Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

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April 30, 2020 58 min
Agatha Christie was a great writer of murder mystery novels and is probably the best selling author of all time. Listen in today to learn her story. Learn more about your ad-choices at
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Episode Transcription

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Welcome to Stuff You Should Know a production of iHeartRadio have stuff works, hey and welcome to the podcast, I'm Josh Clark, there's Charles Ev Chuck Brian over there thisus Stuff You Should Know.

I I don't know. If we're going to be able to get used to Jerry being round again.

Is she fired?

I don't think so. She may have fired herself, though a SA, so I have better things to do than hang out with you CN cats and kittens well and it's kind of like.

What's the point, I'm just sitting there and I can't imagine Ay more boring than listening to us on headphones. Wait a minute.

That's our show.

Yes, thereare people doing that very thing. Right now, Chuckand you have just mocked their existence, so I've just met for Jerry's sake. You know yeah now Jerry's not a fan, no she's not or listener.

So I have a question for you. Chuckd you ever read a book.

No, no, don't be ridiculous.

Chuck Uhhuh have you ever met Agota Christi, Yeah metter. When I was three?

Oh really, do you have much of a memory of that encountered a little bit? She was, she was nice enough. She signed my murder on the Orienta express copy for its addition.

Owow that's got to be worth some money I'S PRETTY NEAT yeah.

Do you still have that Hott Neah?

I did some spring cleaning here a couple weeks ago and I didn't even recycle or put it in Little Free Library and through it in the dratch. Did you didn't you say once that your brother has like a copy of number one superman or something nuts like that? No, I thought he has something some valuable comic book.

No Huh now must be confusing you with my other cohost chuck.

Now we weren't big comic book people.

We don't have anything avaloble like that.

I got you well having met, I get the Christi when you were a kid I feel, like you, probably have a lot to bring this Onei.

I was.

I have never met her still to this day. Probably never will, and I have read a couple of Hor things and seen a couple movies based on her stuff, but I would never consider myself like a a Rabbit AG ITA Christi Fam, but I do appreciate her work a lot.

You pick this one, why we have this series of books, children's books about awesome women in history, from Frida to Cocochanel, to Amelia Arhart to Agatha Christi, and so I was reading this one, the other night and thought hey.

Let's do you want an I get. The Christie that haven't read any of hour work seen a couple of removies love the genre, though yeah as films. I've never read mystery murder, mysteries, although I'm going to now, I started reading the mysterious affair at styles, which I think was heur first published work last night and it's just great.

She just sucks you right in like you, she does what's.

She creates an a lot of books, not all of them, but she creates what called a cozy mystery with an S, because it's British and I'd never heard that term before until this article.

But when I came across it I was like yes, I love that kind of thing and that's exactly what I love about murder. She wrote like the murder she wrote to where she goes to like Broadway or Paris, or something like that.

I can take her leave they're fine, but it's the ones that are set and tiny little cabit cove, that's just isolated from the rest of the world and it's cozy and small, and it's like a village and all that those are the murder she wrotes that I love the most and I think that's what I like about. Agathe Christie mysteries to is a very typically cosy, mysteries. I've never seen that show wwhat. We whatat this conversation before no.

That would be seared into my brain forever. Now we have because you said that the first time yeah I've never seen it, but I'm a huge fan of murder. Mystery movies, especially cozy mysteries, like Klue, is one of my favorite films yeah, and this year is er. Last year's knives out was one of my top like three or four films of the year.

I've not seen it yet. It's still like seven dollars on Amazon, prime, so I haven't rented Y. I'm waiting for the price point to drop.

I can own you a couple of bucks if you need all right, sure, threand. Ninety nine thre N. ninety nine Honrd, no E. Ninety nine.

If it's still a lot for a rental, I mean that's a lot.

Do you think ith thred, a ninety? Nine is manageable: Four Nety, nine and up that's a lot of that's a lot of move law for a rental. If you ask me wow yeah, this is I'm taking a stand on this all right. Well, film professionals out there. Please do not take offense to all your hard work.

So I have a question for you have ole more question: Have you seen the Eggat, the Christie film adaptation of Crooked House that came out? I two thousand and seventeen?

No, I think you'll like it.

It was big budget, but it also looks like British maide for television, big budgets. Great Jillian Anderson, Danis Golie is in it. Okay, Wel! You know the Brits are nuts for her. Are they did? Oh man she's, like their favorite person. In the world and has been for years, I don't know why nothing against Jillian Anderson but like she just never hit it as big over here a she did there, terence stamp, isn't it love him going close she's great and I was like this is really good, and so I was reading little synopsies of it and all that stuff, and it seems like that.

It's widely regarded as one of her best most ingenious and inventive works. Crooked House Cricket House. I believe, that's on amizon prime free.

Well, yes, do you actually do the math of how much you pay for Amazon prime to see how much you're paying for that movie?

