One of our always popular authors here in the store is Agatha Christie – and it’s no surprise. Her works are some of the most popular in the world, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare.
Though readers are fiercely divided between Christie’s two detectives featured in the majority of her work – the suave Belgian Hercule Poirot or the introspective Miss Jane Marple – there’s no doubt that the great dame (a title she received in 1971 for her literary work) was a master of unexpected twists. .
Christie was born on September 15, 1890, as Agatha Miller, to an English mother and an American father. Her early novels were rejected by publishers. It wasn’t until 1920, after her marriage to Archibald Christie and the birth of her daughter Rosalind that she published her first detective novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
In 1930, Christie became Agatha Mallowan upon her marriage to Sir Max Mallowan, an archaeologist. Their travels to Turkey, Egypt, and other historical sites would serve as inspiration for some of her highly-regarded novels, including Murder on the Orient Express.
She would go on to write 86 more novels and a play, The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in theatrical history, before her death in January 1976 (Source: wikipedia). Her career spanned more than half a century.
It seems that the debate between Christie’s two greatest detectives, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, will never be resolved. So for the Queen of Mystery’s upcoming birthday on September 15th, we’re featuring two novels: one for each team.
Cat Among the Pigeons: A Hercule Poirot Murder Mystery
Published in 1959, Cat Among the Pigeons explores the aftermath of a national revolution, an overthrown government, and a priceless supply of royal jewels, all taking place in the least likely place – a girls’ boarding school.
After the games mistress of the illustrious Meadowbank school is found murdered, a chain of further murders is unleashed. But no one knows why the school was targeted – until a precocious schoolgirl realizes the meaning of it all. No one at the school is safe. To find the cat hiding among the pigeons, they need Hercule Poirot, before another murder occurs….
At Bertram’s Hotel: A Jane Marple Murder Mystery
When Jane Marple takes a vacation to the luxurious Bertram’s Hotel, she is delighted to find it almost unchanged from her childhood memories. But though the other guests appear respectable, Miss Marple can’t help but feel that something sinister is going on. Before Miss Marple knows it, she’s involved in a scheme involving lies, lovers, and murder – all centered around a forgetful old pastor.