Are you a fan of the “whodunnit” genre — or of Dame Agatha’s books, in particular? It was at the tender age of 12 that I began reading them; at the time, I think there was an appeal for just about everyone. My voracious reading routine included many of her books, which were hugely popular in the England of the early ’70’s. My French godmother used them as her primary resource for learning English when she took up residence in London as a young woman around 1950.
Read related: 5 Mystery Novels to Get You in the Mood to Travel
If you’re a devotee of Dame Agatha and her work, you may be interested in attending the annual International Agatha Christie Festival in South Devon, England. Scroll down for more details and dates. Before you do, though, let’s review some of the classic titles– and iconic chraracters– that gained Christie her legions of fans in the first place.
Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple:
Enduring and endearing, these much-loved characters have been portrayed over time in several incarnations for television and film. Most recently, one of the most popular works – Murder On The Orient Express, with a star-studded cast and an enormous budget – is on film once again. Deeply anchored in the life and style of western culture of the early and middle twentieth century, Agatha Christie’s enormous legacy sails into the twenty-first century with nary a ripple.
British authors Sarah Phelps and Sophie Hannah were interviewed recently on the BBC’s Front Row. Sarah Phelps had the following to say when asked about Christie’s enduring popularity:
We enjoy watching people lie! – Sarah Phelps, BBC’s Front Row
Sophie Hannah, acclaimed crime writer in her own right, has given us new Poirot plots to enjoy with all the blessing of the Christie heirs. Heavily plot-focused inside narrow confines with two dimensional characters – or brilliant study in human nature and the nature of evil? For Phelps and Hannah – it’s the latter, all the way. With opinions like – “Best crime writer – ever“, one can’t help but be intrigued!
Did You Know?
Every year, thousands of people flock to the lovely coastal town of Torquay in South Devon, in the beautiful and sunny area known as the English Riviera – for the International Agatha Christie Festival, as well as for the regular tours of her favourite haunts and settings from her childhood and married life.
Many of these have been featured in her novels, offering a wonderful blend of fiction and reality. Take a tour to find out which ones are drawn directly from Christie’s true-to-life experiences.
Even if you can’t make it for the festival itself, you can take a self-guided or guided tour of the Agatha Christie Mile along the Torquay seafront: there are seven information plaques along the way to illuminate the places that held particular importance in the author’s life.
Visit the Official Agatha Christie Festival website to learn more about being involved, current projects, and up-to-date festival information The next annual festival event will be a one-day celebration of Agatha Christie’s birthday in Torquay on Saturday, 15th September 2018. The next 5–Day Festival will take place 11th -15th September 2019. This may seem far away now, but I’m going to guess that attendance will be very high! Be sure to let us know if it’s on your radar!