Incomparable devisor of puzzles and complete mistress of the unexpected twist, Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowen DBE was and remains the best selling writer of fiction in the world. She wrote eighty novels and short story collections and her two favourite protagonists, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot are as famous as she is. Another six novels were published under the name Mary Westmacott. In 1926 Christie disappeared after her husband, Archie Christie asked for a divorce, having fallen in love with Nancy Neele. This disappearance became national news. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave one of Christie's gloves to a spirit medium to try to find her. Ten days later she was discovered at the Swann Hydropathic Hotel in Harrogate under the name of Neele. She retreated at once to Abney Hall Cheadle where her sister lived with her husband. Abney Hall informed much of Christie's writing about Country Houses that formed so much of the quintessentially English backdrop to her novels.
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