Inside the Mind of Agatha Christie | Support WKAR

Jan 12, 2021

Sun. Jan. 17 at 10 pm on WKAR-HD 23.1 & STREAMING | Discover what made the world's most successful crime writer tick. Watch and call or GIVE NOW ONLINE for special offers.

Clues from Christie's personal archive and interviews with family and scholars provide new insights into the author who continues to delight readers across the globe.

Surpassed only by the Bible and Shakespeare, Agatha Christie is the most successful writer of all time; her books have sold over a billion copies in English and a billion in translation. She wrote an astounding 66 murder mysteries and several plays, including The Mousetrap—the longest-running play of all time—and her classic works continue to be adapted for film and television. How did a refined, upper-class British girl evolve into the queen of crime, poison and murder?

Millions of readers worldwide know Agatha Christie’s indelible characters and plot twists, but what do we know about the author herself? Dr. John Curran has spent years poring over her personal archive, a treasure trove containing letters, manuscripts and 73 meticulously kept notebooks in which she documented everything she saw and heard. He and others explain how the author used her experiences to weave together formidable plots and how, despite being known as the queen of, “cozy,” crime, Agatha’s mind was, in the words of screenwriter Sarah Phelps, “incredibly dark.”

While she may have outwardly resembled a tweedy, Marple-esque figure, Agatha Christie was infinitely more complex. Insights into her life reveal that her isolated childhood sparked her imagination, and her time as a nurse during World War I gave her a knowledge of medicine... and poison, blood and gore. Biographer Laura Thompson reveals how the heartbreaking breakdown of her first marriage gave her a starring role in her own mystery: a disappearance that transfixed the nation. Ultimately, wanderlust healed her broken heart as she traveled the world and transformed her writing from a hobby into a profession. World War II brought a sense of her own mortality and an urgency to her writing, resulting in a staggering three to four books each year. Toward the end of her life, the increasingly famous Christie retreated from the public eye to her beloved holiday home, Greenway.

Watch and call or GIVE NOW ONLINE for special offers.