An Evening with… Agatha Christie

7pm, Wednesday 21 October


Agatha Christie published her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and introduced us to detective Hercule Poirot 100 years ago. She went on to become the biggest selling author of all time, Shakespeare aside.

As the latest adaptation of Death of the Nile, reaches the screen, HistFest joins forces with the British Library to celebrate the enduring intrigue of Christie’s stories, plots and unforgettable characters with a special three-part online event.

The World of Christie: Mark Gatiss, Sarah Phelps and James Prichard discuss Christie’s life, work and legacy. Exploring the complex early twentieth century world in which Christie lived and wrote, they shine a light on the cultural impact of her works and the reasons why Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple and her myriad other characters and stories have had such enduring appeal on film, stage, television and radio.

Christie and Crime Fiction: Contemporary crime fiction authors Sophie Hannah, Rachel Howzell Hall and Vaseem Khan delve into Christie’s storycraft to explore her masterful use of plotting and the joy of the whodunnit. As writers of works inspired by Christie, they will also discuss her impact on the crime fiction genre.   

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: We conclude with a chance to hear a full-cast audio adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, recorded live on stage at the British Library in 2015, when it marked the 80th anniversary of this story becoming the first Talking Book for blind people.


About the speakers

  • Mark Gatiss is an award-winning producer, screenwriter and actor, whose prolific output includes co-creating the BBC’s Sherlock and Dracula, starring in Doctor Who, Wolf Hall, Taboo and Game of Thrones and writing and featuring in several episodes of ITVs Poirot.
  • Sarah Phelps is a renowned screenwriter whose work includes a raft of critically acclaimed Christie adaptations for the BBC: And Then There Were NoneWitness For the ProsecutionOrdeal by InnocenceABC Murders and The Pale Horse.
  • James Prichard is the CEO and Chairman of Agatha Christie Limited and great-grandson of Agatha Christie. As a film and television producer, he has overseen numerous adaptations of Christie’s works.  
  • Sophie Hannah is a bestselling writer of crime fiction, whose 2013 novel The Carrier won the Crime Thriller of the Year award. She is the author of four highly acclaimed Hercule Poirot mysteries.
  • Rachel Howzell Hall is a critically acclaimed author of crime fiction, whose works include the Detective Elouise Norton series and the Christie-inspired They All Fall Down. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Mystery Writers of America.
  • Vaseem Khan is the author of the bestselling and award-winning Baby Ganesh Detective Agency novels set in modern India, featuring Indian detective Ashwin Chopra. In homage to Christie, the most recent of the series is Last Victim of the Monsoon Express.

This event is kindly supported by PLB Ltd

Image © Christie Archive Trust. AGATHA CHRISTIE is a registered trademark of Agatha Christie Limited in the UK and elsewhere.