Agatha Christie crime locations you can visit
September 15 2015 is the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie’s birth. In her honour, here’s a “where was it” (as opposed to a “whodunnit”) of classic crime locations.
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Agatha Christie first visited Egypt in 1910. Yet it was 20 years later that she discovered upon the Nile’s paddle boats, temples, and burial chambers.
Inspired, she penned Death on the Nile while based at Aswan’s Old Cataract Hotel (pictured above). The hotel—along with its riverside terrace bar and British Empire ambience—still stands today.
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Christie once labelled the Orient-Express as “the train of my dreams". A century later the original Eurasian service has perished, though classic carriage trains still run.
Unfortunately most Venice–Simplon Orient-Express only go as far as the watery Italian city, while only very infrequent jaunts are made from Paris–Istanbul.
Jerusalem and Jordan
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Parker Pyne Investigates is a light-hearted series of short stories. Christie’s detective flits between various Middle Eastern locations, which the novelist herself visited.
The Blue Train
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The Mystery of the Blue Train finds Poirot investigating another locomotive murder.
The eponymous transport was more formally known as the Calais–Mediterranée Express and is a luxury French sleeper train which takes wealthy travellers to the French Riviera.
Its distinctive dark blue cars ran between 1886 and 2003.
High-speed TGVs eventually rendered Le Train Bleu obsolete. A non-luxury, plain-coloured train now operates the route.
Image via The Lookout Broadsands
The author’s hometown, Torquay, hosts an annual Agatha Christie festival. Taking place in September.
The Devonshire seaside town and local area also offers up a mini-glut of Christie locations, including Churston Station and Elberry Cove—a favourite Christie bathing spot—both of which made an appearance in The ABC Murders.
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Five miles south-east of Torquay is Greenway, Christie’s riverside holiday home for 20 summers.
Now overseen by the National Trust and open to visitors, the magnificent house and gardens were recreated for scenes in the Poirot novels Five Little Pigs and Dead Man’s Folly.
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And Then There Were None, is probably Christie’s most famous novel. It sees ten strangers gather at the hailing of an absent, mysterious host on Soldier Island. The guests seemingly start to kill one another off.
The isle makes is based on Burgh Island, off the south Devonshire coast. So inspiring a location, it makes another appearance as Smugglers’ Island in Evil Under the Sun.
Its luxurious Art Deco hotel, at which Christie stayed, remains open to this day, and boasts a two-bedroom Christie suite.
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After her first marriage hit the rocks, Christie fled home and checked into Harrogate’s Swan Hydropathic Hotel as Teresa Neele (the name of her husband’s lover).
She was tracked down by a young journalist called Ritchie Calder who found her through a series of deductions learned from Christie novels. (As detailed in the 1979 film Agatha, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Dustin Hoffman).
Now called the Old Swan, the modern-day hotel often holds regular murder-mystery events.