In celebration of Agatha Christie’s 125th anniversary, the Agatha Christie Estate polled readers to find the world’s favorite Christie book. The “Queen of Crime,” as dubbed by The New Yorker, is one of the highest-selling crime and mystery novelists, with over two billion copies of her various books sold world-wide. Which book was dubbed the world’s favorite Agatha Christie novel? And Then There Were None (1939) is the winner, which has sold more than 100 million copies. Agatha Christie is known for her meticulous attention to detail and plot points, and stated that this particular book needed “a tremendous amount of planning” in her autobiography. The story is on its way to television, with BBC One currently working on a series.
And Then There Were None follows ten people, all involved in some criminal activity and have evaded legal sanctions, to an uninhabited island. As the ten criminals sit at a dinner table, a gramophone starts to play recordings that denounce each individual for the crimes they got away with, and warns that no one will get off the island without paying for what they have done. It is a chilling tale with a clever ending, and one that was certainly hard for Christie to write. Her grandson and chairman of Agatha Christie Limited, Matthew Prichard, stated that this novel was likely the book Christie was most proud of, and that “it would have been a big surprise if it hadn’t won.” In her autobiography, she acknowledged that the book could have been a flop due to the baffling plot, and while critics and audiences loved the book, “the person who was really pleased with it was myself, for I knew better than any critic how difficult it [had] been.” Clearly, the world has noticed her genius and hard work in creating the novel.
While lovers of the Agatha Christie mysteries had over 80 novels and short stories to reflect on, World’s Favorite Christie narrowed the poll choices to 25 of her best-selling stories. Murder on the Orient Express came in as the second reader’s choice, while The Murder of Roger Ackroyd came third.
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