The house guests at Styles seemed perfectly pleasant to Captain Hastings: there was his own daughter Judith, an inoffensive ornithologist called Norton, dashing Mr Allerton, brittle Miss Cole, Doctor Franklin and his fragile wife Barbara, Nurse Craven, Colonel Luttrell and his charming wife Daisy, and the charismatic Boyd-Carrington.
So Hastings was shocked when Poirot declared that one of them was a five-times murderer. True, the ageing detective was crippled with arthritis, but had his deductive instincts finally deserted him?
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Agatha Christie is the world's best known mystery writer. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in 44 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare.
Her writing career spanned more than half a century, during which she wrote 79 novels and short story collections, as well as 14 plays, one of which, The Mousetrap, is the longest-running play in history. Two of the characters she created, the brilliant little Belgian Hercule Poirot and the irrepressible and relentless Miss Marple, went on to become world-famous detectives. Both have been widely dramatized in feature films and made-for-TV movies.
Agatha Christie also wrote six romantic novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. As well, she wrote four nonfiction books including an autobiography and an entertaining account of the many expeditions she shared with her archaeologist husband Sir Max Mallowan.
Agatha Christie died in 1976.
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