The Books and Life of Agatha Christie

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Agatha Christie

Born on September 15, 1890, Agatha Christie’s father died when she was still young. She was educated at home by her mother.

In 1914, she married a colonel pilot named Colonel Archibald Christie. When her husband was sent to the front in the First World War, Agatha worked as a pharmacist at the Red Cross Hospital in Torquay.

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Agatha Christie

The pharmacy period will be a turning point in Agatha Christie’s life, and the information she gains about poisons and deaths will lead her to write a detective novel. She is knowledgeable enough about poisons to make even her readers have an idea about them. In Christie’s detective novels, you can meet not only poisons that everyone knows such as arsenic and cyanide, but also organic and synthetic exotic poisons that you will hear the name of for the first time thanks to her. In her autobiography, My Life, she tells that she received encouraging criticism in her first novels thanks to this knowledge of poisons. In 1920, she completed her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Although many publishers rejected it, it was finally published.

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Agatha Christie

Until 1926, these happy and active days would end when her husband told her that he loved another woman. Agatha disappears for ten days in London in 1926. Everyone went looking for her, but could not find her. Finally, her car is found next to a lime pit, one side buried in the lime pit and the other side up against a tree. All his belongings are scattered around. The first thing that comes to mind is that Agatha Christie fell into the lime pit. She unexpectedly turns up in a hotel room in Yorkshire and has not told anyone about the 11 days of her life. She had registered at the hotel in the name of the young woman her first husband Archibald Christie had cheated on her with. It was around this time that she not only learned of Archibald’s affair with a much younger woman, but also lost her mother. Some say that Agatha disappeared to plan how to kill her husband Archibald, others say that she suffered a temporary memory loss. Agatha Christie could only say that she did not remember those days.

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Agatha Christie with her first husband Archibald, 1919

Published in 1926, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd tells the story of Roger Ackroyd who is murdered shortly after the death of a wealthy widow he had planned to marry. Agatha Christie’s legendary detective Hercule Poirot, who has retired to the village of King’s Abbot to grow vegetables, inadvertently gets involved in the murder and tries to catch the killer with an evil mind.

“He died of a veronal overdose. He’d been taking it for insomnia lately. He must have taken too much.” Caroline immediately said, “Nonsense. “He took it on purpose, don’t tell me.” It’s strange that when a person has a secret belief that they don’t want to admit, hearing it from someone else makes them very angry and deny it. “There you go again,” I said, “you’re talking without any logic. Why would Mrs. Ferrars want to commit suicide? She’s a widow, still quite young, wealthy, healthy, with nothing to do but enjoy life. Nonsense.”

In the novel Murder On The Orient Express, published in 1934, a murder takes place on the famous Orient Express traveling between Istanbul and Paris in the 1930s. An American millionaire is found dead on the train. Among the many passengers on the train is the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, who will solve the murder. It is rumored that Christie wrote Murder on the Orient Express in room 411 of Pera Palas.

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With his daughter Rosalind

Of course, there are different rumors about whether Agatha Christie stayed at Pera Palas or not. The first of these is that the managers of Pera Palas have her signature on all the records, so she stayed here when she came to Istanbul. According to his autobiography My Life, he met a young Dutch engineer on the train and was quite impressed by this young man. This young Dutchman tells Christie that the Tokatlıyan Hotel is a very safe and good hotel, and they go out for dinner in the evening. It is thought that Christie had booked room 411 at the Pera Palas, but made a little getaway and spent her time at Tokatlıyan without informing anyone.

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Agatha Christie

“A young French officer in uniform stood on the steps of the sleeping car, talking to a small man, tightly covered up to his ears. Nothing could be seen of the man except his reddened nose and the upward-curling spikes of his bushy moustache. It was freezing cold. The task of passing this well-known stranger was not an enviable one. But Lieutenant Dubosc was trying to do his duty properly. Gentle French words were falling from his lips. He didn’t really know what was going on. The general under whom he was serving was growing more and more furious. Then this Belgian foreigner showed up. all the way from England. A week of tension passed. Then some strange things happened. A very well-known person had committed suicide, another had suddenly quit his job. The worried expressions on the faces disappeared and some of the measures taken were abandoned.”

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With her second husband Sir Max Mallowan

After divorcing her husband, in 1930 she married Sir Max Mallowan, one of the most famous archaeologists of the country. Mallowan was 15 years younger than her. “I married an archaeologist, and I hope that at least he will appreciate me better as I grow older,” she said. Agatha Christie’s detective novels, which were the products of her logical genius, began to take color as she traveled around the world with her second husband Sir Max Mallowan. She interspersed her knowledge of the Nile River, Syria, Mesopotamia, Iraq, Egypt and many other places in her novels and equipped her already interesting fiction with historical information.

In her novels, Agatha Christie managed to create two geniuses of logic from two opposite characters in Hercule Poirot and Mrs. Marple. The most important difference between Hercule Poirot and Mrs. Marple was that one of them solved the cases entirely with logic, while Mrs. Marple used her instinct to solve the cases. Hercule Poirot is a man who likes to be praised, is obsessively organized, selfish, whiny, flamboyant, easily hurtful to his friends, and megalomaniacal enough to believe that he is the greatest detective in the world. Christie says, “I can’t stand him, but I have to keep going because people want him so much.”

