Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, born in Devon, England, 1890, was a British crime writer of 66 novels, 15 short story collections, and plays. She is perhaps the most translated author in the world, the best selling novelist, and most read, behind Shakespeare and the Bible, according to Guiness Book of World Records (over 4 billion copies). She also wrote the longest running play, The Mousetrap. Less well known is that she wrote 6 romance novels under the penname Mary Westmacott.
During World War II, Christie served as a nurse, then began writing, but didn't get published until 1920. The Mysterious Affair at Styles launched her literary career and introduced the well-known character, Poirot, a Belgian officer with a twirly mustache and egg-shaped head.
In 1923, Christie disappeared for eleven days after her first husband left her for another woman. Her mysterious disappearance created quite an uproar among her fans, some thought she staged the whole thing for dramatic effect. Her second marriage to Max Mallowan was much happier, during which she traveled to the Middle East, creating the setting for many of her books and stories. And Then There Were None is the world's best-selling mystery novel ever (over 100 million copies). The Queen made her "Dame" in 1971. She gained numerous prestigious literary awards throughout her career. Many of her short stories and novels have been made into films, comics, plays and video games. Christie died in Wallingford, England in 1976.