Tuesday, 12 January 2016

10 fascinating facts about Agatha Christie's Canadian connections

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 | CBC


It's been 40 years since beloved author Agatha Christie passed away at her home in England on January 12, 1976. The author of 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections as well as several plays, romances, and nonfiction works is known for her iconic detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, and is recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the bestselling novelist of all time.

What's less known is that Agatha Christie had a bit of a thing for Canada. The country appeared 22 times. That's not all - check out these 10 surprising facts below for more.

1. Christie travelled to Canada in 1922 with her husband, Archibald, as part of a tour promoting the 1924 British Empire Exhibition. The Christies travelled across the country, including stops in Victoria, Banff, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara Falls and Montreal.

2.The book The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery includes Christie's correspondence from the trip, including some on stationery from Toronto's King Edward Hotel, Ottawa's Château Laurier and Victoria's Empress Hotel.


4. Christie took liberties with Canadian geography in her writing. In the short story "The Sign in the Sky," a character sails from England to Canada, takes the train to Banff, interviews a witness and returns to England, all within 3 weeks - a wildly impossible feat at the time.

5. While many Christie characters are from Canada, "The Sign in the Sky" marks the only time Canada is a destination in her writing.
6. The most popular Christie books in Canada are And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express and The Mysterious Affair at Styles, according to print sales tracker BookNet Canada.
7.In e-book format, Canadian readers love Christie's short stories, with And Then There Were None joined by collections Poirot and the Regatta Mystery and The Under Dog as the top three all-time sellers, according to Kobo.


9. The only known copy of Chimneys was lost before the play was ever performed, and was all but forgotten when John Paul Fischbach, artistic director of Calgary's Vertigo Mystery Theatre, did some sleuthing that turned up a long-lost copy in the British Library. Christie's grandson attended the world premiere performance.
10. Investigating Agatha Christie, an original exhibition about the author's life and work, is currently running at Montreal's Pointe-à-Callière Museum. The exhibition includes memorabilia from Christie's life, including some of her notebooks, and also explores her fascination with archaeology, a passion that popped up frequently in her work. The exhibition runs through April 17, 2016.

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