Monday, April 02, 2012

Monday Mystery- Agatha Christie

Anyone who reads mystery has read an Agatha Christie novel. They are works of art when it comes to character studies.

Her sleuths are Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, a husband and wife duo, Miss Marple, a village matron, and siblings, Jerry and Johanna Burton, as well as the tidy Belgian Detective, Mr. Hercule Poirot.

Poirot had help on several cases from another memorable character. That character, Mrs. Ariadne Oliver, was a mystery writer who loved to munch on apples much like her creator. Ariadne and Poirot joined forces in:  Halloween PartyCards on the Table, Mrs. McGinty's Dead, Dead Man's Folly, Third Girl, and Elephants Can Remember.

Tuppence and Tommy and Miss Marple lived in St. Mary Mead. Using the resemblance of character traits among the suspects and visiting with locals is how Miss Marple deduces the scoundrels who commit the crimes.

Poirot's first appearance was in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. This book has become recognized as a possible landmark mystery novel of the 20th century due to the inspired plot twist.

Agatha Christie didn't attend public school. She studied at home and studied abroad in Paris for singing and piano. If she hadn't taken up the pen and paper she could have made a living as a singer or pianist. She began her career writing romantic novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott.  Expeditions with her second husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan gave her fodder for her stories. Those stories have been translated into many languages as well as plays and films.

What is your favorite Agatha Christie sleuth and what is your favorite book?


Gabriella Hewitt said...

I can remember plowing through as many Agatha Christie novels as I could get my hand on. That was back in middle school. I liked Miss Marple a lot, but I also enjoyed Tommy and Tuppence, especially their early years. I never read Curtain because I did not want to read about Poirot's last case. I can't recall the title but one of my favorites was the one where a woman takes on the identity of a dead woman to find her husband in an underground scientific community. It's a bit James Bondish (w/o all the action and stunts) and is a storyline that works in any period, really.

Thanks for a great post!

Paty Jager said...

Gabriella, I can't remember that title either but I'm sure some other Agatha Fan will know it. Thanks for stopping in!

Jillian said...

"And then there were none". Loved it.

Becky said...

Great post! Miss Marple was my favorite. I loved all of Agatha Christie novels, so I don't really have a favorite one.

Paty Jager said...

Jillian, great choice!

Becky, I agree Miss Marple is a stellar character.

MSBjaneB said...

Tommy and Tuppenence were my favorite characters. I really love the PBS series that does Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. I think Third Girl and The Mirror Cracked were two of my favorites as well as the one where the girl ends up living at a home she had lived in as a small child. That one was chilling.

Paty Jager said...

MSBjaneB, Thank you for commenting. I agree, I enjoy watching Miss Marple and Poirot on PBS.