Agatha Christie is the best-known mystery writer in the world. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language. Another billion have also been sold in forty-five foreign languages. Her works have been translated into more languages than those of William Shakespeare. Only the Bible and Shakespeare outsell her novels, thus making her the most successful mystery writer of all time.
Agatha Miller was born in Torquay, England on September 15, 1890. As a child, she was educated by her mother and did not attend school. In 1914 she was married to Colonel Archibald Christie, an aviator in the Royal Flying Corps. Around this time, World War I broke out. To help the war effort, Agatha worked for the Red Cross as a nurse. This experience was useful when she later wrote about various poisons and diseases.
Agatha and Archibald divorced in 1926, but Agatha continued to use his name. Later, she married Max Mallowman, an archeologist. She accompanied him on his excavations in Syria and Iraq. These experiences gave Christie inspiration for various novels.
During her career, Agatha Christie wrote 79 novels as well as short story collections. Some of her most famous books include: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Death on the Nile, And Then There Were None, and Murder On the Orient Express. Agatha also wrote six romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. In addition, she wrote over a dozen plays. The Mousetrap opened in London in 1952 and is now the longest continuously-running play in theatrical history.
In 1971, Agatha achieved her country’s highest honor. She received the Order of the Dame Commander of the British Empire. However, four years later she died. Even though Agatha Christie is dead, she remains the greatest mystery writer the world has ever known.