The Schmooze

Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot vs. Hitler

Agatha Christie (1890–1976), has long been underestimated by readers and fellow writers alike, despite her 80 novels which have sold a reported four billion copies. For example, the astute mystery writer P. D. James, in her newly published “Talking About Detective Fiction,” complains that Christie, with her “pasteboard characters,” has not had a “profound influence on the later development of the detective story.”

Furthermore, in-depth studies like Charles Osborne’s “Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie” admit that Christie’s early works, featuring the detectives Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, reflect casual British antisemitism of the 1920s and ’30s; for instance, the 1930 short story “The Soul of the Croupier,” in which “Hebraic men with hook-noses wearing rather flamboyant jewelry” appear.

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Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot vs. Hitler

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