The murder mystery has been an important literary genre since Edgar Allen Poe introduced the world to C. Auguste Dupin in 1841's The Murders in the Rue Morgue. But while so many authors and their detectives have cemented legacies in this arena, like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, one quintessential writer can never be surpassed: Agatha Christie.
The British author is perhaps not only the greatest crime writer in history but also one of the greatest scribes of all time. Her dozens of books, plays, and short stories always hit the spot, like a cup of tea laced with strychnine.
She is most well-known for her iconic Hercule Poirot, who could solve a case sitting in a chair using his little gray cells. Instead of allowing Poirot and a handful of other memorable characters (Miss Marple, for example) to define her writing prowess, Christie amazed readers with such classics as The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Witness for the Prosecution, and Crooked House.
If you purchased a Christie novel at 10 a.m. on a Sunday, you would be finished by 3 p.m. that same day, which gives you a great alibi in the event of someone's murder. This is how captivating and wildly entertaining her books were.
It seems that everyone has read at least one Christie book. Why most people have not perused even half of her 74 novels is perplexing. As befuddling as a whodunnit....