Project Agatha Christie

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!

Eye Witness

Murder of a teenage girl had created too much sensation in the city! The police had no clue regards to who could be the murderer. The needle pointed at the parents but no one could imagine someone killing their own child so brutally. Theories of who could be the murderer were the talk of the town.

People were divided in their opinions. Half of them were on the parents’ side, defending them. The other half said parents killing children wasn’t something new. Look at the cases of honour killing in the country, they said. But these were educated, professionally qualified parents. They could never kill their only child like this! The other half retorted.

The case was in court for trial. The evidences were only circumstantial. Just then someone entered the court and said he was an eye witness to the murder and knew who had killed the little girl. This was unprecedented! No one would have guessed that someone like him could be an eye witness. Everyone present in the court were spell bound. The camera men of various news channels had their camera pointed on him.

When the judge gave him the go ahead, he began his story. His name was Bunny. He met Raina, the murdered girl, when she was 4 years old. Their friendship grew over the years and it made them inseparable. He had seen her growing from a bubbly baby to a charming teenage girl. In the past one year she had changed a lot though. He was not her only companion anymore. Raina’s parents had hired a man, Basant, to take care of the house and Raina. They had started to spend more time together. He didn’t like that. But he had no other option than to watch silently.

On the night of the murder, Basant and Raina were in her room as usual. Raina’s parents had gone out to watch a play. When they returned, they saw a beam of light peeping out of Raina’s room. The door was ajar and they both entered wanting to chide her for being awake. They were stunned at what they saw. In the fit of rage, the father strangled Basant with the pillow. Raina’s mom had shut Raina’s mouth with her hand. The parents strangled Raina’s neck too.

Bunny was scared and watching everything from behind the cupboard. It was his favourite hiding place nowadays. Once the parents cooled down, they probably realised what they had done. The father went to his room and brought some instruments with him. They both slit the throats of Basant & Raina carefully and cracked the skull with the golf club. They dragged the body of Basant outside but he couldn’t see where they had taken him. They arranged Raina on the bed as if she was sleeping and no monstrosity had touched the child.

Bunny had heard people flocking over to Raina’s room talk about her murder. No one knew who had killed her as they had no witness. Bunny realised it was time to speak up. Time to tell the truth. He was not only a stuffed toy for Raina. He was her best friend.

Amidst huge uproar by the people gathered in the court, the judge sentenced Raina’s parents to life imprisonment.


Disclaimer: Only the murder part is inspired by a true story. Rest all is my imagination.