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An outbreak of apparent kleptomania at a student hostel is not normally the sort of crime that arouses Hercule Poirot's interest, but it is a bizarre list of stolen and vandalised items: a stethoscope, some lightbulbs, some old flannel trousers, a box of chocolates, a slashed rucksack, some boracic powder and a diamond ring later found in a bowl of a soup. Celia Austin quickly confesses to the pettier incidents to attract the attention of a male student. The next morning she is discovered dead from an overdose of morphine, and Poirot sees through the attempts to make her death seem like suicide.



About the Author

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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