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Agatha Christie: The Queen of Crime

In this course we will explore Agatha Christie, the best-selling fiction writer of all time. Christie has been voted the best crime writer and the author of the best crime novel. She is also the author of the stage play with the longest run. Her works make her the most-translated individual author in the world. Her books are still being adapted as television series and movies. What accounts for her immense popularity? We will begin by discussing her life, her works in the context of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, and the breadth of her writing career. We will cover Hercule Poirot, her most famous detective. The course will highlight some of her other characters including Miss Marple, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, Harley Quin, Parker Pyne and Ariadne Oliver. Critical and academic reception of her work will be discussed.


Reading List: 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd', 'A Murder is Announced', and 'And Then There Were None'. All her books are readily available from libraries and stores.


Diane Lending is a retired professor of Computer Information Systems in the College of Business at JMU. She began reading mysteries as a child with Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown. She read her first Agatha Christie novel at the age of 10 which started her lifelong love of mysteries written during the golden age of detective stories.

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