Happy Anniversary

2020 marks a significant anniversary of a major author. Can you guess the author? A few clues for you…

  1. One hundred years ago this author’s first book was published (to very little notice, incidentally).
  2. Said author went on to a career spanning more than 50 years.
  3. The author (big clue here) is now the most widely read of all time (excluding Shakespeare and the Bible).

Agatha ChristieThe answer—did you guess it?– is Agatha Christie (1890-1976). Her first book The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published in 1920 and introduced the world to her now legendary detective Hercule Poirot.

The English author is best known for her many, many mysteries. But she also turned her hand to romance novels, poetry, an autobiography and the longest running play of all time, The Mousetrap. And then there are the innumerable movies and TV series based on her books. All told, Dame Agatha Christie is credited with 1 billion book sales in the English language and a further billion sales in foreign language translations.

I discovered Agatha Christie when I was about 13 and have been reading and re-reading her books ever since. (Actually, I’m re-reading one right now — Peril at House End — as I wait for some library holds to come in.) Nobody could call her writing great literature but her books are ingeniously plotted and always entertaining. And pretty addictive too.

What better (or more enjoyable) way to celebrate 100 years of Agatha Christie books than by reading one. Not sure where to get started? Here are a few of my favourites: Cards on the Table, The Moving Finger, A Murder is Announced, The ABC Murders, And Then There were None and Crooked House.

— Penny D.