WOMEN OF MYSTERY: A Compendium of Authors

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AGATHA CHRISTIE

Of course, I need to start the Women of Mystery series with Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime, due to her shaping and mastery of the genre and how prolific she was. It is estimated that approximately two billion copies of her books were sold in her lifetime and beyond as well as short stories and plays scripts. Some of her work was created at home in England, while traveling or accompanying her second husband, Dr. Max Mallowan, a noted Middle Eastern archaeologist at his excavation sites.

I wrote the first draft of DEADLY MOUNTAINS in a cave one spring in the Philippines where my archaeologist husband was working and while that might sound exotic, the drip of limestone water on my laptop was a bit of a nuisance. However, it was grounding to know that those drops of water were trying to create a stalagmite at my feet to be enjoyed by some future generations.

Knowing Christie’s extensive travels, you can pick out what in her lifetime would be exciting and for most people, out of reach experiences such as traveling on the Orient Express, visiting Egypt or vacationing in the Caribbean. 

Her most famous creations were the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, the village amateur sleuth Jane Marple, and my least favorite, the couple Tommy and Tuppance who spend altogether too much time nattering at each other. The author’s sensibilities were rooted in the 1920s, 30s and 40s but her plotting was spectacular. 

Next week: Sujata Massey

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