Christie, Dame Agatha, 1890–1976, English detective story writer, b. Torquay, Devon, as Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller. Christie's second husband was the archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan, and she gained much material for her later novels during his excavations in the Middle East. An extraordinarily popular author, Christie wrote over 80 books, most of them featuring one of her two famous detectives; Hercule Poirot, an egotistical Belgian, and Miss Jane Marple, an elderly spinster. Her novels, noted for their skillful plots, include The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), Murder on the Orient Express (1934), Death on the Nile (1937), And Then There Were None (1940), Death Comes as the End (1945), Funerals Are Fatal (1953), The Pale Horse (1962), Passenger to Frankfurt (1970), Elephants Can Remember (1973), and Curtain (1975); her plays include The Mousetrap (1952), one of the longest-running plays in theatrical history, and Witness for the Prosecution (1954). Christie also published novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. She was named Dame Commander, Order of the British Empire, in 1971.
See her memoir (1944, repr. 2012) and her autobiography (1977, repr. 2012); biography by J. Morgan (1985, repr. 1997).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: English Literature, 20th cent. to the Present: Biographies