When it comes to the genre of mystery, the name Agatha Christie is one bound to be discussed. She has left a long-lasting impact and influence on the genre with her various works even today. Her creations of the detective Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are immortalized in the crime novel genre. According to the Guinness World Records, Agatha Christie’s works have sold more than 2 billion copies worldwide, making her the best-selling fiction writer of all time. According to UNESCO’s book translation database Index Translationum, she is the most translated individual author in record. Her mystery novel ‘And Then There Were None’ is the world’s fifth highest selling book of fiction and highest selling crime novel of all time, having sold around a 100 million copies. Her play ‘The Mousetrap’ holds the record for longest running initial run for a play, and ran from the 25th of November 1952 to March 2020, being closed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Agatha Christie was born on the 15th of September 1890 as Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller in Torquay, Devon, England. She was born to Frederick Alvah Miller and Clarissa Margaret Miller and was the youngest of three siblings, having an elder sister and brother. From early childhood, Agatha Christie had an enormous love for books and reading. She wrote her first piece of writing, a poem titled ‘The Cow Slip’ at the tender age of 10.
Agatha Christie started writing at the age of 18. However, it wasn’t until later that she would be successful in her writing endeavours. She wrote a series of short stories and submitted them to various magazines, however, they got rejected most of the time. In 1916, she wrote her first detective novel. It was titled ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ and starred the Belgium detective Hercule Poirot. It was also the first of the ‘Hercule Poirot’ series of her detective novels. Like her endeavours with her short stories, she was initially unsuccessful in getting a publisher to accept publishing the novel. Finally, it was published in 1920 by the publishing company ‘The Bodley Head’ was a change in the climax of the story. This was a turning point in her career and the start of her rise to the summit of the crime and mystery genre. Her second novel ‘The Secret Adversary’, published in 1922 starred new characters, a crime-solving detective couple named Tommy and Tuppence. In 1927, she created the character Miss Marple, an elderly detective woman. Miss Marple would then be featured in various short stories and novels.
Although Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are Agatha Christie’s most famous detectives, she wrote multiple other crime novels starring other detectives like Tommy and Tuppence, Harley Quin and Parker Pyne.
Christie’s work extended to beyond the crime and mystery novels. She was also a successful playwright and found great joy in it. She also wrote non-fiction works based on her travel experiences around the world. She also published 6 mainstream novels under a pseudonym of Mary Westmacott.