Be surprised by Agatha Christie

Think you know Agatha Christie? It’s no secret that Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time, famous for creating world-renowned sleuths Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple and a wealth of other crime stories and plays. But there’s so much more to the Queen of Crime…

Here are a few of our favourite facts about Agatha Christie, whose fascinating life inspired so many of the stories that the world has been enjoying since 1920.

Christie’s writing career began with a bet. Her sister Madge bet that Christie couldn’t write a detective novel in which the reader would be able to correctly guess the murderer. Unable to resist the challenge, at the age of 26 Christie got to work on what was to later become her first published detective novel.

She spent 10 months travelling the world. In 1922 she visited South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada as part of the Grand Tour with her first husband Archie.

She was one of the first British women to surf! Whilst in South Africa and then Hawaii with Archie, Agatha learnt to surf, making her one of the first recorded Britons to take on the sport.

Pathologists read her novels to help them solve real life poisoning cases. Christie was a poison expert; a skill she gained whilst volunteering at the dispensary in her local hospital during the First World War.

Not only an expert on poisons and an incredible author, Christie was also an archaeologist. She spent two decades living on excavation sites in the Middle East, writing novels and helping her husband on digs.

She wrote the longest running show of any kind in the world. Yup, The Mousetrap opened in 1952 and is still running to this day. In fact, in 1974 it switched from the Ambassadors Theatre to its current home of St. Martin’s Theatre without missing a performance.

She lived amongst Soviet spies in the Isokon Building London. During which time she wrote her spy novel N or M?

Learn more about this amazing woman here.

(Image supplied by The Christie Archive Trust)

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