In her lifetime, Agatha Christie wrote 79 novels (including six under a pseudonym), 19 plays, 22 short-story collections as well as an autobiography. The brilliant creator of such memorable character like the detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, made Christie a literary household name and a figurehead of the mystery and crime literary genre; indeed her creative plots continue to inspire and fuel new creative works to this day, and retain a loyal following.
The next 12 months will be particularly exciting for Christie fans. On Sept. 9, HarperCollins will publish The Monogram Murders, the first Hercule Poirot book in 39 years. The story, set in the 1920s, is penned by contemporary crime writer Sophie Hannah and was commissioned with the blessing of the Christie estate. The book, which will be Poirot’s 34th full-length adventure, is described by HarperCollins as being “a diabolically clever puzzle that will test [Poirot’s] brilliant skills and baffle and delight longtime Christie fans and new generations of readers discovering him for the first time.” (Eager fans can download the first chapter from the official Agatha Christie website as a teaser.)
Between September 14 to 21, Christie fans will gather at the International Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay, Devon, which is Christie’s birthplace. The 2014 fest is of particular importance because, though the festival has unofficially been in existence since 2004, the 2014 fest will officially bring all related events under one fully-integrated umbrella. Hannah, unsurprisingly, will be a featured speaker at this year’s festival. (Admission to the Festival Hub is £5.)
2015 marks the 125th anniversary of Christie’s birth, giving way to a number of tribute events and programming. The BBC has already commissioned a three-part adaptation of “And Then There Were None,” one of the author’s most popular novels, as well as a six-part series “Partners in Crime,” based on Christie’s lesser known married couple detectives, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. The broadcaster is also planning a series of documentaries about Christie.
Christie fans traveling to the United Kingdom in the coming should make time to take a day trip or two and explore the origins of their favorite mystery author, or bring a copy of The Monogram Murders to read poolside.