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How Agatha Christie created such perfect murder mysteries

New Delhi: Today marks the 125th birthday of writer Agatha Christie. The English novelist is the ‘queen of crime', the doyenne of thrillers and the architect of some of the most popular murder riddles.The 66
India TV News Desk September 16, 2015 13:43 IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: Today marks the 125th birthday of writer Agatha Christie. The English novelist is the ‘queen of crime', the doyenne of thrillers and the architect of some of the most popular murder riddles.

The 66 detective novels she wrote have the perfect plot involving ingenious murders. Famous detectives like Hercule Poirot, Jane Marple, Parker Pyne, Harley Quin/Mr Satterthwaite and Tommy and Tuppence Beresford were created by her.

The gripping whodunits written by Christie turned people into voracious readers. On her birthday, we decode some of the plots that were a common sight in her books. We tell you what the writer's motivation was when she created those heart wrenching stories.

The Do-It-Yourself Criminals: Christie's novels did not have sharp shooters hired by dons to kill their enemy neither did they have gang wars. The murderers believed in the saying “If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.” Few people were involved in the acts, maybe because the more you bring in, the more mouths speak. Also, the murders were mostly clean. Unlike, the plots where the criminal drags the body to a secluded area to bury them, Agatha left the victims where they were.

It runs in the family: When murder cases of Sheena Bora or Aarushi Talwar shocked all because family members were accused of the heinous act, Christie wrote about it way ahead of the times. Her plots had family members who killed the victim out of revenge, money or to cover up another crime. Spouses, relatives, siblings, she showed the dark side of all humans.

Many ways to die: Christie could have kept it simple by making one way of murder her trademark. But then she didn't. Each tale had a gripping edge to it. According to a report of Queen's University, 12% of the victims were bludgeoned, 10% strangled, 12% stabbed, 13% shot, 6.5% pushed off and 35% poisoned.

Know your poison: The major chunk of Christie's victims was poisoned suggesting that this was her favourite way to kill. She had served in a hospital during the First World War before marrying and starting a family in London which is how she had a fair knowledge about poison.

Careful locations and cover up: Christie's murders had the perfect locations. The victim and the criminal would usually meet at a picnic or party where the murder would happen. The murderers also had a gender divide. A male murderer would usually use a boat or plane to travel while the female one a car or truck. Not only this, she staged a perfect cover up story too. Most of the crimes would  divert the police away because they would appear like a case of robbery.