John Moffatt stars as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
The ABC Murders: A chilling letter sets the sleuth on the trail of an enigmatic killer. After the Funeral: A wealthy businessman is dead, and his sister thinks it was murder. Death on the Nile: Poirot is in Egypt when a chilling murder takes place. Peril at End House: Whilst on holiday, the sleuth encounters a young woman, a hat and a bullet. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: Mrs Farrars is found dead, one year after the death of her husband. Murder on the Orient Express: Poirot is aboard a snowbound train when a passenger is found murdered. Three Act Tragedy: Poirot is one of the guests at a party when a clergyman dies whilst sipping a cocktail. The Mysterious Affair at Styles: Poirot and Captain Hastings become re-acquainted in a quiet English village in 1916.
These BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations showcase eight of the finest cases in Hercule Poirot's career. Based on the original novels by Agatha Christie, they feature a cast of outstanding actors playing an array of likely suspects...
Starring: John Moffat, Simon Williams, Nichola McAuliffe, Jill Balcon, Hugh Dickson, Sean Arnold, Susan Jameson, Nichols Boulton, Philip Jackson, Annabelle Dowler, Hilda Schroder, George Cole, Gemma Saunders, Andrew Wincott, Terence Edmond, Bryan Pringle, David Thorpe, Elizabeth Conboy, Rosemary Leach, Donald Sinden, Stratford Johns, Tom George, Sylvia Syms, Sian Phillips, Francesca Annia, Frank Windsor, Peter Polycarpu, Desmond Llewelyn, Andre Maranne, Siriol Jenkins, Kate Binchy, Joss Ackland
Agatha Christie, the acknowledged 'Queen of Crime' (The Observer) was born in Torquay in 1890. During the First World War she worked as a hospital dispenser, and it was here that she gleaned the working knowledge of various poisons that was to prove so useful in her detective stories.
Her first novel was The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which introduced Hercule Poirot to the world. This was published in 1920 (although in fact she had written it during the war) and was followed over the next six years by four more detective novels and a short story collection. However, it was not until the publication of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd that Agatha Christie's reputation was firmly established. This novel, with its complex plot and genuinely shocking conclusion, attracted considerable public attention and has since been acknowledged by many experts as a masterpiece. In 1930 the sharp-witted spinster sleuth Miss Marple made her first appearance in The Murder at the Vicarage. In all, Agatha Christie published over 80 novels and short story collections.
The brilliance of Christie's plots, and her enduring appeal, have led to several dramatisations of her work on radio, television and film. In 1930 she was one of a number of crime writers asked to contribute a chapter to a mystery, Behind the Screen, that was broadcast on BBC radio on 21st June that year. More recently, June Whitfield portrayed Miss Marple on BBC Radio 4, whilst John Moffat starred as Hercule Poirot. On screen, Peter Ustinov, David Suchet, Margaret Rutherford, Joan Hickson, Geraldine McEwan and Julia McKenzie have all memorably played Agatha Christie's famous sleuths.
As her play The Mousetrap (the longest-running play in the history of theatre) testifies, Agatha Christie's detective stories are likely to appeal for a long time to come.
Agatha Christie was awarded a CBE in 1956 and was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1971. She died in 1976.