History

Decoding Agatha Christie [Infographic]

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History

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What is Agatha Christie Best Known for?

Agatha Christie is best known for her novels, plays, and short stories. There are over a billion copies of her works sold, with over 66 crime novels and 14 plays. 

 

Check out our Infographic to decoding the mysteries of Agatha Christie’s most famous works.

 

Agatha Christie | Blackpool Grand

Works of Agatha Christie

Below are the most noted works of Agatha Christie

 

Murder on the Orient Express – 1934

Death on the Nile – 1937

Appointment with Death 1938

The Mousetrap – 1952

 

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Best Agatha Christie Books

When did Agatha Christie die?

 

Agatha Christie died on 12th January 1976.

 

How old was Agatha Christie when she died?

 

Agatha Christie was 86 when she died, of natural causes.

 

Agatha Life Story – Timeline

 

1890– Born in Torquay in Devon. Christie taught herself to read at five. She received little education, mainly homeschooled by her mother and sister, encouraged to write in her spare time, and always enjoyed coming up with new characters and stories. 

 

1905 – Moved to Paris, attended finishing school and dreamed of becoming a singer. Turned her attention to writing as her voice wasn’t strong enough. 

 

1914– Married her first husband, Colonel Archibald Christie. 

 

1914– Agatha Christie worked as a pharmacist and nurse in WWI, which gave her access and knowledge to medicines and poisons, which often were a staple of her murder mysteries. 

 

1920 – First novel published 

 

1926 – First short story published in the Sovereign Magazine. Her disappearance was also this year.

 

Agatha Christie’s Disappearance (1926) 

 

Agatha Christie’s disappearance caused a nationwide search, including sniffer dogs as people tried to piece together the real- life mystery. It captured the attention of people nationwide after her car was found abandoned at the top of a quarry. She was eventually found 11 days later in a hotel in Harrogate, when she’d checked in using the name of her husband’s mistress. It is said the events of her mother’s death and husband’s affair caused her to go off the grid, and she refused to ever share publicly details of her disappearance.

 

1928– Her divorce was finalised in 1928, and two years later she moved to the Middle East in order to get away from the bad publicity and reset. She met archaeologist Max Mallowan, her junior by 14 years. The two were married and Christie enjoyed a happy second marriage, and wrote plenty more crime novels in this period of her life. 

 

1946 – Married Max Mallowan

 

WW2– Worked at University College London at the hospital, dealing with poisonings and medicines, which helped with her knowledge of poisons as was so widely used in many of her novels. 

Agatha Christies’ health declined in the 70s and her last public appearance was in 1974, at the opening at one of her plays. Her last novel was published post humously ‘Sleeping Murder: Miss Marple’s Last Case – Oct 1976. 

 

More facts about Agatha Christie

  • She enjoyed agriculture and rarely gave public interviews, preferring to stay away from the limelight and modern life. 
  • She preferred a quiet and idyllic life. 
  • She preferred to write about Miss Marple than Poirot, although Poirot was much admired and revered by her audiences and readers.

 

Check out Our Top 5 Agatha Christie Series

 

How Agatha Christie Wrote

With work translated into 103 languages and famous characters like Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, Agatha Christie is an acclaimed writer. Using Simple, middle-range language that is repeated throughout her work, Agatha Christie’s detective novels have seen many adaptations. From murder and mystery, she takes us through scintillating whodunnits in which we can’t help but try to find the murderer. But could you spot the killer in one of her novels?

 

The Plotting Method

  1. Finding the murder, killer, and purpose
  2. The suspects and their intents
  3. The potential clues and red herrings

The Key Events

  1. A body is found early on
  2. A few suspects are presented
  3. The detective arrives
  4. Red herrings to throw you off
  5. The killer is found

The Plot Devices

  • The Disguise
  • The Discredited Witness
  • The Least Likely Suspect
  • Intuition
  • The Locked Room
  • Servants and Employees
  • The Big Reveal

How To Spot a Killer

Poirot as Detective

  • If the victim dies by stabbing, you’ll find the killer mentioned more in the beginning

Miss Marple as Detective

  • If the motive is money or an affair, you’ll find the killer mentioned more in the ending

The Victim

  • Typically connected to the killer by blood or marriage
  • Death by strangulation or stabbing suggests a killer doctor

The Clues

  • Meet the killer in the first 20% of the book
  • Key Clue is unveiled around halfway point
  • Clue of little relevance is often ‘interesting’
  • Clue of high relevance is often described simply

Male Killer

  • Victim is strangled to death
  • Higher levels of positive or neutral sentiment
  • Comeuppance through reasoning and logic
  • Nautical or air mode of transportation

Female Killer

  • 75% chance when the novel is set in a country home
  • Higher negative sentiment
  • Discovery of a domestic item
  • Land mode of transportation, like train or car

Did You Know?

  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles, her first novel, was written on a dare.
  • Hercule Poirot was based on a Belgium man Agatha Christie saw in the 1910s.
  • She wrote six romance novels as Mary Westmacott.
  • It took her only one weekend to write Absent in the Spring as Mary Westmacott.
  • The West End theatres dimmed their lights for an hour when she died.
  • Miss Marple was based after Christie’s maternal grandmother.
  • When Hercule Poirot died in the books, the character got a New York Times obituary.

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