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Agatha Christie

Many of Agatha Christie’s plays have been adapted for the theater, but there are also works she wrote only as theater pieces. These were more like a chain of small stories. The Mousetrap, which has been awarded the title of the world’s longest-running play, is just one of them.

In Cards On The Table, published in 1936, the events begin when our detective Hercule Poirot goes to Mr. Shaitana’s night party and continues with the mysterious murder of Mr. Shaitana.

“- But he didn’t scream. The murderer was helped by luck. As you say, the killer was in a desperate situation.
– Do you have any idea of the motive, M. Poirot?
“Yes,” replied the Belgian gently. “I can tell you something about it. Did not Mr. Shaitana give you some hints as to the kind of meeting you were coming to tonight?” Battle looked at him curiously. “No, M. Poirot. He said nothing. Why do you ask?” There was a knock at the door. “It is our people,” said the Chief Inspector. “I will go and open the door, and I will speak to you in a moment. First, certain things have to be done.” He left the room. Ariadne Oliver was still crying. Poirot went to the bridge table and looked at the scores. He shook his head several times. “Ah, this foolish little man,” he murmured. “He tried to frighten people by pretending to be the devil. What a child!”

Published in 1939, And Then There Were None is considered one of the most important novels that have become classics of the detective novel. This famous novel, which has been repeatedly staged in the theater and filmed, has a different place with its lyrical narrative.

“I confess before all the people that I am a poor wretch who wants everyone to appreciate how clever and cunning I am… I predict that my suicide will be like this. When I pull the trigger of the pistol I will hold with a silk handkerchief, my arm will fall to my side. The released pistol will fall out of the room, hitting the doorknob with the pull of the tire. The cord of the glasses will dangle innocently next to my glasses under my body. The handkerchief on the floor will not attract anyone’s attention. My corpse will be found lying on my bed, shot in the forehead, as my fateful friends assume. The exact time of death will not be ascertained, as our bodies will be recovered too late, and the order of death of the victims will be assumed to be in accordance with what is written in the memorial books. When the sea is calm, boats and people will come to the island and everyone will be confronted with the 10 bodies and the mystery of Negro Island, which will never be solved unless this letter is found…”

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Agatha Christie

In Five Little Pigs, published in 1942, a rich painter is murdered, his wife is sentenced to life imprisonment as the murderer, but 16 years later their daughter reads a letter proving that their mother did not commit the murder. Our detective Hercule Poirot goes back in time and tries to find out what happened on this tragic day.

“This one sentence explains everything. These words are about the burden Caroline has been carrying since she was a child. Because Caroline, in a fit of childish rage, threw an inkwell in her brother’s face and injured him. And now she had the opportunity to repay that debt. And let me tell you this in all sincerity, so that you may have some peace of mind. Caroline Crale, thinking that she had paid her debt, felt a deep peace and tranquillity that she had never known. Because she thought she had paid her debt, the harshness of the trial and the harsh sentence had no effect on her. Perhaps you will find these words strange coming from a woman who was accused and convicted of murder. But Caroline was very happy now. There were many things that could bring her happiness. Much more than you think. I will explain them to you in a moment.”

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The Curtain is the last Hercule Poirot novel written by Agatha Christie. Agatha Christie designed her novel And the Curtain Fell in the 1940s during the chaotic days of World War II, but it was published in 1975. Agatha Christie makes references to Shakespeare in many of her novels. The tragedy in Shakespeare’s works turns into a striking clue in Christie. This novel is also inspired by Otello.

“Perhaps danger… My friend, everyone wants their life to be spiced up a little with dangerous events. Some read exciting books. Others taste danger by watching exciting movies at the cinema. But I know this much for sure. People don’t like a life that’s too safe, too comfortable. Men access danger in many ways. Women, on the other hand, often find danger in sexual adventures. Maybe that’s why they like men who look like tigers. A claw with sharp claws drawn in… A treacherous creature ready to attack… Women won’t even look at the face of an exceptional man who could be a good and caring husband.”

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After Agatha Christie’s death, psychic Tamara Land, who claimed to have summoned her spirit, found a key in Room 411 of the Pera Palas on March 7, 1979. This key opened a secret room of the hotel owner Misbah Muhayyeş’s Afif Pasha Mansion in Yeniköy. And in the notebook found in this secret room, Agatha Christie is said to have described in full detail what she did during the 11 days she was missing in London, as well as many unsolved points in her novels. Moreover, even though she mentions the existence of a memoir in her will, she does not say where it is. There is no doubt that Agatha Christie was an extraordinary, intelligent and different person.

Reflecting the 19th century English lady characteristic, after reading Agatha Christie’s autobiography titled My Life, the question of why she never favored bloody and crude killing scenes is erased from our minds. For a woman who loved living more than writing, the nickname of the Duchess of Death is not endearing. When she died on January 12, 1976, she found it fitting to kill both of her novel heroes, Hercule Poirot and Mrs. Marple, before herself. Agatha Christie left behind 67 detective novels, 17 storybooks, 21 detective plays, as well as six romance novels written under the name Mary Westmancott, and many archaeological notes.

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