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2 July 2010

Words in Pictures: Agatha Christie

The prolific crime writer on her leading hero and heroine.

By Mike Sweeney


This week marked the 75th anniversary of Penguin Books, the Bristol-launched publisher founded for the purpose of making good quality contemporary fiction affordable in paperback form.

Included in the first batch of ten publications produced under the Bodley Head imprint was Agathe Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which introduced the long-running character detective Hercule Poirot, later to appear in 33 of Christie’s novels and 54 short stories.

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In this animated audio clip, recorded whilst the author was writing her autobiography in the mid 1960’s, Christie discusses both Poirot and her long-serialised female protagonist, Miss Marple, first introduced in The Tuesday Night Club (1927). Christie explains why Poirot and Marple could never have appeared in the same story.

“Hercule Poirot, a complete egoist, would not like being taught his business or having suggestions made to him by an elderly spinster lady”, she says.