There came a point in my writing for this blog that I realized, I never really talked about books. I talk about music, movies, the celebrities. You would have no idea that reading is my everything. During the summer I will go through a book a day. If I'm taking an English class, the most outside reading I do is the magazines. Vogue, Architectural Digest, Cosmopolitan on occasion, and any of the weekly rags if they have anything salacious.
Agatha Christie as a human being, as a writer, is life to me. I did this massive research report on her in eighth grade. If Madonna is my music icon, Agatha Christie is queen.
Her start as a writer came around as a challenge from her sister that she couldn't write as good a mystery as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or any of the other contemporaries in the early 1900's. Mysterious Affairs of Styles was born from this. She sent the manuscript out to a few publishers and two years later she got a response saying they were interested in publishing it.
When they finally found her, if I remember correctly she was booked under the name of his mistress, Nancy Neele. I can just see them finding her asking her where she'd been, and her calmly telling them she'd forgotten to mention she was leaving. Even before she disappeared she made the reservations at this spa. I might be wrong, this was a little bit ago, when I did this report, but the whole situation made me pro-Agatha.
She divorced him after this. Eventually married and fell in love with her second husband Max Mallowan. He was an archeologist. So, she did a lot of traveling in the Middle East. Something you might have noticed in the long list of books set in the region (Death on the Nile, Murder in Mesopotamia, They Came to Baghdad, and Death Comes as the End).
Fun fact about Murder on the Orient Express is that it's loosely based off an actual event. There was a train (Agatha may have been on it, I think she was) that got stuck in the snow, just like the Orient Express. And she decided this is the perfect setting for a murder. You definitely should read it. My favorite Agatha Christie book is Death on the Nile, but Murder on the Orient Express is everything.
The two detectives you should know about are Hercule Poirot and Jane Marples. Hercule is everywhere. David Suchet had a long running gig as the detective on PBS. If it's on Netflix, watch it. The show is perfect, I love it so much. Near the end of the series it did become a lot more darker and artsy, but I like all TV. So, I was still here for it.
Miss Marples, though. This woman is near and dear to my heart. I love her she is essentially a dear friend. Geraldine McEwan did a wonderful job portraying her. Geraldine McEwan is just one of the sweetest old ladies around and she lives and embodies the spirit of Miss Marples I hate to admit that I like Miss Marples better then Hercule Poirot, but I do.
Do not be confused and think that she was not a celebrity. She was. When she was on site with her husband, they always had people come out and visit her. She never let on to her husband that they were really there for her. Agatha knew how to play a man, so she didn't offend him.
Her mystery's are the cornerstone of how to write a noir type novel. Her works are short, clipped, and fast paced. There's a reason she's the third best selling author in the world only behind Shakespeare and the Bibles' numerous contributors. With her work you have a large, wide ranging, appeal to many types of people. I'm utterly impressed and obsessed with her. And, if you ever have free time or on break try one of her books out. It might not be for you, but almost certainly it will be.