Born in 1890 in Torquay, Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller- best known as Agatha Christie- was an English writer acclaimed to be one of the greatest authors of her time, and remains the best-selling novelist today with roughly 2 billion copies of her novels sold, behind only Shakespeare and the Bible.
Throughout her career, she published 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, as well as the world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap. Notable works include And Then There None (1939), Murder on the Orient Express (1934), The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, as well as those revolving around her fictional detectives, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.
Home-schooled largely by her American father, Agatha was forbidden to read until she was eight, but nonetheless taught herself to read by the age of five and entertained herself with long hours spent flipping through works by Edith Nesbit and Louisa M Alcott. By the time she was eighteen, she was writing short stories and managed to get some published-though in a much revised form-and only started writing detective novels during WWI.
Agatha Christie’s Three Act Tragedy was what got me not only into her works, but also to seek out more thrillers which remains to be one of my favourite genres to this day. Written in 1934, Three Act Tragedy stars Hercule Poirot, and is about the murders of three different people, each believed to be poisoned, though no traces could be found in their respective glasses. Throughout the novel, Agatha Christie led me to believe that anyone could be the murderer, yet I was still surprised at the outcome, and marvelled at her ability to think of story after story like this.
Chen Yu Yang