Writers celebrate the Queen of Crime Fiction.
This is an online event. Bookers will be sent a link in advance giving access, and the event will then be available to stream for 48 hours.
One hundred years ago, Agatha Christie published her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and introduced us to detective Hercule Poirot. She went on to become the biggest selling author of all time, second only to Shakespeare.
As the latest adaptation of Death of the Nile, directed by Kenneth Branagh, gets set for release, we celebrate the enduring intrigue of Christie’s stories, plots and unforgettable characters. Our three-part online event features conversations with Mark Gatiss, Sophie Hannah, Rachel Howzell Hall, Vaseem Khan, Sarah Phelps and James Prichard.
We conclude with a chance to hear a full-cast audio adaptation of Agatha Christie’s brilliant novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, recorded live on stage at the British Library in 2015, when it marked the 80th anniversary of this story becoming the first Talking Book for blind people.
Presented in partnership with HistFest, and in association with Agatha Christie Limited. With thanks to RNIB.
Part One 19.00 – 19.45
The World of Christie
In this exciting session, Mark Gatiss, Sarah Phelps and James Prichard discuss Dame Agatha Christie’s life, work and legacy. Exploring the complex early twentieth century world in which she lived and wrote, they shine a light on the cultural impact of Christie’s works and the reasons why Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple and her myriad other characters and stories have had such enduring appeal on film, stage, television and radio. Chaired by Rebecca Rideal.
Mark Gatiss is an award-winning producer, screenwriter and actor, whose prolific output includes co-creating the BBC’s Sherlock and Dracula, starring in Doctor Who, Wolf Hall, Taboo and Game of Thrones and writing and featuring in several episodes of ITVs Poirot.
Sarah Phelps is a renowned screenwriter whose work includes a raft of critically acclaimed Christie adaptations for the BBC: And Then There Were None, Witness For the Prosecution, Ordeal by Innocence, ABC Murders and The Pale Horse.
James Prichard is the CEO and Chairman of Agatha Christie Limited and great-grandson of Agatha Christie. As a film and television producer, he has overseen numerous adaptations of Christie’s works.
Part Two 19.50 – 20.35
Christie and Crime Fiction
Contemporary crime fiction authors Sophie Hannah, Rachel Howzell Hall and Vaseem Khan delve into Christie’s storycraft to explore her masterful use of plotting and the joy of the whodunnit. As writers of works inspired by Christie, they will also discuss crime fiction more generally and her impact on the genre. Chaired by Rebecca Rideal.
Sophie Hannah is a bestselling writer of crime fiction, whose 2013 novel The Carrier won the Crime Thriller of the Year award. She is the author of four highly acclaimed Hercule Poirot mysteries.
Rachel Howzell Hall is a critically acclaimed author of crime fiction, whose works include the Detective Elouise Norton series and the Christie-inspired They All Fall Down. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Mystery Writers of America.
Vaseem Khan is the author of the bestselling and award-winning Baby Ganesh Detective Agency novels set in modern India, featuring Indian detective Ashwin Chopra. In homage to Christie, the most recent of the series is Last Victim of the Monsoon Express.
Part Three 20.40 – 22.10
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
A full-cast audio adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, recorded live on stage at the British Library in 2015, when it marked the 80th anniversary of this story becoming the first Talking Book – or audio book - for blind people.
In one of Christie’s most audacious plots , Hercule Poirot retires to a village near the home of a friend, Roger Ackroyd, to pursue a project to perfect vegetable marrows. Soon after, Ackroyd is murdered and Poirot must come out of retirement to solve the case.
The recording was produced by Royal National Institute of Blind People. The talking book archive is housed at the British Library.
The British Library is a charity. Your support helps us open up a world of knowledge and inspiration for everyone. Donate today.
Image © Christie Archive Trust. AGATHA CHRISTIE is a registered trademark of Agatha Christie Limited in the UK and elsewhere.