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Dame Agatha Christie Mallowan (1891-1976), the writer of detective and romantic fiction, doesn't receive nearly the respect she deserves. Although celebrated as perhaps the greatest crime writer of the twentieth century, her works are filled with social commentary, irony, comedy, parodies of her own profession, and generally a finesse her many imitators usually lack.

Christie created many fictional characters as subjects for her works, apart from Hercule Poirot (her earliest, most widely recognized, and least favorite). Of all her creations, by far the most sophisticated is Miss Jane Marple, the elderly woman (who remained active and elderly from the 1930s to the 1970s), an outwardly timid and respectable maiden aunt many people themselves have. In reality, however, Christie's Miss Marple succeeds because she is not only shrewd (in Christie's words, having "plumbed the depths of human iniquity"), but also because she was an exceedingly cynical old woman. In this and many other ways Miss Marple mirrors Christie's own outlook.

Max Mallowan, Christie's second husband, was a distinguished archaeologist who was renowned for his work in Mesopotamia. Christie accompanied him on several trips to the field. After returning from one excursion, the famous author was questioned by reporters as to how she felt about being married to a man whose interest lay in antiquities.

"An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have," said she. "The older she gets, the more interested he is ..."

----------------A Final Thought ...

"That's because you're young and you believe people; I haven't for years."

- Agatha Christie Mallowan (1891-1976), British author. The words were spoken by Jane Marple in the novel "Sleeping Murder." All really good Christie quotes were spoken through Miss Marple.