I don't want to do that.

I just don't want to do thatbe pennies whydid. You do that to me all right. So, Charles, let's let's get into this, because I know that this one could be a little long if we're not deliberate and I would think maybe considerate of our time all right. Well, that's I an eight minute intro. So so far, so good okay, she is perhaps again it's kind of hard to say. Whith books tell with book sales because they can be a little dodgy, but she is often quoted as the AR scene is the best selling novelist of all time, and I did little check to compare like I thought. Well Steven King sold a book or two sure they tag his book sales at about three hundred and fifty million her sixty six novels and fourteen collected works of short stories supposedly have sold to the tune of two billion.

I saw four billion in one place and I think after you hit the billion mark, you can just start tossing around whatever number you want. I think so.

That's like O examplewe've had seventy billion downloads. Now I just decided oh great, that's a lot of downloads but think about it. Stepen King, how many books is that cat written how many as he sold all around the world and it amounts to three hundred and fifty million and he's one of the best selling authors of all time.

A lot of people say that Agatha Christies numbers hit two billion, like you said, that's astounding, yeah the'.

That is a ton of books. It's I don't think our Stuff You Should Know book, will approach those numbers.

No, you never say never, though T it'a lofty goal, never say never. I also saw that she's the most widely translated author of all time to I buy this o forty five languages, I was like, seems a little low. So then, somewhere else I saw a hundred and three. So let's go with that.

So let's talk about this cozy mystery or just mystery novels in general, they are very much formu lake, which d helped us put this together and points out. That's why people like them, because the familiarity and it's sort of a comfort food thing like a good beach book.

You know what you're going to get right, yeah, yeah, there's and there's surprises and everything woven in I mean the whole thing is meant to be a surprise. It's a mystery and part of the mystery. The allure of the mysteries that Eggeth, the Christie not only wrope but actually the whole genre she helped to develop is that you are ostensibly able to figure out who the culprit is in the murder. It's almost always a murder, and so there is like there is surprise involved. That's the point, but there's also a tremendous amount of familiar familiarity, and that's that formula you were talking about. That's what really has sucked generations of people into this whole genre, her sixty six plus books, yeah, so you've got that murder.

You usually don't see.

This murder occur. She doesn't usually and in general, in murder, mysteries. You don't see the murder, that's kind of not the point of how Grizzlier gruesome the act is it's sort of all about finding that body and I won't had a bunch of knives out things to say, but I don't say any of them now.

Thank you, but then you've got your detective that arrives on the scene and I will say this D nives out very much palisis formula, very smartly. So, okay, so you've got this master detective, who usually arrives upon the scene, but they may already be there and they are generally very eccentric and sort of they allthey always have these quirky sort of characteristics.

In Christie's case, we have the very formidable Hercule Poro and then Miss Marple, Jane Marple in Hercules, casee's Belgian and has this big moustache and it's just sort of eccentric and Belgian.

Just you know he's not French there's something about being Belgian. That makes it slightly different sure and Miss Marpll. Apparently it's just a very ordinary and people underestimate her and that's how she sort of wins the day yeah because for Hercule Paurow was retired. Belgiam, please detective. So he has some measure of authority still to question people and interrogate people as he wishes, with Miss Marple she's, just kind of a quiet, old lady who sows and knits a lot, and she just has a very key nife for detail and an interest in solving.

You know the murders that seem to happen around her like Angela Lansbury.

Basically, yes, but rather than interrigate people directly Miss Marple's thing. Is She just kind of quietly?

Is there and people tend to confide in her and she kind of quietly helps them along and gives them she gives them the rope to hang themselves with?

That's how she interrogates people or figures out who the murderer is right, so you've got your setting in e in the cozy mystery setting, like you said it's usually like an estate or a home, maybe a hotel - maybe it might be a small English village or an express obviously is on a train, another sort of confined space.

By the way have you seen traine to Booson, I keep I confuse that with snowpiercer. I think I've seen both, but I can't remember which ones which they're kind of very similar but Buson is zombis on a train Korean film.

No, then, I think I'd just seen, snowpiercer. You should check out train to bu son. It just Wel, if you think you've seen it all with thizombi genre, then think again, dude, that's saying something, because that's that genre has gotten a little tier Tayyo.

Hey! Let me ask you this: Have you seen? I know you've seen it you had to have ozark?

Oh sure, I'm just started it yeah, I'm a couple of episodes into the latest season: Okay, yeah! You me, and I just started at season one and I'm like all. I want to do is sit around and watch OZARC. It's amazing yeah. I love it. That's like Hart! Well, you know.

Oh No, I didn't know that Yeah Smart I've tried to get Batmen and Laura Linny on movie crush and it's always mthank you, no Oh yeah, yeah, hey you're, giving responses. That's that's a big step forward. It's nice to be told now and just not at you, ard, yeah right all right, so you've got your setting with Agatha Christi.

