My Good Friend Agatha Christie

I love Agatha Christie. If you don’t know who Agatha Christie is, she is only the most brilliant mystery and crime writer of all time.

Well, in my opinion anyway. But not just my opinion. She is also the best-selling novelist of all time, selling in the billions of books globally, in 103 languages. Her play The Mousetrap has played continuously in London for 55 years.

If you have heard of the sleuths Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple, then you know Agatha Christie. Poirot, with his funny little moustache, egg head and little grey cells, and Miss Marple, the wise little old lady with the twinkle in her eye who knows a lot about human nature.

I first read an Agatha Christie mystery when I was 13, at the suggestion of a friend. Since then I have read nearly all of her 70 plus books, and own a large rag-tag collection of most of these, predominantly sourced from op shops, second hand bookshops and eBay.

Once I purchased some from a second-hand bookshop set up in an old church at Portsea. I’d climbed a little ladder to reach the Agatha Christie section, and picked out a few I didn’t own. After paying $5 for one, I found a $5 note tucked into the back cover. The mystery!

So what do I love about reading Agatha Christie’s books? Every time I am left guessing until the very end. She so cleverly hides the truth, and then reveals it, winding her way back through all the clues that we missed or misinterpreted. It is a brain game, and I love the way she creates her intricate puzzle and then pieces it back together for you. It’s almost cheeky, the way she shows enough of her hand to lead you up the garden path, but not enough to lead you to the truth. She’s brilliant.

This is a long way of saying that I am so ridiculously thrilled to see that later this year one of the most famous of Agatha’s works is again being translated into film.

Murder on the Orient Express is a classic. It is due out in November this year, and the names in it are big too: Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfieffer, Josh Gad, and the list goes on. If you like a good old fashioned who dunnit, this is the one for you.

There are still 3 months to go, but I will be counting down! I have already conned the husband into promising to come with me, so come along too! It looks to be a good one.

Picture from Torquay, UK, hometown of Agatha Christie, which I visited in 2007