Agatha Christie was born in the Devonshire seaside resort of Torquay in 1890. She first tried her hand at detective fiction while working in a hospital during World War I, when she created the beloved detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Christie achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades. Characterized by their innovative plotting and clever detectives, her works were regular bestsellers in both England and America, and they have been translated into more than fifty languages, making her one of the most popular authors of all time. It is estimated that two billion copies of her works have been sold worldwide.
Christie also found success as a playwright—The Mousetrap holds the record for the longest run in theatrical history. Many of Christie's works have been successfully turned into films—such as Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile—and television programs, such as the British series Marple. In 1971, Christie received Britain's highest honor when she was named a dame of the British Empire. She died in 1976.
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