 1983 A Caribbean Mystery
  • 1983 Sparkling Cyanide
  • 1984 The Body in the Library
  • 1985 Murder With Mirrors
  • 1985 The Moving Finger
  • 1985 A Murder Is Announced
  • 1985 A Pocket Full of Rye
  • 1985 Thirten At Dinner
  • 1986 Dead Man's Folly
  • 1986 Murder in Three Acts
  • 1986 Murder at the Vicarage
  • 1987 Sleeping Murder
  • 1987 At Bertram's Hotel
  • 1987 Nemesis
  • 1987 4.50 From Paddington
  • 1989 The Man In The Brown Suit
  • 1989 Agatha Christie's Poirot
  • 1989 A Caribbean Mystery
  • 1990 Peril at End House
  • 1990 The Mysterous Affair at Styles
  • 1991 They Do It With Mirrors
  • 1992 The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side
  • 1994 Hercule Poirot's Christmas
  • 1995 Murder on the Links
  • 1995 Hickory Dickory Dock
  • 1996 Dumb Witness
  • 1997 The Pale Horse
  • 2000 The Murder of Rodger Ackroyd
  • 2000 Lord Edgware Dies
  • 2001 Evil Under The Sun
  • 2001 Murder on the Orient Express
  • 2001 Murder in Mesopotamia
  • 2003 Sparkling Cyanide
  • 2004 Five Little Pigs
  • 2004 Death On The Nile
  • 2004 Sad Cypress
  • 2004 The Hollow
  • 2004 Marple
  • 2005 The Mystery of the Blue Train (Now Filming)
  • 2005 Cards on the Table
  • 2005 Taken at the Flood
  • 2006 After the Funeral

Video Games

  • 2005 And Then There Were None

Agatha Christie in fiction

Dame Agatha appears as one of the title characters, with Dorothy L. Sayers, in the fictional murder mystery Dorothy and Agatha by Gaylord Larsen.

The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley contains characters based on Christie, Sayers, Carr, and Chesterton.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Agatha Christie