In 1920, Agatha Christie, The Queen of Murder Mysteries, published her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. She introduced the Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, with his moustache obsession and little grey cells.
2020 marked 100 years of the first novel published. In the beginning of 2020, I had thought to take a break from reading (more about it in another post) but Reader Proposes & Writer Disposes – I fell back to reading with a vengeance. Although swamped with work in the middle of 2020 made me resort to comfort binge reading Agatha Christie novels before I knew it was the centenary. I thought to give a goal to my reading & vowed to read all the books ever published by Agatha Christie.
First completed the humongous task of making a list of books & sorting them into plays, novels & non fiction and also the books written under the name Mary Westmacott. Then removing duplicates because majority of her plays have been novelised.
To summarise, she has published 106 books in total – 6 books as Mary Westmacott, 3 Non Fiction, 66 Novels, 21 Plays, out of which 12 are novelised or included in her short story collections, which are 22 in number. Out of 106, I read 102 books! Not bad, eh?
Sadly, I couldn’t complete my vow of reading all her published work as some of her collection of plays were not available / available at a very high prize – Akhnaton, Murder In The Studio, Fiddlers Three & The Rule of Three – Someday I will be rich enough to complete the set 😉
Mary Westmacott – In my early 20s I had read Unfinished Portrait but I ddid not like & I assume it must be because I couldn’t accept her writing non-murder mystery novels. I couldn’t have been more wrong! I thoroughly enjoyed reading all 6 of her novels – Many of which are inspired from her own life
Non-Fiction – Speaking of her own life, she has also written her autobiography, and two memoirs. Come, Tell me how you live is based on the years spent digging around middle east with her second husband & The Grand tour is the world tour she embarked on with her first husband. Her life has been fascinating & though she is kind of racist & has shown no sympathy but entitlement over the colonies of the British Empire, you need to discount that & instead enjoy the description of people & places of those times. Many of her experiences during the world tour & the archaeology digs come alive in her plays and novels
Plays & Novels & Short Stories – Though some of the plots seem repetitive or predictable, there is a joy in unraveling the mysteries. Her writing is smooth and easy to understand – In fact I always recommend people to read her books when they are trying to improve their English
Thank you Dame Agatha Christie. With your writings you made this place a better world to live in. And as my friend said, it may not matter to anyone else but I surely made you happy by reading all your books! I hope he was right!