Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dame Agatha!

AGATHA CHRISTIE was born 120 years ago today. Too bad she couldn't join us for her celebration, but I'm guessing, at 120 years, she wouldn't be able to eat much cake and ice cream anyway. Still, we can raise a glass or two to the legacy she left behind.

Lots of folks will be extolling Christie's novels today. Let me be the one to say a word about her short stories. She wrote more than 160 of them, and some, in my opinion, show her best writing. If you haven't had the pleasure, try these collections:

WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION -- A varied collection of stories widely touted to be Christie's best. If you've never read a Christie short, start with these.

PARTNERS IN CRIME -- Sleuths Tommy & Tuppence Beresford learn the art of detecting from the best fictional detectives of the day. Christie's funniest writing.

THE MYSTERIOUS MR. QUIN -- Stories with a touch of the paranormal, featuring Mr. Harley Quin and Mr. Satterthwaite. The latter went on to help Poirot with a couple cases.

MR. PARKER PYNE, DETECTIVE -- A government statistician turns private consultant. Both Miss Lemon and Ariadne Oliver make their debuts in this collection.

THE TUESDAY CLUB MURDERS -- Miss Marple's only full collection.

THE LABORS OF HERCULES -- In my opinion, the best Poirot stories and some of Christie's finest writing.


For a complete list of Christie's short stories and collections, and more information about each story, check out DAME AGATHA'S SHORTS.

Happy Birthday, Agatha, and many, many thanks.


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