She did include her travels in some of her later novels when they became like super popular, but it was still not like a globe tredding like James Bond kind of thing.

No, that's that's the point so like in a spionage thriller, something the locals are all over the place and you know the characters constantly moving in these cozy thrillers like even if they're in an exotic, locale they're still set in a small part of that exotic local.

That's right! You got your suspects, they are questioned by the detective.

They usually all have a motive. They usually all have the means, because everyone, you know in a great novel like this.

Everyone's got to be a suspect from the beginning, and then you can kind of quickly whittle or slowly whittle that list down right and here's the thing. What I was saying with the with the the kind of mystery that egatha Christi wrote and really established.

You are part of the mystery, like your either the investigator. The detective has an assistant that they explain things to very much like showlik homes and Watson, sure or if the detective is working solo say like Miss Marple, Miss Marples might write a list of suspects and their motives and little clues down as part of the narration and You'R you're, led in every step of the way, so you're part of this working towards solving the mystery and, as it's very frequently put it kind of pits you in a competition with the author to see, if you can figure out who done it before the end of the book. Yeah I mean that goes back to Encyclopedia Brown. The whole point is to try and figure that stuff out right man. I love those those are so great, encyclopeder Brown. I remember he busted one dumb kid who did something bad? I can't remember a it bugs Mani.

Oh Man, good memory it may have been bugs Meani was he kind of a big, dumb, OAF who'd like beat up on chipmunks? I think so.

Okay, he busted bugs once because bugs had tears coming out of the the outside corners of his eye.

O Freak is oit rather than inside corner.

That's good, but see the great thing about those books is that a twelve year old doesn't really necessarily always pick up on those clues.

Oh I did.

I wasn't that Greatif I'd be curious to see if they would stop me now.

No, no, I mean specifically with the outside of the eye thing, but yeah. No, I'm sure there are plenty that I missed, but you crie that when you were a boy ight, I knew I staring in the Wei ters and so then, at the end, to wrap up the little genre sort of summary. You've got this great ending, usually where everyone's gathered together and the detective kind of walks. Everyone, through the big, reveal of exactly how the killer did it right and in her case she did not like when the killer is revealed.

They didn't turn around and shoot them in the face like it's usually pretty nonviolent. They would be wrestled to the ground or arrested, or maybe they might run away, and you hear later that they had killed themselves or something like that sure there was rarely a grand finale where they would be pressed to death in front of a crowd Nah who needs it, so that I mean that's it like Bing Bang boom. That was when you started on page one of an egatha Christi novel. You knew exactly how everything was going to play out and then one of the other things is because this thing was so formulatic. There was also room for this for the author to kind of play with you, the reader, an in using things like bluffs and red hairing, Ou sure think or basically the same thing, but the idea is that so the author, in this case I guel thin Christy, would say something like you know, early on in the book.

A A suspect would come running out of the house, looking shaken and Pale, and you the reader would be like. Well, that's just way too obvious she's not going to name she's, not going to point out who the murderer is at the beginning of the book right. I can disregard that person or this very obvious clue or something like that.

That was just kind of part of the interplay between author and reader, but then it could go even deeper to where she would say something like well. I know that you think that this is too obvious, and so I'm Goinna actually make this the actual murderer, which she did in some cases, which was like a double bluff.

Apparently Co just keep going on and on and on or but it was, this kind of wrestling match, or maybe slap fight between Agatha Christi and you her reader, which made the whole thing all the more delight.

That's right and she takes great pains to point out that she did not invent the genre.

There were people like Arthur Connan, doyle, obviously and po before her, that sort of established some of these rules, but she was very popular, she's, very good at what she did yeah.

She wrote about what she knew and well talk about her life coming up in a little bit, but these manor houses in these estates and these English villages, and even the exotic locales and these train trips and things were things that she actually experienced.

And you know a lot of people are great at making stuff up, and a lot of people are great about writing what they know and it seems like she was really great at writing what she knew yeah and for some reason either.

It was the time or maybe because of her, I'm not sure it was kind of a chicken or the egg thing, but she happened to write about stuff that a lot of people wanted to read about these small.

You know English villages and you know quaint mannerisms of the upper middle and upper class English society set in this period of time that and for some reason it just captured everybody's attention and apparently, when she started expanding l, I think after a world ward, two to some slightly more exotic locals like Egypt or mess Potamia. You know for like a death on thenile was a very famous window in this time or the orien express that really catapulteed or into superstartum international superstartum to yeah. I don't have a super firm read on the history of literature, but I get the idea that this is sort of aligned with the beginnings of Pop lit and like I call it the beach book, I don't know if there had been a ton of stuff like this.

That was just sort of pure comfort, food and entertainment.

