Agatha Christie was born 120 years ago today.
When I was a nipper, just after I’d exhausted all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, I began collecting Christie. After much hoking through charity shop bookshelves, I amassed quite a collection. Some years later, in one of those foolish teenage moments, I got rid of the lot.
Some people can be quite sniffy about Christie. Few dare to criticize her intricate plotting, but it’s often said her characterizations were very broad. I’ve always felt this misses the cleverness of Christie’s mobilization of class stereotypes, and the precision of her social observation. She’s no Wodehouse, but Christie is often much funnier than her detractors credit.
I’ve recently started buying Christie books all over again. I’m going to try to keep hold of them this time.
Here’s the title sequence to Granada’s Poirot series, with David Suchet:
And the BBC’s Miss Marple, with Joan Hickson: