Agatha Christie and Torquay
Torquay - home town of Queen of Crime Agatha Christie
Torquay is where the World's Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie was born and grew up. Her books are full of places inspired by Torquay and other parts of Devon and for her fans it is possible to follow in her footsteps on a short break in the South Devon seaside resort.
A literary trail shows where she spent time in her early years and where she worked as a pharmacist in World War 1. This work gave her a great knowledge of the effects of poisons and the long hours she worked gave her plenty of time to plot out her very first novel - The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
Although the home of her birth is long gone, the holiday home she bought on the banks of The River Dart after she had become an established writer - Greenway - is open to the public and is now owned by The National Trust.
There is a biennial International Agatha Christie Festival that takes place in mid September to coincide with the anniversary of her birth. Many different aspects of her work are explored and new works that draw inspiration form her works are showcased.
Torquay's other crime writers...
Although Agatha Christie is by a long way the most famous crime writer from Torquay, she is not the only one. Eden Phillpotts was an established writer by the dawn of the twentieth century and although his work covered a number of different subjects some of his crime fiction was considered to be the best of its type. He was a near neighbour of the Miller family and Agatha derived a lot of inspiration from his work and she dedicated her novel Peril at End House to him. Some years younger than Agatha Christie, Beverley Nichols who grew up in Torquay, also turned his hand to detective stories with a series of five thrillers.
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