Monday, April 6, 2009

Greenway, Agatha Christie's Home, Opens

Agatha Christie is now "at home" and receiving visitors. On Saturday, March 2, 2009, Christie’s country home, Greenway, in Devon, England, opened to the public for the first time. The Georgian home had recently undergone a $7.8 million restoration. According to the Associated Press, “Craftsmen worked for two years to restore the 18th-century home, and the rooms are much as they were when Christie lived there, complete with books, papers, boxes of chocolates and bunches of flowers. Even the scratches on the bedroom door made by the family dog remain.”

It might be argued that Agatha Christie is the most famous of the Golden Age mystery writers. She is certainly the most prolific. During her long career, in addition to mystery stories, she wrote radio and television plays, nonfiction and short stories. She also wrote novels under the name of Mary Westmacott.

Christie’s most popular stories were mystery novels starring either Hercule Poirot or Miss Jane Marple. Her career as a writer began in 1920 with the publication of The Mysterious Affair at Styles, starring M. Poirot (the Belgian with a propensity for consulting his “little grey cells”), his sidekick (much like Sherlock Holmes’ Watson) Arthur Hastings, and his official police connection, Chief Inspector Japp.

Miss Marple, an “elderly spinster” living a “quiet life” in the quaint little English village of St. Mary Mead, entered the picture in 1930 with Murder at the Vicarage. Miss Marple remained a bit more independent than Hercule Poirot, as she was assigned no sidekick, and only occasionally worked with the same police inspectors.

Christie wrote another series of mystery stories starring Tommy and Tuppence (Thomas Beresford and Prudence Cowley) who are quite the pair of bon vivants sleuthing their way through the 1920’s and 30s in London and its environs.

My favorite titles by Agatha Christie starring Hercule Poirot are:
Peril at End House
Death on the Nile
Evil Under the Sun
Murder on the Orient Express

My favorite titles by Agatha Christie starring Miss Jane Marple are:
A Murder is Announced
4:50 from Paddington
A Caribbean Mystery

I also highly recommend two mystery titles that do not involve either of these detectives: And Then There Were None and Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? Meg



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