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Hilary Craven has been defeated by life. Her daughter has died, her husband has left her and she is convinced she has nothing left to live for. She has decided to leave England, and in an out-of-the-way spot in Morocco, end it all. A number of leading scientists have disappeared without a trace and concern is growing within the international community. Are they being kidnapped? Blackmailed? Brainwashed? One woman may hold the key to the mystery, but Olive Betteron now lies in a hospital bed, dying from injuries sustained in a Moroccan plane crash. Meanwhile, in a Casablanca hotel room, Hilary Craven prepares to take her own life. But her suicide attempt is about to be interrupted by British secret agent Jessop, who will offer her a much more exciting way to die!.



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Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym , and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature-Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple-and author of , the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre. Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879-1950) , called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880-1929) , called Monty, ten years older than Agatha. During the First World War, she worked at a hospital as a nurse; later working at a hospital pharmacy, a job that influenced her work, as many of the murders in her books are carried out with poison. On Christmas Eve 1914 Agatha married Archibald Christie, an aviator in the Royal Flying Corps. The couple had one daughter, Rosalind Hicks. They divorced in 1928, two years after Christie discovered her husband was having an affair. Her first novel, , came out in 1920. During this marriage, Agatha published six novels, a collection of short stories, and a number of short stories in magazines. In late 1926, Agatha's husband, Archie, revealed that he was in love with another woman, Nancy Neele, and wanted a divorce. On 8 December 1926 the couple quarreled, and Archie Christie left their house Styles in Sunningdale, Berkshire, to spend the weekend with his mistress at Godalming, Surrey. That same evening Agatha disappeared from her home, leaving behind a letter for her secretary saying that she was going to Yorkshire. Her disappearance caused an outcry from the public, many of whom were admirers of her novels. Despite a massive manhunt, she was not found for eleven days.In 1930, Christie married archaeologist Max Mallowan (Sir Max from 1968) after joining him in an archaeological dig. Their marriage was especially happy in the early years and remained so until Christie's death in 1976. In 1977, Mallowan married his longtime associate, Barbara Parker.Christie frequently used familiar settings for her stories. Christie's travels with Mallowan contributed background to several of her novels set in the Middle East. Other novels (such as ) were set in and around Torquay, where she was born. Christie's 1934 novel was written in the Hotel Pera Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, the southern terminus of the railway. The hotel maintains Christie's room as a memorial to the author. The Greenway Estate in Devon, acquired by the couple as a summer residence in 1938, is now in the care of the National Trust.Christie often stayed at Abney Hall in Cheshire, which was owned by her brother-in-law, James Watt



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