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Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in the year, 1890 in Torquay, England. The popularity of detective fiction reached its height during the First World War (the 1920s) and Christie’s crafted characters, crimes, and the detectives that solved them found a name for themselves. The period from the 1920s to 1930s came to be known as the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.
It is a rare known fact that Christie wrote her debut novel to win a bet against her sister, Marge, who believed she won’t be able to write a detective novel. Throughout her lifetime, she has written 66 novels and 14 short stories and continues to bear the tag of a bestseller.
Her debut novel, The Mysterious Affairs at Styles birthed the legendary literary character, Hercule Poirot, a short Belgian man with a stiff moustache and a neat sense of dressing. Some of Poirot’s best cases are The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, ABC Murders, Death on The Nile, and Murder on the Orient Express. Poirot’s last case, 'Curtain' was published posthumously.
Miss Marple, an elderly spinster is another renowned creation of Christie. We first meet her in a short story named, The Tuesday Night Club which went on to be published in one of the many stories in 'The Thirteen Problems'.
Agatha Christie always studied people around her for inspiration which helped her build memorable characters and their behaviour. To avoid writer’s block she preferred working on more than one story at a time. She liked paying attention to detail and describes in dialogues the plotline to hold the intrigue of her readers and keep them hooked until the very end. She would then reveal the killer and how the murder was carried out. Christie would drop subtle hints and clues to make the reader wear the shoes of an investigator and slightly mislead them into suspecting innocent characters but refrained from giving away too many clues.
She seamlessly wrote her hints to divert her readers to the various characters to establish an end that would surprise and excite them. Her autobiography is a reflection of her life and her journey as a writer.
Her thinking process and intricate plot details give us a view into her brilliant mind and why she is often referred to as the ‘Queen of Crime’.