Agatha Christie is nearly synonymous with upper-class British mysteries, for good reason. She set the standard for the genre in over 60 novels and dozens of short stories, also creating two classic detectives: the fastidious Belgian, Hercule Poirot, and English spinster Jane Marple. No one could match Christie's knack for weaving clues into her stories, then turning the whole thing inside out -- shocking her readers every time.
Agatha Christie is the world's best-known mystery writer. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language, and another billion in 44 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her writing career spanned more than half a century, during which she wrote 79 novels and a short story collection, as well as 14 plays, one of which, The Mousetrap, is the longest running play in history. Two of the characters she created, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the irrepressible and relentless Miss Marple, went on to become world famous detectives. Both have been widely dramatized in feature films and made-for-TV movies. Agatha Christie died in 1976.