Today marks the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie’s birthday. That’s some serious staying power — Agatha is still widely read, regarded, talked about — basically, she is still a literary icon as well as a pop culture figure.
My first Agatha Christie novel was Murder at the Vicarage and then I went on to read many more Miss Marples, Poirots and her stand-alone novels as well.
She’s had her critics over the years, but her characters are warm, witty and always entertaining. I admire her amazing ability at plotting and planning how to off her victims.
There are so many ways we still enjoy Agatha Christie. If you’re a writer, you may have read many of her quotes about writing. One of my favorites is seen below:
Or maybe you’ve enjoyed learning about her real life adventures, including the still-unsolved mystery about the time she went missing. Recently, David Suchet, the actor who has portrayed Poirot for many years, narrated a documentary about Ms. Christie that discussed that episode, among many other things. You can find it by clicking this link.
Madame Christie was even featured in an episode of Doctor Who that I watched with my daughter called The Unicorn and the Wasp. Agatha Christie and David Tennant — together?? Be still my heart. (After Outlander, Doctor Who is my only time-travel indulgence. I am more of a “mystery woman.” Pun intended.)
This episode incorporated Ms. Christie’s mysterious disappearance and attempted to explain it in the inimitable Doctor Who sci-fi way. Let’s just say that it involved a big wasp.
Agatha Christie TV adaptations abound, more proof of her enduring popularity. I’ve enjoyed many of these shows, including the most recent Miss Marple on PBS and of course, Poirot. There’s a new Agatha Christie-based show out right now called Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime (I can’t watch it yet, since it’s currently only available in the UK), featuring the lovely Jessica Raine from Call the Midwife. A bit of trivia: Jessica Raine incidentally just married an actor who was in The Wasp and the Unicorn. How’s that for an obscure Agatha Christie-British actor connection? (Yes, I know I watch too many British TV shows but it’s a relatively harmless addiction.)
Despite all of the awesome Agatha TV, the books are what continue to inspire and charm people. It appears that younger generations are not immune from the allure of this groundbreaking mystery writer. My 7th grade daughter got to choose among several books for an English class reading/writing assignment and one of the choices was Agatha Christie’s A Cat Among the Pigeons. How cool is that?
Agatha Christie also inspired the name of one of my favorite bookstores, Aunt Agatha’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This independent bookstore is a haven for the mystery fan and I love the logo — it’s like Miss Marple, but with a knife instead of knitting needles. This store has a wonderful web site which you can visit by clicking this link.
I’m sure that some of you will have more examples of the Agatha Phenomenon, so feel free to share! I’ll leave you with another favorite Agatha quote that has helped me with my current project more than once.
Thanks, Aunt Agatha! May you continue to entertain many generations to come.