The Hound of Death by Agatha Christie - published in 1936

“Anyway (poetry) is not the most important thing in life, is it? Frankly, I'd much rather lie in a hot bath sucking boiled sweets and reading Agatha Christie, which is just exactly what I intend to do as soon as I get home.” -- Dylan Thomas

Crime, murder, the Orient Express, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot - these are all terms synonymous with the queen of crime writing, Agatha Christie. Born on September 15, 1890, Christie grew up in Torquay, Devon, where she enjoyed a happy childhood.

Christie's works include 80 detective novels, in addition to many short stories, romances, and stage plays, including The Mousetrap, which has been running continuously at London's St. Martin's Theatre since 1952. Christie's works have been translated into many different languages and spawned hugely successful movies, including Murder on the Orient Express. She ultimately became one of the first authors to be published in paperback by Penguin Books.

A worked in a dispensary during WWI and it was there that her life-long interest in the use of poisons as a method of murder in detective fiction was born. Her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles published in 1920, introduced popular detective Hercule Poirot, who went on to appear in 33 novels and 54 short stories. Miss Marple, Christie's other famous detective, didn't make an appearance until 1930, in The Tuesday Night Club, a short story originally published in a magazine. She appears in a total of 12 novels and 20 short stories.

It has been suggested that close to four billion copies of Christie's books have been sold worldwide. It should come as no surprise then that AbeBooks has an incredible selection of Agatha's work, including scarce first editions, signed copies, as well as affordable new and used copies of her best work. While an Agatha Christie collection doesn't necessarily have to break the bank, a Collins’ Crime Club first edition of Death on the Nile, published in 1937, did sell on AbeBooks for $9,836.

To learn more about Agatha Christie and her lustrous career, visit See an interesting timeline of Christie's life.

A Selection of Agatha Christie's Works

Significant Dates in Agatha Christie's Life

Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie (1890 -1976)
  • 1890    Born September 15th
  • 1901    Death of her father, Frederick Alvah Miller
  • 1906    Attends finishing school in Paris
  • 1914    Marries Archibald Christie, December 24th
  • 1919    Rosalind Hicks, Christie’s only child, born August 5th
  • 1920    The Mysterious Affair at Styles – her first published novel
  • 1926    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • 1928    Divorce granted from Archibald Christie
                Christie visits the Middle East for the first time
  • 1930    The Murder at the Vicarage
                Christie meets archeologist Max Mallowan at Ur in the Middle East
                Christie and Max are married in Scotland, September 11th
  • 1933    Christie accompanies Max to Arpachiyah, where he conducts his first dig
  • 1934    Murder on the Orient Express 
  • 1936    The ABC Murders
  • 1937    Death on the Nile
  • 1939    And Then There Were None
  • 1942    The Body in the Library
  • 1943    Agatha Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard, born
  • 1947    Christie writes the radio play Three Blind Mice for Queen Mary’s birthday
  • 1948    Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories
  • 1949    Christie accompanies Max to Nimrud
  • 1950    Christie begins writing her autobiography on site at Nimrud
  • 1952    The Mousetrap opens in London
  • 1953    Witness for the Prosecution opens in London
  • 1956    Christie honoured as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE)
  • 1960    Max honoured as Commander of the British Empire (CBE)
  • 1965    Christie finishes writing her autobiography
  • 1968    Max is knighted for his work in archaeology
  • 1971    Christie is honoured as a Dame of the British Empire (DBE)
  • 1974    Christie’s last public appearance at the premiere of the Hollywood film Murder on the Orient Express
  • 1976    Dame Agatha dies, January 12th
  • 1977    An Autobiography is published
  • 1978    Sir Max Mallowan dies, August 19th
  • 2000    Christie voted Best Writer of the Century and Poirot novels and short stories named Best Series of the Century at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention
  • 2005    The first PC game is published, based on And Then There Were None
  • 2008    The first Agatha Christie Nintendo Wii game published
  • 2009    The first Agatha Christie Nintendo DS game published

What's your favorite Agatha Christie book?

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