With impeccable timing Hercule Poirot, the renowned Belgian detective, makes his dramatic entrance on to the English crime stage. Recently, there had been some strange goings on at Styles St Mary. Evelyn, constant companion to old Mrs Inglethorp, had stormed out of the house muttering something about 'a lot of sharks'. And with her, something indefinable had gone from the atmosphere. Her presence had spelt security; now the air seemed rife with suspicion and impending evil. A shattered coffee cup, a splash of candle grease, a bed of begonias all Poirot required to display his now legendary powers of detection.
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, written towards the end of the First World War, introduced us to Hercule Poirot, who was to become the most popular detective in crime fiction since Sherlock Holmes. She is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 100 foreign countries. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 19 plays, and six novels under the name of Mary Westmacott.