Thursday 15th September marks the birthday of the Queen of Crime, and her birthplace of Torquay is hosting a very special event to celebrate 100 years since she wrote her first published novel. It was in 1916, aged just 26, that Agatha wrote The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the novel that introduced Hercule Poirot to the world.
The programme includes an exclusive early evening event with Royal Mail, who will launch a special anniversary set of Agatha Christie stamps nationally that very same day, inspired by Christie’s extraordinary creativity. Hear from the stamp designer about the inspiration behind the designs, and from Royal Mail’s Editorial Manager on the process from design, through royal approval, to print.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the creation of Poirot, the latest adventure of the Belgian detective, Closed Casket, will be published globally on 6th September. The author of the book, Sophie Hannah, herself a passionate Agatha Christie fan, will be in Torquay for the birthday celebrations, answering your questions on her inspiration and discussing her love of Christie. Find out more about the mystery, listen to Sophie’s anecdotes, and bag yourself a signed copy.
The birthday event will be topped and tailed by Mathew Prichard, Agatha Christie’s grandson. Mathew will open the celebrations with a reading of the famous short story The Witness for the Prosecution, first published in 1925 and shortly to be adapted into a major new BBC production by Sarah Phelps, the screenwriter behind last Christmas’ big hitter And Then There Were None, starring Aidan Turner and Charles Dance.
The evening will draw to a close as fans join Mathew to raise a birthday glass to Dame Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime.
In addition, there will be book signings from artist Tom Adams, famous for his Fontana Agatha Christie covers of the 1960s and 1970s, and from Dr John Curran, who has recently released a dual volume of his Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks.
Any tourism operators that normally provide supporting events alongside the festival are of course allowed to continue promoting these for September 2016, but these events are not part of the official International Agatha Christie Festival programme.
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