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UNESCO Cities Bookshelf: Detective Royale

Agatha Christie is an English writer, "Queen of the Detective". Behind her are 17 plays, more than 70 detective novels and more than a hundred stories. She was born in the small town of Torquay, in the county of Devon. She received a good education at home, including music. She could choose the path of a professional performer, but she was stopped by the fear of public speaking. Over time, Agatha began to write, imitating her sister, who was already published in magazines.

During the First World War, the girl worked as a nurse in a military hospital and studied pharmacology. It was during this period that the writer acquired knowledge about poisons, which she actively used in her detective stories.

Interestingly, Agatha Christie thought to take a pseudonym for herself in the masculine gender, believing that readers would be prejudiced against the female author of the detective story. She could have signed Martin West or Mostyn Gray, but the publisher insisted on keeping her own name and surname, convincing her that the name Agatha was rare and memorable.

Books by Agatha Christie are a vivid example of a classic English detective story. Christie's novels are distinguished by a simple plot formula, closed action, and a rationally constructed plot. In essence, her works are a mirror of English life and her life in the period of "peaceful" moods of the 20-30s: ancient castles, evenings by the fireplace, separate rooms reserved for the home library and the famous five o'clock tea.

The heroes of the works of Agatha Christie are diverse and multifaceted. This is the brilliant Hercule Poirot, whose image is easily recognizable already on the first pages of the novels, and the charming Miss Marple, whose image Agatha Christie borrowed from life, endowing the heroine with some resemblance to her grandmother.

Poirot and Miss Marple are the visiting card of Agatha Christie's work. So different and unlike each other, they stand out against the general background of the characters of the writer. This is easily explained: by introducing these characters into the pages of her novels, Agatha Christie endows them with distinctive features, be it external, psychological, and we can easily recognize these characters in different novels due to the specificity of the writer in depicting their characteristics.

Along with Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, untyped characters occupy a special place in the writer's work: tired retired colonels and majors, provincial aristocrats living surrounded by family - ordinary people, the image of whose life for Agatha Christie was of particular value, special interest.

The theme of Agatha Christie's work clearly fits into the canons of the classic detective story. Her works are an elegant riddle, a game that allows the imagination to open any horizons. Mystery, suspense - indispensable attributes of any detective story - captivate the reader with enviable ease. As a rule, the central theme of many of Christie's novels is murder as a fact, sometimes even several murders, as, for example, in the novel Ten Little Indians. Moreover, the murder does not always lie on the surface, it is often veiled and is waiting in the wings. And the question is always important (the answer to which, as a rule, we find at the end), traditional for detective works: who is the culprit of what happened? Who is the killer?

Time in the novels of the writer sometimes has no clear boundaries. What is characteristic: in many of Agatha's novels, the account of time is generally lost - there are no time frames, and it is impossible to determine either its starting point of reference or the final one. If we talk about the place of action in the novels of Agatha Christie in general, then it is not localized and variable and can be either a closed space, for example, a mansion or a villa or the Negro Island, or an open space, for example, an entire village. The scene of the crime, as a rule, can also be both open and closed.


We recommend that you read the following works:


"The Mystery of the Blue Train"
"The Secret of the Seven Dials"
"Murder on the Orient Express"
"Murder by Alphabet"
"Trial of Innocence"