A deal table, her typewriter, black coffee, apples everywhere. What bliss, what glorious and solitary bliss! What a mistake for an author to emerge from her secret fastness. Authors were shy, unsociable creatures, atoning for their lack of social aptitude by inventing their own companions and conversations.
About Ariadne Oliver
About Ariadne Oliver
Mrs Oliver is a middle-aged woman and successful detective novelist, described as "handsome in a rather untidy fashion, with fine eyes, substantial shoulders, and a large quantity of rebellious grey hair with which she was continuously experimenting". She is feisty, quick to jump to conclusions (sometimes right, sometimes wrong), and strongly believes that Scotland Yard would be better run by a woman.
Ariadne Oliver and Hercule Poirot
Ariadne Oliver appears in six Poirot novels, assisting him (often in Hastings' stead) by providing her own unique perspective on each of the crimes they encounter. Her first appearance in a full length novel, with Poirot, is in Cards on the Table. She finally appears on her own in The Pale Horse.
Agatha Christie’s Voice
She is, in many ways, a vehicle for Agatha Christie’s own voice, particularly in relation to writing and the public. In a 1956 interview with John Bull magazine, Agatha Christie dismissed the idea that any of her characters are truly derived from real life, although she did admit that Mrs Oliver has "a strong dash" of herself. Christie always took a somewhat tongue in cheek approach to her supposed fictional alter ego, who she credited with writing a novel called The Body in the Library, a title she would use herself in 1942. Mrs Oliver also has a pedantic detective, a Finnish man by the name of Sven Hjerson. "Of course he’s idiotic," Mrs Oliver says, "but people like him", a sentiment Christie often applied to her own Hercule Poirot.
Ariadne Oliver was portrayed on screen by Jean Stapleton in the 1986 adaptation of Dead Man’s Folly. In the 1990s, BBC Radio 4 cast Julia McKenzie (later to be known for playing Miss Marple) in the role of Mrs Oliver, alongside John Moffatt as Poirot.
However the most recent example is Zoë Wanamaker who played Mrs Oliver since her debut in 2005's Cards on the Table, in the series Agatha Christie's Poirot. Wanamaker has featured in a version of every novel in which Mrs Oliver and Poirot join forces, concluding with Elephants Can Remember and Dead Man's Folly, both of which were adapted in the final series in 2013.