Agatha Christie

A Companion to the Mystery Fiction


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About the Book

The undisputed “Queen of Crime,” Dame Agatha Christie (1890–1976) is the bestselling novelist of all time. As the creator of immortal detectives Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple, she continues to enthrall readers around the world and is drawing increasing attention from scholars, historians, and critics. But Christie wrote far beyond Poirot and Marple. A varied life including war work, archaeology, and two very different marriages provided the backdrop to a diverse body of work.

This encyclopedic companion summarizes and explores Christie’s entire literary output, including the detective fiction, plays, radio dramas, adaptations, and her little-studied non-crime writing. It details all published works and key themes and characters, as well as the people and places that inspired them, and identifies a trove of uncollected interviews, articles, and unpublished material, including details that have never appeared in print. For the casual reader looking for background information on their favorite mystery to the dedicated scholar tracking down elusive new angles, this companion will provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date information.

About the Author(s)

J.C. Bernthal is a visiting fellow at the University of Suffolk, UK. He has authored or edited several volumes on Agatha Christie and in 2020, won the Popular Culture Association’s George N. Dove Award for advancing crime fiction scholarship.

Series Editor Elizabeth Foxwell, an Agatha Award winner, serves as managing editor of Clues: A Journal of Detection and is an editor at McFarland.

Bibliographic Details

J.C. Bernthal. Series Editor Elizabeth Foxwell
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 456
Bibliographic Info: 7 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7620-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4715-9
Imprint: McFarland
Series: McFarland Companions to Mystery Fiction

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  viii
Preface  1
Organization of the Companion  3
Agatha Christie: A Brief Biography  4
A Career Chronology  7
Christie’s Works in Alphabetical Order  9
Christie’s Works in Order of First Publication/Performance  18
List of Abbreviations  27
The Companion  31
Annotated Bibliography  433
Index  443

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Writing and compiling an encyclopedic companion about the ‘Queen of Crime’ is no small feat. Bernthal with series editor Foxwell have researched and compiled an impressive companion to Agatha Christie’s oeuvre. … Avid mystery readers will likely enjoy perusing this work, and researchers will appreciate how thorough it is. The author and editor have accomplished something unique: a reference work that is approachable and accessible for library workers, scholars, and general readers. … This volume is well-researched, not to mention thorough and well-presented. Given the breadth of Christie’s life and work, it would be a worthwhile addition to an academic or public library collection.”—Library Journal

• “A thorough, wide-ranging guide to this popular writer—who was ‘outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare’ (p. 1)—and her full oeuvre along with her life and career influences. The style is approachable, and contentious issues such as anti-Semitism are addressed. A helpful annotated bibliography and an index conclude this impressively detailed compendium. It will be useful for fans of mysteries and Christie trivia as well as academic researchers….highly recommended”—Choice