British author (1890-1976). Still the most successful writer of mysteries ever. She wrote almost 70 novels, most of which are still in print. Her stories have been made into numerous plays and movies.
For many people, her style of mystery -- the "drawing room murder", with lots of upper-class British people killing each other in fiendishly clever ways at fancy country estates -- is the only style of mystery they'll read.
Her most famous detective was Hercule Poirot, an egotistical Belgian sleuth with an extravagant mustache, who she introduced in "The Mysterious Affair at Styles". Poirot appeared in 25 of Christie's novels. She also created Miss Jane Marple, an elderly spinster, who first appeared in "Murder at the Vicarage". Poirot's last appearance was in "Curtain" in 1975, while Miss Marple's last novel was "Sleeping Murder", published after Dame Agatha's death.
Christie also wrote six romance novels under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott, and she also penned "The Mousetrap", which holds the world record for the longest running play in history at a single theater (8,862 performances).
Christie enjoyed her own little mystery in 1926, disappearing mysteriously for several weeks. She never explained where she was, and no one has ever found out for sure where she was or what she was doing.
Many of her mysteries are stunning in their deviousness -- who would expect a proper English lady to devise the shocking plot twists which make "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd", "Murder on the Orient Express", or "Ten Little Indians" so much fun to read?