On September 15, 1890 Agatha Christie was born. I don’t think I need to list her novels, short stories and plays. Everyone is familiar with one, two, three or dozens of her mysteries. My mom is, and always was, a mystery fan so I grew up with Patricia Wentworth, Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, Josephine Tey and, most of all, Agatha Christie. Mom’s top authors were the Pantheon of British ladies of mystery.
I remember reading “Death Comes as the End” when I was in elementary school. It was my first Christie and I’m pretty sure my obsession with Boris Karloff’s Mummy movies was the motivation to pick up a mystery set in ancient Egypt.
Christie’s travels with her archeologist/Egyptologist husband influenced many of her stories — although “Death on the Nile” seems to be the one that everyone remembers. The many movie and TV versions have made this one of the Christies that even non-mystery readers remember. Personally, I think David Suchet is the most convincing Hercule Poirot, but Peter Ustinov in the 1978 film was amazing! The rest of that cast wasn’t half bad either — Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, George Kennedy, Angela Lansbury, David Niven, Maggie Smith, Olivia Hussey, Jack Warden and the then thoroughly crush-worthy Simon MacCorkindale.
“The Mouse Trap” is not a good play, but it has run and run and run all over the world for decades. I’m still trying to forget my junior high school production.
Let’s raise a glass to Miss Marple, Hercule, Tommy & Tuppence and the rest of her brilliant creations!
I saw this poster in a French restaurant in SoHo (NYC) for the Christie play, The Mousetrap in French.