Up to this point, yeah, I'm not sure either nothing that I'm familiar with. I can say, but theye were very entertaining books. They were humorous, a very dark sense of humor yeah, great dialogue.

All these verbal jousts between the detectives and the suspects is really key to that genre.

Something Nice out did really really well h. It was one of my favorite scripts of the year, maybe my favorite script wow, but just really really good, sharp writing and it's no sort of no accident that she became so hugely popular.

No and that's something like if you're not really familiar with. I get the Chrissi and you just kind of look her up and passing one of the things you'll be confronted with. Is that a lot of people? A lot of critics say she was a hack and what they're talking about is that formula that she followed to almost like a solessly rational degree like that was the formula that's what she followed, but that really misses like the fact that she had a really great eye for detail in the dialogue. Like you were saying like she was a good writer and she could just crank work out. I think, during the decade of the tties she wrote a book a year.

It might have een become more prolific later on in the thes and s to yeah, and she she was a business person. You know like there's nothing wrong with saying: Wow people love this stuff and they sell a lot and although it took a wal for that to happen as we'll see, but there's nothing wrong with any of that. I think people that collor hack can co fly. Kite yeah go fly it with extreme prejudice. Should we take a break, I think so man will come back and talk about her life, great okay, Chuck, so Agatha Christi was born in Eighteen. Ninety in England, in Devonshire in Torquay, which I was one to say, Tangaret Devonshire sure and it's in the southwest of England, so torquay is kind of like our or devonshires. Like our Arizona. Basically, that's my impression. I think it is very much like Arizona right, the legendary Devonshire cactus right so so, which stalks the Moore that's right, and she was one of three kids and I think her older brother and sister were both at least a decade older than her. So she had like a very solitary childhood, which appears to have made her fairly happy. She didn't go to school. She was raised by governess is an educated by governesses pent a lot of time reading and just hung out around her family's estate.

Yeah I mean they had some dough. They were, they were not wealthy wealthy, but they were definitely upper middle class. They got an inheritance from her paternal grandfather such that her dad didn't need to work.

Apparently she is on record is saying that Mike Her dad wasn't around much.

Didn't really impact me once much. So he can go fly a kite as well right, it's a lot of kite flying and she was she lovebing out in the garden. She wasn't.

I get the impression she wasn't like reclusive or anything, but she's very much enjoyed time with her self alone, but also had friends and stuff when she eventually did go to school once her father passed and they couldn't afford that governess right. But she was a very, very shy person.

The novelist Jon Naccacella says that even as an adult, she was so shy that sometimes she wouldn't go into shops because she would have to interact with the shopkeeper.

So it is a novelist. You know how many nautilists are the life of the Party and super outgoing.

You have never met Philip Roth Pan. I just I don't know you kind of Picyure, like the Stephen Kings, just locked in an attic somewhere and not like. Well, let me write a little bit. Then I'm going to go, you know, go to a party right, go play some pick up, basketball and maybe volunteer at the local Food Bankat. I don't know it's sort of solitary pasttime, so that sure there are examples of of extroverted authors, but I think she kind of fits the mold that you generally think of especially for a lady, mystery writer, yeah, and you know I think that only fits them ole the more I learn about her. She made the mold Drik. Basically everything we take e for granted as far as writing and mystery writing goes like. She basically made it up.

It's pretty impressive stuff yeah. So she like, we said she did some pretty to us.

Dumbdums in America seem like exotic traveling trips, but if you lived in England at the time, it's no big deal to go to Egypt and check out the pyramids. That was, if you had a little dough, that was a pretty common vacation that you might take.

So she did stuff like that and she was exposed to exotic locales and use those innerwork in a very first novel, even snow upon the desert.

She wrote when she was like twenty two or twenty thee years old.

I think - and you know she had a hard time getting published at first, because she was a young woman yeah. She was rejected out of hand and apparently also shed started writing, because her sister told her that she probably wouldn't be able to write a mystery novel yeah which I'd love.

So she did. She wrote the what was it snow on what snow upon the desert snow upon the desert and she was very young then, and in between the time she wrote snow upon the desert and the mysterious affairat styles, which would be her first published book. I believe she wedged a lot of life in there in the form of getting married to a guy named archibold, Archi Christie and one of the things about Agatha Christi is that she was she never.

She wasn't a born writer, even though she did right as a younger person like you were saying, like she wasn't like a she just didn't want to be a writer as a kid, and she ended up writing really seriously after she and Archie Christy got married because Archie Christi wasn't particularly wealthy and couldn't necessarily care for her himself. So she started writing to make money which some people suspect. As the reason she got into mystery. Writing in the first place, because there was a very, very popular genre, even yeah well makes sense, so she had the skills to pay the bills. It turns Ou, that's right.

