Rid­ing the rails with Agatha

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - MOVIES -

Agatha Christie’s novel was

■ first pub­lished in 1934 in the U.K. and else­where as Mur­der on the Ori­ent Ex­press. It was pub­lished in the U.S. as Mur­der in the Calais Coach to avoid con­fu­sion with the 1932 Gra­ham Greene novel Stam­boul Train, which had been pub­lished in the U.S. as Ori­ent Ex­press.

There have been other movie

■ ver­sions. Prob­a­bly best known is the 1974 film di­rected by Sid­ney Lumet, star­ring Al­bert Fin­ney as Det. Her­cule Poirot, with a big-name cast in­clud­ing Lau­ren Ba­call, In­grid Bergman, Sean Con­nery and An­thony Perkins.

Start­ing with The Mys­te­ri­ous

■ Af­fair at Styles (1920), Poirot ap­pears in 33 nov­els and 54 short sto­ries.

Poirot is the only fic­tional char­ac­ter to date to be given an obituary in The New York Times, after the pub­li­ca­tion of the fi­nal novel, Curtain. It ap­peared on the front page of the pa­per on Aug. 6, 1975.

Christie (born Agatha Mary

■ Clarissa Miller, 1890-1976) is best known for her 66 de­tec­tive nov­els and 14 col­lec­tions of short sto­ries. She once said: “The best time for plan­ning a book is while you’re do­ing the dishes.”

Her stage play The Mouse­trap, orig­i­nally a short ra­dio play ti­tled Three Blind Mice, holds the world record for long­est ini­tial run. It opened in Lon­don’s West End in 1952 and is still run­ning.

Guin­ness World Records lists

■ Christie as the world’s best­selling nov­el­ist with roughly two bil­lion copies sold. Her es­tate claims her books are third as the world’s most widely pub­lished books, be­hind Shakespeare and the Bi­ble. In­dex Trans­la­tion um says she’s the most trans­lated author, into at least 103 lan­guages.

Agatha Christie, a.k.a. the First Lady of Crime

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