Agatha Christie, born in Torquay, UK in 1891, was the youngest child of an American father, Frederick Alvah Miller, and an English mother, Clarissa Boehmer. She was carefully educated at home. Her widowed mother encouraged her to write. At the age of 16, Agatha Christie left for Paris to study singing and piano, studies that were doomed to failure because of her stage fright and excessive shyness.
During the First World War, she volunteered as a nurse, which gave her the opportunity to learn about the poisons and other drugs that appear in her novels. In her spare time, she wrote her first detective story following a bet with her sister.
At the beginning of the war she married Royal Air Force pilot Archibald Christie, whose surname she kept as her pen name. At the end of the war, she gave birth to her only daughter, Rosalind.
But it was not until 1926 that the writer became famous with the novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. She was inspired and began writing two books a year. In 1928, she left her husband and disappeared for a while under mysterious circumstances. Two years later, she married the archaeologist Max Mallowan. Their travels to archaeological sites were the inspiration for several of her novels.
Apart from her famous detective stories with the illustrious detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, Agatha Christie published novels under the name Mary Westmacott, but also poems, short stories and an autobiography.
The "Queen of Crime" was awarded many honours, including the Order of the British Empire and the Dame Commander.
She died in January 1976 at her home in Wallingford, England.