They were Marri on Ond. Nine teen fourteen he was kind of promptly sent to fight in the Great War in France and she worked at a pharmacist at a war hospital during that period, and this is where she learned a lot about potions and poisons and pharmaceuticals and things that she would there's a lot of poisoning that goes on in her books, yeah and she later in her career. I think she actually would consult with doctors and stuff like that, because she wanted everything to be really medically accurate, but early on she learned a lot about this stuff from her work in the pharmacy.

We just kind of cool and goolish. You know she's like h how exactly what a person die from. I bottle that I'm holding so yeah and apparently most of the deaths in her books are poisonings and, like you were saying, like you, rar rarely see the person die.

They just come upon the body and most of the times, the poison body. Sometimes there there was violence visited upon them, but for the most part, is a body that was found poison to death, yeah and that's a good vehicle for a mystery novel, because you know there's no murder weapon per se there. I guess there's the poison bottle, but it can often be very vague.

A poisoning death like could it have been a heart attack like you, hade, to kind of suss out at first, whether or not it was even a murder. It's not like an obvious thing where there's a a bullet hold in their chest or something like that right, right, yeah, so poisoning is what she went with typically another example also Chook, I think of like her writing what she knew to yeah at least writing what interested her and she wrote in. I believe, nineteen, twenty, no during the during World War, one so while she was working at the dispensery and Archie was off flying in France. I believe she wrote the mysterious Affairat styles and it was that's the one I started reading and I don't understand how it was rejected at first. But it was it's a really interesting book, just right out of the gate, in that it pulls you right into this little country, English estate and all the people on it, and you realized, just after a couple of pages that you're already invested in Hem, which is pretty amazing.

This is like not her first book, but it was her first serious work that wasn't published immediately. It wasn't published until N, Thousnineteen, N Twenty and I think, even after it was published, it wasn't an immediate catapult to success for her, but it was a.

It was a remarkable first book to be published yeah, and this is the one that introduced the world to her chief detective for a lot of those novels.

Mr Pooiro, like we mentioned and later on, they asked her why he was Belgian and she said why not basically right, I don't think a whole lot of thought went into it.

It turned out to be a really good choice because he had this kind of interesting accent and everywhere he went. I don't you know they were never set in Belgium, so everywhere he went. He was this sort of sort of strange foreigner that would come into town with this accent that no one quite understood, and he just had this sort of larger than life presence. I think because of that, so it turned out to be a really smart choice.

Yeah. He was also a well known Dandy, who was very vain about his appearance and he parently said in one of the later books that he plays up his foreignness and his dandiness to disarm suspects when he's interrogating them to make them, take him less seriously than the otherwise might o man. I want to talk about knives out so much you cannot.

I appreciate you not doing that.

So she had a daughter. We should mention in ousand, ninetneen ND, nineteen named Rosalind and that's the only child she ever had, and it was in nineteen twenty o r year later that they finally did publish the mysterious affairet styles after she agreed to change the ending. They said we don't like Poiro, revealing all this evidence in court, so she changed the ending. They said great, that's when she went on to publish that novel every year. For about ten years right, very, very big books, but they weren't they were popular, but she wasn't like a superstar internationally at this point. Yet, no not yet again.

She really catapulted later on, because she moved to some of these more exotic locales, but one of the things that cemented her legend as a mystery writer. In addition to all of the work she did in addition to her prolificness and her extreme talent at this formula that she had worked out was what still today is considered an unsolved mystery. In fact, thete was featured on one thousand nine hundred and ninety four episode of unsolved mysteries, which I just randomly happened to see recently and she disappeared, there's a whole subplot Tagetha Christie's life that was really surprising, especially compared to how boring and normal and just kind of plotting with these instead of teys.

Her normal life was the fact that she has this grand mystery plunk down in the middle of it is pretty impressive, yeah, it's so heres. Here's the back story.

She and Archie were not meant to be together, as it turns out. He revealed that he was having an affair with a lady named Nancy Neil who was a friend of the family and obviously that was the end of their marriage. So the end of Tosad, nine Tunden ND, twenty six.

They decided they were going to take a trip together.

A weekender Archi went to be with his friends instead and then she vanished into seemingly thin air.

They found her car near rock quarry with her fur coat and her driver's license there and no Agatha Christie.

No and her car wasn't just near the Rock Qarry. According to some reports, like one of the wheels is hanging over the edge of this cliff and still spinning right.

So, but she was gone, they couldn't find her, and so, within a couple of days, this massive search, depending on who you ask and depending on when you ask them ten, like tenhsand plus people, were searching for probably more likely a couple thousand, which is still really remarkable for this tiny little area in the southwest of England at the time in Ne Thousand Nine hueded and twenty six.

So the that really kind of demonstrate she was already a well known writer.

