When Emily Arundell has a horrible accident, everyone blames it on her beloved dog, Bob. Miss Arundell however is afraid that it is her relatives who are trying to murder her and desperately writes to Hercule Poirot for help. Two months later the detective receives the letter – but she is already dead. Poirot begins to investigate the sinister reasons behind her death…
Poster for the British Empire Exhibition, 1924. In a time were colonies were losing their importance, the propaganda was meant to make the Empire feel like a solid institution.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand how important travelling was for Agatha and how much it influenced her works during her life time. Snow Upon the Desert, her first attempt to write a novel, was set in Egypt where she stayed during her early 20s. Followed by that was Death in the Clouds, Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile and the controversial Passenger to Frankfurt. Frequent though were her family trips around Europe, nothing was quite like the trip she made in 1922.
I have recently been re-reading some Agatha Christie books and apart from the riveting mystery at hand I’ve been so surprised to note how much she spoke about fashion; the mention of Dior’s ‘New Look’ came up in They Do It With Mirrors and to be honest, I was pretty impressed.
Frederick Alvah Miller. He died when she was only 11.
1910 BC: The Victorian era is over and with it all the austerity of sort. Europe, and the rest of the world is on the brink of war. The 20th century began with new resolutions but unfortunately not all expectations for what the future might have brought went as planned. Agatha knew this well, because in 1901, when she was just 11, her father, Frederick Miller, died of heart complications.
Young Agatha Miller riding a donkey in the desert. Normal activities in the British colonies
Some of you will know that Agatha Christie was greatly influenced by the Middle East thanks to her second husband Max Mallowan, whom she met during an excavation in modern Syria. But she was also very fond of Egypt, having spent her early 20s in Cairo, dancing at balls with soldiers and living the life of (as often described in her books) a “young bright thing”. Besides partying and dancing, while in Egypt she became very interested in the forgotten and almost forbidden, Pharaoh Akhenaten, husband of the well known Queen Nefertiti and father of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.
*MILD SPOILERS AHEAD*
We don’t know if you’ll agree with us, but we think Valentine’s Day is most certainly one of the most tiresome holidays of the year. To make it a bit more fun, we’ve attempted something brave – Agatha Christie themed e-wishes! Whether you’re happily single, playing the field, in love or in the friend zone, we’ve got you covered. Here are our 14 favourite pairings from the Christie canon:
1. General Alistair & Margaret Ravenscroft (Elephants Can Remember)
2. Jane Marple & Her Knitting
3. Thomas & Prudence Beresford (Tommy & Tuppence)
4. Patrick & Christine Redfern (Evil Under the Sun)
5. Philip Lombard & Vera Claythorne (And Then There Were None)
6. Amyas & Caroline Crale (Five Little Pigs)
7. Hercule Poirot & Countess Vera Rossakoff
8. Simon Doyle & Jacqueline De Bellefort (Death on the Nile)
9. Amy Murgatroyd & Lizzie Hinchcliffe (A Murder is Announced)
10. Salome Otterbourne & Her Booze (Death on the Nile)
11. Hercule Poirot & Felicity Lemon
12. Captain Arthur Hastings & Dulcie ‘Bella’ Duveen
13. Jerry Burton & Megan Hunter (The Moving Finger)
14. Hercule Poirot & Robert ‘Bob’ Arundel (Dumb Witness)
Wherever in the world you are, do let us know who your favourite couple is in the comments below! Happy Valentine’s Day!