Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The best-selling author in the world

For mystery readers, Agatha Christie is the most popular representative of a particular style — the very English, fair-play, "Golden Age," author who obeyed (almost always) the "rules of the game." Hercules Poirot and Miss Marple are, perhaps, the most beloved of detectives among those who enjoy reading "cozy" mysteries. The Times reviews a new biography of the author. The reviewer is not a fan, but the books remain in print and her characters remain a source of pleasure for millions.
Between 1920, when she was thirty, and her death in 1976, Agatha Christie published seventy-one full-length murder mysteries. She also brought out five collections of stories, two volumes of poetry, a number of successful West End plays and a couple of autobiographies; five non-crime novels by her appeared under the name of Mary Westmacott. In some years there were several publications; between 1939 and 1946 there were nineteen. By 1950, she had sold a total of 50 million books and she is still the bestselling author in the world. It seems reasonable to wonder where it all came from. (more)
Christie is a perfect example of the mystery writer who creates a situation in which an idyllic environment (a village, for instance) is disrupted by murder, exposing many of its inhabitants to suspicion, until the detective restores order by revealing, among those who had a motive, who actually committed the crime. Neither Poirot nor Marple ever had any illusions about human nature.

Agatha Christie's anti-novels - Times Online

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