She wasn't legendary yet, but this is this. Disappearance is the Mechani mechanism by which she becomes legendary. I think - and this goes on for a good week - I believe right. When did she disappear December? What I think December third is when they were going to take that trip, so she was going almost two weeks and I'm by gone we mean just vanished.

She left behind that car. She leftd behind the driver's license in the Fur. Like you said she was gone.

Her husband had come came to be known to have asked for a divorce already, so people were like well. Did he bump her off and she's a mystery writer known for generating stuff like this, so even at the time some people were like.

Is this the publicity stunt, because it's a pretty good one if it is sure it worked, and there was a band at this place called the Swan Hydropathic Hotel in Yorkshire, which kind of just sounds like a bit of a Kalogue brothers type of joint?

Have you seen cure for wellness?

Well, we talked about that in that podcast did we, I can't remember, have you seen it?

I never saw it have you yet.

I still have not seen it hey, not missing that much, but it is pretty interesting. It's OIT's worth seeing at least once I might check it out. Okay, but any rate they had a band here, because what hydropathic hotel does not have a house band and they came forward and said: Hey, that's Agatha Christi Lady She's been staying here for a week, she's been in the electric Light Bath Cabinet and Getting Yogurt ANAMAS and having a grand old time.

So they went to the cops and the cops went to the lead detective and said: No, no, no she's been murdered and we're trying to find out the killer.

I'm sure of it.

Eventually, this detective said well. Let me tell her husband and husband: Archie went out to check it out on the fourteenth of December there she was, she was in seclusion and that was sort of the end of this mystery. It wasn't so much a mystery.

You know she by all the counts. It seems like she went there because she had thought about, or maybe tried to drive her car into that quarry and and kill herself, because she was upset about her marriage, ending yeah and then it didn't happen and she just kind of goes on a walk and ends up at this place may or may not have invented n Annisa story, or it may have actually happened to some degree.

She didn't talk about a lot, so we don't really know exactly what went down with the Amnesia.

She said that so two years later, she gave an interview with the Daily Mail apparently explained the Amnesia by saying she'd hit her head on the steering wheel, but in the sameinterview she says that she'd let go of the steering wheel. So she basically said, like I tempted suicide and it didn't work out. I hit my head on the searing wheel and I wandered off and I had Amnesia but the they think that it's. It was just a family cover story to save, face the same Nesia story and that really she had attempted to take her own life and hadn't, succeeded and now regretted it and was embarrassed by all of this, because the idea that there were thousands of people looking for, I think it probably never crossed her mind when she wandered away from her car no, and that I remember she was a very shy person.

So this all this attention was very very hard on her, so th the family just came up with this cover story that she had EMNESA, so didn't even bother asking and Archi, and she stayed together for another year or so, and then their divorce finally became finalize on thousand nine hundred and twenty eight yeah. So she didn't even mention this in er, autobiography, which kind of says all you need to know about how much he liked to talk about this right.

We should say there was one other thing that did this to it wasn't just archie asking for a divorce. He asked for a divorce a few months after her mother died and Ige. That Christie's mother was beloved to her.

She worshipped her mother. She thought she was wonderful.

Her mother was the parent that was there for her. While she was a kid and raised her, it was just a very interesting person. It sounds like so she died args for a divorce a few months later and then this whole mysterious disappearance happened, that's right and then one last thing. I read that at the Swan Hydro Hotel she was actually playing cards and chatting with other guests about this mysterious disappearance. That was in all the newspapers and none of the other guests recognized Hor. It was those banned members that you mentioned interesting.

I thought so too Maan. So that's everything I learned from onsolve mysteries should we take a break.

Finally, all right: Let's, let's take our final break and we'll talk a little bit more about her later life and further success, all right, so one thousand nine hundred and twenty eight at this point she is freshly divorced.

She kept that name because you know sh, that's the name that made her famous.

So it makes a lot of sense and she kept writing novels.

She travelled on the Orient Express to Bagdad.

She got into archaeology, just sort of a hobbyist and made friends with a couple who were archaeologists, went to visit them, one thousand nine hundred andtirty and on that trip met a man named Maximalaan who was an also an adventure and an archaeologist thirteen years younger and they fem in love and got married, which is a very, very sweet story.

Yeah. Apparently, he was giving her a tour of some archaeological sites and he got the car stuck and she apparently he said later she made no fuss about it, didn't blame him or anything like that, and he said that's about the time when I started to begin to realize that you are wonderful andso. They got married and she said later on that the good thing about being married to an archaeologist is that the older you get the more interested they become interesting.

That was kind of cute.

So this is when Miss Marple comes along as as detective one thousand nine hundred and thirty with the murder at the vicarage.

That was hour first, one that was the first Miss Marple book, Okay and then she's traveling around she's doing these archaeological digs and trips she's going to Syria and Iraq.

