Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Happy Birthday, Agatha Christie! 125 Years!

So many celebrations in honor of Agatha Christie's 125th birthday this year.

Over the years, I've read just about every novel and story, play and reference book on the Grande Dame of Crime Fiction. I've taught classes on Agatha Christie at UCB, Santa Cruz, St. Mary's College, as well as focused on Agatha Christie in my mystery bookgroup. 

Agatha Christie visited the UC Botanical Garden and was particularly taken by the Peruvian Lily. Poisonous? In honor of that long-ago visit, I organized a poison tour of the UC Botanical Garden with a very knowledgeable guide for my bookgroup.

For Agatha Christie's Centennial, I attended the CWA (Crime Writers UK) conference in Torquay which included an Agatha Christie Centennial Celebration Banquet. Everyone was there, and by that, I mean all my favorite British crime writers and many of the actors who portrayed Christie's characters over the years. David Suchet sat at the next table. I saw Joan Hickson in the Ladies Room. During that same trip, I went with CWA to visit Greenway, this was long before it opened to the public. The family was in residence at the time, and either they forgot that a group of mystery writers was stopping by or they didn’t care. It was a very lovely (and intimate) tour of the house.

When I returned to the States that year, I was on the organizing committee of the U.S. Agatha Christie Centennial. There were reading challenges, library talks, courses and lectures, and I wrote an 'Agatha-Christie inspired' interactive mystery event. It was great fun!

If you happen to be in England this week, check out the Festivities at the Agatha Christie Festival.   Can't be there? You can read an Agatha Christie, but to guide you, there are several Blog Tours this month celebrating Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime. 

Today on my blog DyingforChocolate, I posted a recipe for chocolate cake called Delicious Death developed by Jane Asher for the Official Agatha Christie Celebration. 

And here's a real treat:  A Video of a 1955 interview with Agatha Christie from the BBC Archives in which Agatha Christie talks about her lack of formal education and how boredom during childhood led her to write The Mysterious Affair at Styles. She outlines her working methods, Miss Marple, Herculte Poirot, and discusses why it is much easier to write plays than novels. 

Raise a glass today to the Queen of Crime!

This is an updated post that originally appeared on this blog in 2010.

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