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125 years of Agatha Christie

Elizabeth GrenierSeptember 15, 2015

With Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, Agatha Christie became the world's bestselling author after Shakespeare and the Bible. Here's a look at the Queen of Crime, born 125 years ago, and other great mystery writers.

Agatha Christie, Copyright: Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

Agatha Mary Clarissa was born 125 years ago, on September 15, 1890, in an English seaside town called Torquay. By marrying Archie Christie in 1914, she acquired the name by which she would become world famous.

Her first crime novel, "The Mysterious Affair at Styles," was published in 1920 and featured the debut of her long-lived character Hercule Poirot, the eccentric Belgian detective. He would appear in 33 novels and over 50 short stories.

Altogether, she's written 80 novels and short story collections, along with six romance novels published under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott.

Her novels have sold an estimated two billion copies - not counting the ones that can be found everywhere in yard sales. She is also the most-translated author, as her works have been translated into at least 103 languages.

She died on January 12, 1976, aged 85. Now the world celebrates her literary legacy: An International Agatha Christie Festival will be held from September 11-20 in Torquay, her birthplace, and several other commemorative events are taking place worldwide.