She fell in love with Syria and the Syrian people and she's really cranking out some big books at this point. In H S, that's like even even on archaeological digs chuck. Can you imagine how uncomfortable it would be to sit and write for hours an an archeological site?

I can't it would be tough, I would think - and yet she was still just as prolific as ever. Yeah books, like a murder in MEPOTAMIA and death on Mhe Nile and murder on the Orienta Express, were all written during this period, and this is what really catapulted her into international superstartum as an author right.

So she and Max stayed together for I think, forty six years until her death actually yeah, I think yeah she outlived him so its pretty sweet, but despite all of this kind of adventure in archaeological digs and like visits to the Middle East, most of her life from that point on was in Devonshire in this tiny little area. In the English countryside, in these the quaint little towns and she gardened and was very involved in local community theater, that was her life. She was also one of the biggest most well known, most best selling writers in the world. While she was alive and yet that's what she did, she hung out with the Community Theater Group in Garden. That was just her life.

Yes, she got the dame commander of the order of the British Empire, one housand nine hundred and seventy one and the rights to hour novels were held by company that she created for a long time and then before she died. She sold part of that off and that's been sort of bout and sold a bunch Ofer the years which is kind of how that usually happens right, but she did retain enough of the of the company to have it be worth a ton of money which he passed down to her daughter, of course, is her only child.

She sort of took care of her mother's works for many many years, then passd that on to her only child, an a Matthew Pritchard who still holds these rights and still sort of manages that today, that's right, so everything turned out well for Matthew. Bricchard sounds like EC yeah. I wish you wish. My grandma was actually Adun't, because I love my grandma but sure would it have killed her to be an internationally famous author, no it wouldn't chuck and I'm glad we're. Finally, talking about us been an elephant in the room for a very long time, so she, you know a lot of these went on to be very famous films.

TV series, I think, murder on the Orian Express, has been a couple of big movies.

In fact, one couple o years ago that I have not seen it's unwatchable it was it really bad?

I'm sorry, if you listen to this Kenneth Brona, I couldn't make it through the first five minutes. Oh Wow, it was, I didn't like it. Okay is that all you know, Love Kan, Brany, yes, okay! So that's! My report is on the first five minutes.

She very famously has a play called the mouse trap, which is debut of the Westn one thousand nine hundred and fifty two, and it is the longest running play in the history of the West End, which is remarkable yeah, and to make that even sweeter. Remember her sister, who said that she probably couldn't write a mystery novel.

Well, her sister was the first in the family to get a play produced on the West End, but it certainly wasn't the longest running play on the west end of all times, so she got her back doubly so and then she was hit by a train and Agathe Christie laughed and laughed and poisoned her corpse.

So we need to talk a little bit here. At the end, we always like to give everyone's give everyone the acolades they deserve, but also point out some of the things that weren't so great.

We don't want to whitewash anything and she used a lot of kind of racially insensitive language.

Some would call antisemeticate times anticatholic through parts of her career, such that the Anti Defamation League complained to her agent at one point, and because of that American publishers were given the ability to change that stuff out sort of that will without without any notice given to her she just she didn't know. This is going on at all.

Yeah just were like.

I don't think the Americans are going to go for this. The Brits can barely stand. T the Americans definitely aren't going to take this well. Yeah Neve read a lot about this and they're different takes one take. Is that the old?

You know she was a product of her time thing which people you know rightfully point out.

Another is the aftentime she's doing this to show characters are sort of underdeveloped as humans and sort of backward.

So there's that as well, but you also can't dance around the fact that she did use some pretty bad words, and you know we just got wear bad stuff out and they were bad even at the time yeah like th. It wasn't.

Yes, you can say like yeah. A lot of people had different social attitudes toward race and racism, and and in that sense she wasn't that much different, but there were cases where she was standing well outside of the norm, including in book titles and characters, and things like that and one book in particular, and then there were none was revised many many times not just in the US, but in Great Britain as well, and it's remarkable in that sense, but in another sense itis also remarkable in that it's considered pretty widely to have given birth to the slasher film genre.

Did you know that I didn't until my bread bed say it yeah? I looked this up a little more and on its own, and then there were none.

The book ends sorry for the spoiler everybody, but it ends with, I think, all of thes suspects killing one another and everyone dies in the stage adeptation of the play that she helped write there. The final girl t e female character is left alive and has out done the murderer.

WHO's come to get her, which is you know, forthe formula for any shor film whatsoever, but there's a bunch of other elements in there too and they're, like you know, even I', like Horror Fan Wickies, they point to that is like the genuine birth, even more than psycho of the lasher film genre, O interesting yeah. It is pretty interesting. You wh would have ever thought that I get through Christie with her nonviolence and and poison and occasional racism would have been one to birth. The lasher Te Catan racism, yeah and a lot of the racist stuff just to put a a final pin on that was a lot of it was character, descriptions which can be some of the ugliest kinds of stuff like that yeah because it wasn't just like talking about philosophies. It was just like literally physically describing a character.

