“My name is Hercule Poirot and I am probably the greatest detective in the world.’
2020 October marks 100 years since the publication of Agatha Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles – the book that introduced Hercule Poirot to the world.
Mystery is my favourite genre when it comes to both books and movies and I found Agatha Christie and her crime solving Belgian detective in the vast library of my College in 1989.
Apart from his egg-shaped head, his moustache was also something which fueled my imaginations— enormous, stiff and military which he used a curling iron for maintaining its perfect upward curl and which got in the way of hot chocolate and soups.
Solving cases with Hercule Poirot has indeed trained my little grey cells so much that half way through any current read, the plot becomes predictable. Even though he rebuked me “Use your eyes. Use your ears. Use your brains—if you’ve got any”, I never could guess even once who did it till his grand reveal in the end. He was my imaginary grandfather who helped me hone my sleuthing skills which I have used many times to solve “Who took the last cookie from the jar?” kind of crimes at home.
I have been on a crime solving spree with many other fictional detectives. Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot , Aloysius Pendergast, and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache remains my all time favourites.
Here is some trivia for Christie fans
Agatha Christie wrote her first book on a dare. Her sister told her she couldn’t write a mystery novel and she wanted to prove her wrong. Christie came up with the idea for the novel whilst working in a dispensary during WWI.
Her first published Hercule Poirot book was The Mysterious Affair at Styles.It was rejected by many publishers and finally she got paid 25 pound without control or copyright
After her first husband, Archibald, asked for a divorce, Christie disappeared for 10 days. The mysterious disappearance of the mystery writer was on the front page of every newspaper and prompted an extensive manhunt that included thousands of police officers and volunteers. The movie Agatha and The Truth Of murder is an interesting take on her disappearance.
In addition to her prolific production of mystery stories, Christie wrote six romance novels. These novels were published using the pen name Mary Westmacott.
Christie’s preferred methodology for slaying her characters was poison. She had worked in a dispensary during wartime and had knowledge about pharmaceuticals. Rarely did her protagonists carry a gun; her two most famous detectives, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, were virtual pacifists.
Her second husband was an archaeologist and she too became passionate about archaeology. She traveled with her husband for his digs and their preferred method of transport was frequently the Orient Express, a fact that likely inspired her Murder on the Orient Express.
Sophie Hannah, the bestselling writer of contemporary psychological crime thrillers, was commissioned by Agatha Christie estate for reviving Hercule Poirot and her fourth novel in the series The Killings At Kingfisher Hill was published in August 2020
More facts can be found here