Sometimes she would use some pretty pretty derogatory language yeah.

So again, it's a bit like exploring Elizabeth Black Learning Historical Chacters, always weird little bugs under the rocks Yhou turnd over. You know, I'm glad we're doing our great work in in the time of wokeness right exacty. No one can never go back, I mean we made midsteps here and there, but they can't go back and talk about when Josh and Chuck were big racist at the beginning.

Yeah. No, it's true, but just wait for twenty years from now they be like. I can't believe twe talk about those guys were ages bastards.

You know, probably so there's one other thing I want to say to so.

When she lived through World War, two Agatha Christi was worried that she 's going to die in the bombing blets of Great Britain and she really wanted Hercule plauro and Jame marples to have a final case.

So she wrote a book for each of them.

One is called curtain, that's Pau rose fom final book and the other is sleeping murder.

That is Marple's final case and and it just kind of explains what happens to Hem. I believe poor robe dies in Marpoles just retires, but when she survived World War, two she was like. Well, I don't I'm not ready for these guys to be retired yet so she kept those books and had them postumously published and they were in the s and when her Hercule Paul Rose last book came out and he died.

The New York Times ran a front page obituary form the only fictional character to have that honor bestowed on them.

That's crazy, an it yeah and also a very cool good idea to write those books early on just in case, because you never know yeah.

Besides the bombing thing I mean she could she could walk off the ledge or get hit by a bus or dive o natural causes early, like you never know, and then you've got this legacy cemented right, pretty smart.

Have you ever seen? One last thing have youever seen murdered by death.

I know I've asked you before I have that DVD sitting on my desk. Well, that's amazing that you have that on your desk and you wait. Is it out your desk at work?

It is the on place. I was going to say, watch it tonight, but don't watch it tonight.

Wait until everything clears W A one, Gointo love it. No, it's a spoof, actually detective books of like Charlie Chanon, igetthe, Christi and Sam Spade, and all that that she helped you know kind of create. But it's actually like a complaint from fans of mystery mysteries.

It's just a wonderful book. Trimin movie, Truman capodes in it David Nivin, Peter Bock, right, Peter Falk, yeah, a lot of people, James Cromwell, as a younger man. Oh Yeah, James Coco, is Hercule Pauro. It's just great you're, going to love him an so. I guess we should say that she did die eventually, five years or three years after I met her in one thousand nine hundred and seventy six at the age of eighty five at her home in Oxfordshire or Oxfordshire, and it was natural causeits, not poison.

No, her last words were good to meet you.

You got anything else.

I do not have anything else. Well, friends, that is Agatha Christie. If you want to know more about, I the Christi Go Start Reading. I get the Christi Books and since I said I get the Christie like three or four times its time for listener main alright, I'm going to call this letter from a kid because we love reading these letters from kids.

Hey Guys, I've been listening to your podcast for about eight months now and I' like to say I am a huge fan.

This is Emmett he's ten years old, Oh yeah, I love this email.

My Dad is even more of a fan of you guys than me, and he told me about your podcast.

I am a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons and pretty much everything Atlanta related, including your podcast, which is weird because I live in Iowa.

I love it.

It is a little weird though em you're right. I love how selfaware this guy. I think you, you know when you go up in a place like io with no professional sports, you, you know you do that thing where you just pick out a team in a city, yeah you're like the Bay city, Rolles, you throw a dart at a map and go with it.

That's right and now I'm really worried, there's a professional team in Iowa, but there is not.

There is not. There are none right, no need to double check that I've been listening to your podcast, a ton during this coronavirus outbreak to keep me from going crazy, and it's worked.

My birthday at is actually coming up. So I'll not be able to see my friends or even have a party.

It would be totally awesome and make my year if you said happy birthday to me, but I want to bet you won't read this on the air.

THAT'S SIM! Fine! REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY! Iht thin well played Emmett.

I love your grass podcast and last year me and my best friend Oliver started a long care business and had made enough money to buy, beats headphones to listen to your podcast on Thas full circle. Right there that's right. He says I may try to wrap this letter up and spank it on the bottom. Before I sent it so happy happy big, I guess Eleventh Birthday Emit best to your dad, hello, Oliver and everyone there in Atlanta, Iowa, yeah, happy birthday, em it that reverse psychology worked man if you want to get in touch with thus like Emma, did and see. If well wit, you a happy birthday ill bet, we won't, but who can tell him these crazy times?

You can get in touch with this. BA email wrap it up, spank it on the bottom and send it off to stuff podcast.

A Guy Heart. RADIOCOM Stuff You Should Know, is production of ihart radios. housestuff works for more podcasts. For my heart radio visit the IHAT radio, a apple podcast o wherever you listen to your favorite, shows

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